Bard of the Borrows, a wonderful tale of the travels of charismatic Bard, Temerran, written by Emma Miles, is released today. I had the honour of sitting down for a chat with Temerran in between his adventures on the high seas, and this is what he had to say.
Hello and welcome Temerran. Thank you so much for speaking with me today.
Hello Maria. I love your name, it sounds like a cat’s purr.
Thank you, I have never thought of it like that before. I love cats though, so the comparison has made me smile.
You have travelled to so many places and are always looking for undiscovered lands, but do you have a bucket list of places you haven’t been to but would love to see?
There is a huge part of me that wants to set sail and keep going until I have found every land under our sky. But after what happened with Geladan I have learned caution. The longing is still there, though. Of places I know, I have seen little of Chem. It’s such a large land, and most of it not accessible by ship. I journeyed to Arkoom once, to see the old capital. It’s an eerie place, even now. Like bright flowers growing over ruins. Birds singing in a graveyard. I’d love to visit the mysterious sanctuary of the Rakinya to the north of Snowhold. That would mean negotiating Queen Catya’s court though! How about you? If I could take you anywhere on the Undine, where would you ask me to take you?
I would love to visit the Fulmers – it sounds so beautiful there, and they have a wonderful community. Do you think Jorrun would let me explore his library if we paid a visit to the Northold?
Ha ha, I’ve never been allowed to set foot in the Raven Tower, not sure that I’d dare ask! Though Jorrun has been kind enough to lend me books on occasion. Perhaps he would make an exception for you.
I can understand Jorrun wanting to protect his books. I am fiercely protective of my own library. It is a sign of great trust that he has lent you books!
If I could relocate the Undine to my world, I would love to sail the Mediterranean with you and show you some of my favourite places in Spain and Italy.
Your Mediterranean sounds delightful.
It is beautiful, and there is so much history to explore, I think you would love it.
I have just realised I have been really rude and haven’t offered you any refreshments while we chat. Can I get you anything to eat or drink?
I’d love some nettle tea if you have any?
I’ll pop the kettle on right away and rustle up some nettle tea for you.
I would imagine that captaining the Undine keeps you busy for the majority of the time, but when you do have some time to yourself, how do you relax and unwind from the pressures of captaincy and being a Bard? Are there hobbies you would like to do that just aren’t practical on a boat?
My ship and music are my life. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Playing my fiddle in particular helps me relax, and as I mentioned I do sometimes have time to read. Walking the coastline of Fulmer Island or sitting at the Undine’s prow composing music are where I am most at peace. As for hobbies… I can’t ever see myself leaving the Undine, so I don’t think I’d have time. I guess perhaps my studying of the origins of languages could be considered a hobby, though it is linked to my craft.
I love learning new languages. I am studying a few myself at the moment. It’s fascinating seeing similarities in different languages and being able to identify their roots through these similarities.
You understand me exactly. You can see how language travels across the lands. How the interaction of cultures influence each other. It’s fascinating, isn’t it?
There are so many beautiful languages to learn too – although I must admit I am finding some more difficult than others, especially when there is an entirely new alphabet to learn!
Or when the sentence structure is very different to our own. But the harder the language, the greater the satisfaction in conquering it.
That is so true. It is good to do something to keep the mind active and studying languages definitely does that.
How are you with accents? I’m lucky enough to have a very good ear for even the slightest variations, so for me it’s like playing a note the right way.
I am a bit strange with accents. I often find it easier to understand English spoken by someone who speaks it as a second language than I do with some regional accents where English is the first language. With the languages I am learning, I like to tell myself that my accents aren’t too bad, but a native speaker would probably tell you that they were horrible!
I’m sure your accent is better than you think. Ah, regional accents are fascinating aren’t they? In Chem they almost purr their r’s. In the Borrows the consonants are shorter and sharper. And not just the accents but the unique words too. In the Borrows they had an almost separate language from the rest of the four lands, as well as their runes as opposed to letters. Raiding, trading, and the arrival of the Bard had them slowly adopt the principle tongue of the north again. There are many who still use the old words, though.
You have beautiful hair, by the way. Dark and curling like midnight passion flower tumbling over a wall. You could easily be mistaken as coming from the Borrows. Were your people ever raiders?
Thank you so much. In a way, I suppose they were. One side of my family history can be traced back over 900 years to an invasion by foreign forces who conquered the country I live in. They could probably be considered to be raiders.
How amazing to be able to trace your ancestry back so far. I’m impressed, Maria. I know little of my actual family because… well, I lost my father when I was very young. My mother I never sought out again after I stole a boat to make my own way in the world. As you know, I did dedicate much of my life to trying to find out where the first Bard came from.
I must let you get back to the Undine now Temerran. I know you don’t like to leave her for too long. I look forward very much to hearing more about your explorations in the future, and thank you again for spending time with me.
Hold fast, my friends, we steer for the fierce winds of change through the storms of war.
Grieving for his lost friends, and battered by life and war, Temerran, the enigmatic Bard of the Borrows, sets sail on his graceful ship, the Undine. To protect those he loves, he must risk his crew and his beloved vessel, and guide them into enemy waters. Unknown lands beckon the audacious captain, and a new crew tests both his skill and patience as well as that of his loyal first mate. For not only has he taken aboard a feisty warrior-woman to help lead his crew, but also the absconded prince of Elden, who is more than a fish out of water.
Can he steer them through the perils of the sea, betrayal, and the machinations of foreign lands, or will his quest be the end of the Undine and the Bard of the Borrows?
Bard of the Borrows is part of the Land Beneath the Sky collection, companion books to the Fire-Walker saga. Bard of the Borrows Volume one follows immediately after the last book of the Fire-Walker saga, Raven Fire.