Key to Pronunciation

In preparation for the third book in this series, Sonnedragon, I’ve been putting together reference material and background information: a new and more expansive map, family trees, dramatis personae. While looking through some very old files to recover what I’d already done in this area, I found the following guide to pronouncing proper names.

The language spoken by the characters in this novel is an Anglo-French amalgamation similar to Chaucerian English; though the language itself is rarely represented, the spelling and pronunciation of proper names reflect its use. There are a few, simple, general guidelines to correct pronunciation:

  • Y is usually pronounced like long e: Ah-dee-nah, Oh-leer.
  • An initial I is a long i: Eye-gren, Eye-oh-bethe. Exceptions are the Spanish words, in which an initial I is pronounced with a modern y sound: Yar-din-ez.
  • The use of U as a consonant is frequently, but not consistently, employed. Names such as Houarde, Eduarde, and Uinmerchant should be pronounced as if the U were a W: Win-merchant.
  • When a word ends with a consonant followed by an E, the consonant should be stressed with a slight aspirate afterwards, a sort of uh sound: Da-feeTH-uh, Ed-warD-uh.
  • The accent usually falls on the second or middle syllable: Mar-GEER-reet, Kat-HER-Reen, Go-DEF-roi, An-DEM-ee-on.

Why are Lord Redmantyl’s family so overfair? (Wizard’s Son version)

It began as a literary short-hand. When I wrote my first draft of this book’s opening scene many years ago, both Orlan and Redmantyl had ordinary skin and hair color. But that immediately presented me with a problem: A wizard might be able to recognize his previously unseen child at first meeting, but how would the little boy know that this was his father? And how would anyone else know? DNA testing doesn’t exist in a medieval-type world, and it seemed unlikely that a man could show up and simply claim custody of a child without providing some undeniable proof of his right to do so. There needed to be some way to make the true relationship between the wizard and little boy plain right away to both readers and the characters in the story without bogging the plot down.

After playing with some ideas about birthmarks or distinctive patterns to the eyes, I decided to give them a sort of ultra-albino coloring, with very pale skin and silvery-fair hair.The wizard Redmantyl, his son, and other relatives are not true albinos, however; their eyes are pale blue or gray instead of pink. This appearance made them easily recognizable as members of the same family, and marked them as something rare and remarkable even among the magicians of their world.

Although this series is only at its very beginning, there may also eventually be an explanation for the odd appearance of my main characters later on.

The Wizard’s Son

Where to buy: Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Bookfinder; IndieBound; Createspace (10% off code: MPY7RN5U); eBook format; More options.

The Wizard’s Son (ISBN: 9780578032931)
by Kathryn L. Ramage

The Wizard’s Son
By Kathryn L. Ramage

“‘His first vivid, visual impression was of Redmantyl standing over him in the morning sunlight, so tall and red and bright that the wizard had been burned into Orlan’s memory. Indeed, Orlan marked his life from that moment, when all the light and strength and wondrous magic of the world had stepped into his childish awareness. He believed he had known he belonged to that man, even before he knew who Lord Redmantyl was. Before that, there was nothing.

“‘That summer, he began to test the unyielding barrier which kept him from his childhood—his father’s spell, placed upon him years ago. Until now, he had accepted it: who would wish to look back on dirt and poverty and misery when he lived in an ivory castle of magic? Orlan had not tried to remember, but his visit to Storm Port made him attempt to recall a past which had been kept from him. He wanted to know about his mother and the life he had known with her at Lammouthe. Could the spell be broken? He was a magician of some skill himself. Surely he could undo this. He must know: what had he been before his father had brought him to Wizardes Cliff?’

“Orlan Lightesblood is the son of the world’s most powerful wizard and is training to become a wizard himself. But beyond his father’s castle, he is still an innocent youth, defenseless against the evil and temptations that threaten the future laid out for him. On an alternate earth filled with wonder and danger, the wizard’s son must overcome the demons of his own past and his father’s enemies to survive to manhood.”

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More fiction by Kathryn L. Ramage.

Reviews of The Wizard’s Son:

More Reviews

April 12, 2010: Fantasy and Sci Fi Reviews (the Amazon reviews are the same, but please click on them anyway, thanks)

Amazon US (all Amazon reviews)

Amazon UK

February 18, 2010: Amazon Review (all Amazon US reviews)

December 31, 2009: Amazon Review (all Amazon US reviews)