Welcome to stop number twenty four in the #exploreleira blog tour where we’re celebrating the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world.
If this is your first encounter with the blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles … and we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below! You can find a list of the stops and dates here: #exploreleira tour. (Links will be updated once each post becomes live.)
Today, we’re looking at the letter …
X is for Commander Thallus Liturgis Xyamphene Noonan
Okay … I am totally stretching this one. It’s just that there really aren’t any other names of peoples or places or things in the Songkeeper Chronicles that start with the letter X. So, I’m afraid we are stuck with Commander Thallus, whose full name just so happens to include one that starts with the letter X.
(Don’t you just love the dwarves’ crazy long names?)
We get to meet Thallus when (SPOILER ALERT) Ky and his friends arrive at the fortress of Siranos in the Whyndburg Mountains. When it came to writing the dwarves in the Songkeeper Chronicles, I didn’t want to simply go with the stereotypical fantasy dwarves who can come across as rough, hard-boiled, and generally uncouth, so I tried to make the dwarves of the Whyndburg Mountains a little more varied. Theirs is a multi-layered, cultured society. You can read more about it here.
But out of all of the dwarves in the Songkeeper Chronicles, Thallus is probably the most similar to your typical fantasy dwarf … which made him pretty fun to write. He is gruff, blunt, and snores like an earthquake. He wields a mace in battle and sleeps in his armor, because—as he jokes—it’s too much trouble to put it on and take off at his age.
A sputtering fire provided just enough light to see by. One a straw pallet beside the heart, an old dwarf sprawled beneath a mound of blankets, snoring loud enough that Ky could have slammed the door without being heard.
He tapped the dwarf’s shoulder and jumped back as he roared awake, reaching for the mace propped beside his pallet. Curly gray hair and a beard the color and texture of an unshorn sheep stuck out in all directions around a face that most closely resembled a battering ram.
Hair like an unshorn sheep and a face like a battering ram. Yep. Commander Thallus is undoubtedly a favorite with the ladies. And if his looks weren’t enough to clinch it, his personality certainly would. He is a real charmer.
Paddy met Ky’s glance. “Wasn’t that a mite risky? Firing under a flag of truce?
Thallus just chuckled and clapped him on the back, hard enough to make Paddy stumble. “Negotiations, beardling, aren’t so much of a delicate art as those stuck up Xanthen chancellors would have you believe. It’s more a matter of figuring out who’s got the bigger sword and the guts to use it.”
Man, I’d love to meet this guy! But only if I’m guaranteed to stay on his good side. Because, I get the feeling that getting on his bad side is not a great idea …
“Cursed Khelari dog!” Thallus roared, and his voice cracked. “I don’t need two minutes to decide, let alone two hours! Send your worst. We’ll not surrender.”
Thallus is another character who I would have loved to give more page time! But he doesn’t show up on scene until late in Songkeeper when the pace is already ramping up at break neck speed toward the climax, so we don’t really get to enjoy his antics for long.
But hopefully he’s memorable enough to still make you grin through the scenes where he is on the page. Even if we only get to be around him for a short while.
Want to find out more about the Commander Thallus and the rest of the crew? Check out the links below to purchase the books:
And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Open to international entries. Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.