The initial introduction of Dah Inali in Songkeeper will likely stay with me for a while. The description of him, a dark, desert warrior with dreadlocks and spectacles, is one of the most unique physical characterizations I can ever remember reading. So when I was able to chose a character to host for this tour, I immediately thought of him. That said, I'll let the author tell you a bit more about him...
I is for Dah Inali
We first meet Dah Inali in Songkeeper. Dah Inali is the brother of Sa Itera and the brother-in-law of Matlal Quahtli, chief over the entire Saari nation of the Vituain Desert. Born heir to the Sigzal tribe, he lost his inheritance when Itera was made mahtem in his stead and the Sigzal tribe was aligned with Quahtli as her dowry. It is a loss that he bears bitterly … and one he will not soon allow her to forget.
With a flick of his hand, he adjusted the spectacles perching on the bridge of his nose and turned to Sa Itera. “What does the Mahtem of the Sigzal tribe require of her disinherited brother?” –Songkeeper
Inali is an artist. I have always been fascinated with those who possess a gift for art, because I do not. Drawing the map of Leira for Songkeeper was about as much as my talents permit. I do not have an eye for design, and the things that I think I see so clearly, I cannot translate onto the page. When I try … I am bitterly frustrated.
So of course, I have the highest respect for the amazing people who can.
And Inali is one of those. Even when traveling, he carries parchment and charcoals in his satchel and can be found frequently setting his thoughts into drawings. He has the sensitive soul of an artist. Often underestimated because of his quiet, unassuming nature, when the moment of pressure comes, he may surprise you with his strength.
When it comes to life, his perspective is a somewhat melancholy and fatalistic one.
“Things come and things go. Such is life, is it not, little Songkeeper?” --Songkeeper
He typically goes about clad in fringed leggings and an open lion skin vest with a clay bead on a chain around his neck. As far as weapons go, he prefers the subtle art of a spear pipe and coated darts to the heavier spears preferred by the majority of the Saari.
A young Saari warrior stood beside him, skin the dull bronze of the desert. He clutched the upright shaft of his spear in two hands, point buried in the sand, cheek pressed against the haft. Hair the color and consistency of dried earth hung in knotted strands to his shoulders, interwoven with clay beads. A pair of spectacles perched on the bridge of his nose. –Songkeeper
Inali was one of my favorite secondary characters to write in Songkeeper. (Although, admittedly, I say that about all the secondary characters … because they are all my favorite!) In my mind at least, he was very distinctive. His scenes came easily. His personality translated onto the page with little effort on my part. Both physical description and personal mannerisms quickly fell into place. This is when I wish I was an artist like Inali, so I could easily translate the image in my head into a picture on a page! With no skill as an artist, I am forced to resign myself to words. And oddly enough, many of Inali’s scenes went from first draft to final stage with few changes.
Regardless, Inali himself intrigued me. With his spectacles, satchel, and sketching supplies, his character stood in stark contrast to the majority of the Saari characters who took center page. In a world of fierce warriors, deprived of his birthright and his dream, he struggles to find his place. Maybe I just like characters who have hit every unlucky break and hard knock you can imagine, because poor Inali has had to face many significant disappointments in his life.
Those who manage to rise above such circumstances become the heroes we remember. But those who are broken and crushed beneath such circumstances become the casualties we mourn.
Curious as to which way Dah Inali will swing? I guess you’ll just have to read Songkeeper!
Check out the links below for a place 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! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit www.gillianbronteadams.com 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.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Bio: GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.
Description: War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.
Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?