A rose called by any other name may smell as sweet – that may be granted. But for one who has not known the essence of a rose, a name can hardly convey it. A description is called for, or perhaps the experience itself. So it is for some names that show up in my novel, Two Queens.
Here are a few terms to get you started, mostly focused on the novel’s setting. I have tried to keep it spoiler-free.
Kardja. A domesticated cameloid bred for its fleece. More South American than Saharan. See here for further details. The herdsman are called khardjin. Brian’s family tends to a herd of these, including Kerry, who upon her birth was given to Brian.
Anatolia. Highlands bordered by Arcadia to the northwest, desert to the southwest, and the mountains on the edge of civilized lands. There are forests and high alpine meadows. There are many towns but no proper cities.
Darach is one of Anatolia’s towns. It is further east and smaller than most of the others, serving principally as a market outpost for surrounding khardjin. It is near to Mount Finola, the highest mountain in the nearby area.
Arcadia. The next region over from Anatolia. Its capital is Avallone, the City of Queens, and also has two large rivers.
These regions are only part of a larger context. I hesitate to add extra names, as some of these our viewpoint character has not yet experienced in published material and so are not canon. But a few more notes may be in order as rumors come even from far distant lands to the town of Darach where Two Queens begins.
The rivers combine and flow rocky and swift to the sea in the south, with only a narrow isthmus of fertile land between mountains in the west and desert to the east. This fertility broadens on the shores of the sea near the ruins of the Sun City.
These western mountains, though they dissipate without a murmur in the south, end northwards on the fierce point of Kyriopolis, City of Kings, sister-city to Avallone and its long ally.
North of Arcadia, and northeast but still largely east of Kyriopolis, the sea is met once again, the other collar of this peninsula on which the stories of the Seven Heavens progress.
Ah, yes, what are the Seven Heavens? This is a colloquial reference to the league of seven that brought light out of darkness in the time of Apollo and Artemis.
And who are Apollo and Artemis? Brother and sister, first King and first Queen of their respective Cities, two of the seven, with a story all their own. But since you now know some things that Brian does not in the beginning of Two Queens, I had better stop here.