Brightened Shadow by Sarina Langer

Pronunciation Guide

    Feel free to use this guide as you wish. If you’d rather come up with your own pronunciation or prefer not to check until you’ve finished the book, go right ahead! I believe that the pronunciation of characters and other names, such as countries, belongs more to the reader than to the author. I made a lot of the below up, so there’s no one way to do it ‘right’.

    840 Like two separate numbers. Eight Forty.

    Alharys Al-huh-ris

    Alt Võina I pronounce Alt like the key on my keyboard, and Võina like Voi (think void)-nuh.

    Ash As in ‘he blew them to bits and ashes.’

    Cairdh Like ‘care’, but with a th at the end

    Ceallach an Eòlas The first two parts are something like kay-uh-luck uhn, and the third part is like Legolas but without the l and the g. Just rock your best Scottish accent and you’ll be fine.

    Ceidir Kay-deer

    Doran Door-an

    Dràbheinn Druh-bane

    Dunhă Doon-ya

    Ellasan Like the name Ella and sun, but sun is a long sound. Ella-suuuun.

    Hjeva Like the ye in yesterday and vuh. ye-vuh.

    Islirrin Is and lyric but with an n instead of a c.

    Ithrean Ith-ree-an

    Kult A mixture between cult and cool, short and snappy.

    Kuuldam Cool-dum

    Kwenjande Quen-jun-day

    Levi Le-vee

    Llian’In Lee-un-een

    Lyrinaan Like lyrics again plus naan. Like naan bread but inedible because she’s a goddess, not food.

    Meviris Meh-vee-ris. Like Kult, it’s short and snappy.

    Naavah Ora Nuh-vuh Ora

    Naverys Nuh-ve-ris

    Onwwe On-way

    Suf’afir Soof-uh-fear. It sounds a bit like a mixture of suffering and fear, but they’re good people.

    Vahimees Wuh-he-mees

    Valynaan Vuh-lee-naan. That’s right, more naan bread!

    Vaska Vas-kuh

    Vasael’In Vuh-sail-een

    Z’rasi The s is sharp, like the Spanish word for yes. Si-ruh-si

To Jess, the sweetest star

Darkness had fallen over Dunhă. Naavah Ora looked at the city at the heart of the spirits’ haven and mourned its lost light.

    She mourned the loss of herself, too. It had been slow and invisible like poison, but now it was too late. She feared she’d never know the difference between her mind and Ithrean’s again.

    But Ceallach had corrupted Dunhă, and whether her mind was her own or Ithrean’s, she would have her revenge.

    For no one disturbed the souls’ peace while she was their guardian. Ithrean would burn the darkness out of her creation.

    And together, they would return its light to even the darkest corners.

Day 157

    I saw it. Grass as red as blood. A sky as violet as the most delicate flowers. Beautiful, but when I stepped on the meadow, the grass wilted beneath my feet. Other spirits were everywhere I looked, but they weren’t like mine. They looked at peace, like what Elsbet and my mother believed in.

    The connection to every one of my spirits snapped when I followed the voice. I can’t describe what I did, but when I tried to bind one of these new spirits to me, something shoved me back and I fell. I blinked, and I was back in my castle.

    My spirits have vanished.

    But it doesn’t matter. I can start over.

Chapter 1 – Naavah Ora

    Naavah Ora sat on a red-meadow rise above a white lake below purple skies and wondered what her mind was worth. She watched the city at the heart of Dunhă, darkened with corruption and its light slowly dying, and remembered the three rules every Suf’afir had to follow—Don’t wander. Don’t make contact. Observe, but don’t interfere. A part of her never wanted to reach the city. Another, much larger part would have given anything for the opportunity… once, when anything had meant a lot less.