Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What's in a name?

Hello and welcome, everyone. I decided to create a blog wherein The Anzhelin Legacy can be discussed, and I figured that at least once a week, I would post some small tidbit of information on the history of the Anzhelins, the timeline of the Brynnians, the Kunstinkavern dwarves, and the world at-large.

Moreover, I decided I would also include some background information from time to time on the writing process, my mentality and mindset regarding certain characters, and perhaps even little updates on the progress of Ice and Sun, the full-length novels following Fire.

Recently on KindleBoards, an author in the Writers' Cafe forum posted a thread about character names, place names, item names, and so on, wondering what significance there might or might not be behind whatever names authors chose.

I promised the original poster that I would go back to his thread and post some of my character/place names and explain the significance and the background behind them. I have not yet done that; but when I finish this blog post, I plan to revisit that thread.

I will not post a full glossary of name meanings, though. I will only do a couple, so that you can research the names on your own and come up with your own understandings of them.

So, shall we begin? There's a plate of refreshments over there, in the corner, with some punch - you know the kind - and a few cozy chairs. Take a seat, take some food, drink as much as you want, and let's get to know a few of the names in Fire.

Anzhelin: Starting with the obvious, let's look at the name Anzhelin. It comes from the Russian "Anzhelino/Anzhelina," meaning "Angel/messenger." In Bryn, since the days of the outpost of Brynley, the Anzhelin family has ruled. In a sense, they've always been Bryn's protectors. Now, in the past, Bryn was not totally united; and other factions vied for control, but the Anzhelins always won in the end.

Queen Taisiya Anzhelin: The current Anzhelin sitting upon the throne of Bryn. Her name, also Russian, comes from the Greek "Thais," who was a "witty and clever" courtesan who traveled with Alexander the Great. The events in Fire do not call for much wit, but her intellect is clear.

Dmitri Alexis: The farmer's son, who witnesses the murders of his family, and later teams up with the captain of the guard, Kyr. While not all of my names have such a heavy Russian influence, I fully admit that Russian names do indeed have a great influence in Fire. That does not hold true for every book in The Anzhelin Legacy, but it does in Fire, for the most part. The name Dmitri means "follower of Demeter," the goddess of harvest and corn. Since Dmitri is from a farming family, the name fits naturally. His surname, Alexis, is Greek, and it means "defender." I will not go into why that fits with his character, but speculation will certainly be well-received.

Kunstin: The name of the dwarves, who live across the Eischer Sea to the north in Kunstinkavern. It comes from the German word "Kunst," which can mean "artistic, design, creation," and the like. As you can see in Fire, the dwarves are master craftsmen.

And finally,

Durben: Durben is the older personal assistant to the queen herself. He helped raise her as a child, and is devoted to her. His name, actually, comes from the small Russian town of Derbent, the town that is the geographical inspiration for Brynhaven.

Th-th-th-that's all, folks! Well, until next week's post, at least. Please comment below!