Guest Post: S. Usher Evans


Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.

Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.

When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

Thanks to Bailey for having me hang out with her today! I’m super excited to talk more about The Island, my new fantasy romance which is coming April 26th from Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Today, I wanted to chat a little bit about the proud, independent nation of Rave. When I was coming up with the specifics about this country, I wanted to put together a true picture of a country that had been in conflict for over three generations. Since it’s told through the eyes of Theo, a proud Raven woman, her perception of her country is that it’s a rough place, where the government asks twelve-year-olds to give up their childhood and learn to protect the country. But through it all, she remains patriotic, knowing that her country’s survival depends on it.

Because Rave has been locked in a fifty-year war, the culture has been changed a bit, but some of the old ways remain. Most specifically, what I call the Raven “pet” names, or the terms of endearment that Ravens use with each other.

In concocting the old Raven language, I drew a lot on Japanese suffixes, where you can add -chan or -san to the end of a name to signify endearment or respect. So Whit-chan would be what my mother or best friend would call me, and Whit-san would be what a student would call me. And it’s not really a translatable thing, it’s more something you just know as someone who speaks Japanese.

Likewise, there are a few choice Spanish phrases I picked up during a six month stint in Seville (one of which is translated directly in The Island) that when translated to English, make little sense. But it’s the feeling behind it that gives it power.

In the old Raven language, most of the words center around the family. Instead of -chan, I changed it to -chai, which sounds like you’d pronounce a chai latte.

Okaiichai – (O-kai-chai, like chai tea) – Mother
Osaichai – Father
Oneechai (as in neigh, like a horse) – Sister
Oniichai (Ni, as in the knights who say) – Brother

The “O” part of each is usually taken out in super familiar terms. So if someone were to call Theo, ‘neechai, it would mean a familiarity with her

And then there’s amichai.

Amichai (ah-me-chai) is the Raven word for lover, but it means more like soulmate. Beyond just a boyfriend or a girlfriend, someone that you would give your life for, that you’d do anything for. That was a combination of “ami” (french) and chai.

What I love most about the Raven language (besides Galian’s butchering of it) is that it allows me to convey a sentiment in one word. So when Theo calls Galin amichai, you know that she really means it.

The Island is available for preorder now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.

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