Lady of the Court introduces us to Selo, who is assigned to escort Princess Abeti ("ah-bet-tee") to the Kingdom of Oon Sati. Abeti is to marry the youngest son of King Miru, Prince Iyuru ("ee-yoo-roo"), in a "blood marriage," after her mother wins a weary battle against the Antwari.
Upon arrival at the southwestern city of Wala, Selo is sent to train with Inya, the court herbalist, in the arts of a Chief Attendant. Thus begins a friendship borne of unlikely circumstances, as Selo learns not only the troubling truth about mixed societies, but their royal houses as well.
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Characters of Interest
Queen Matawai: Her name comes from the phrase matemawai ("mah-teh-mah-why"), meaning "goat horn woman". Though not born of royal blood, this Antwari Queen came to power by various ways, and now leads the siege against the nation of Tiy.
Ammetwa ("ah-met-twa"): Her name comes from the phrase amateyamawai ("ahm-mah-teh-yah-mah-why") meaning "black fur woman." She is Matawai's favored assassin.
Umi ("oo-mee"): Umi is Inya's beloved donkey who accompanies her on almost every journey. In Anseti, it is traditional for people name their donkeys, horses, etc. with names ending in "-mi", meaning "friend". "Umi" thus means "old friend."
Places of Interest
Wala ("wah-lah"): A great city in southwestern Oon Sati. It is ruled by Prince Iyuru, and is to be the new home of Princess Abeti.
Okoyi ("o-ko-yee"): A valley in northern Tiy, where the River Ai flows. The site of many battles between the Tiy and the Antwari, Okoyi is often believed to be resting place for the souls of warriors.
Onoti ("o-no-tee"): The northernmost village in Tiy, and the first line of defense against northern invades. Onoti is surrounded by high walls and armed with archers. No army has made it past Onoti in over a century.