Thursday, June 25, 2015

Boosting the Signal: Valor of the Healer, by Angela Highland

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
Any of you who follow me over on know that I run a periodic feature called Boosting the Signal, in which I feature other people’s books via pieces written to highlight character goals. The pieces people send me take a variety of forms—characters speaking directly to the reader, characters writing letters, characters being interviewed, excerpts from the actual books, brand new snippets of prose that tie into the books, and more.

For my post today, I thought it would be fun to do a Boosting the Signal style piece for one of my own books for once. So here’s one for Faanshi, one of my three main characters from the Rebels of Adalonia books. This is for Faanshi at the start of the entire story, before the events of Book One, Valor of the Healer.


My name is Faanshi. Just Faanshi. If I have any other name, my okinya Ulima has never told it to me. But then, I don’t think my master would let me claim it anyway. This is what happens when you’re a slave.

I’m not the only slave at Lomhannor Hall, and not even the only one with Tantiu blood—there are others who must hide their faces behind the veil and the korfi, who serve the akreshi Duke and his wife, who brought us all the way from Tantiulo when the Duke first married my mother. But now my mother is dead. I may not be the only slave with Tantiu blood…

But I’m the only one whose blood is tainted. The only one with fire inside, a fire that commands me to banish sickness and mend broken flesh. The akreshi Duke says this power is unholy and that it has made me have fits, and so he must lock me away from the eyes of men. I have no choice. It’s either the cellar—or Father Enverly, who frightens me far more than the walls of the single small room that defines the borders of my world. Every time Father Enverly takes my blood, I feel a wrongness that not even my power can burn away. And he won’t stop. Both my master and Father Enverly say that I must permit this, or they will give me to the Hawks.

I know what that means. The Hawks would call the Anreulag—and the Anreulag would burn me in Her sacred fire until nothing remained of me but dust.

I pray each morning, noon, and night to Almighty Djashtet, the Lady of Time, in the hopes that She will bring me deliverance. From the cellar, from my master, from Father Enverly and whatever dark acts he does with my blood. I would not even mind so much if I remained a slave, if I could but have a master who would not hide me from the sun—who would not force me to heal on his command, and hoard my power for him alone.

My okinya says that if I am faithful to Almighty Djashtet, if I hold to the ridahs of courage and strength, then She will hear my prayers.

I can’t tell if She’s listening. I can’t tell if Her power is greater than the Anreulag’s—for even my okinya admits that the Anreulag has been seen by the eyes of many, and no one has ever seen Djashtet. I do not even know if Djashtet truly exists.

My faith in Her is all I have to comfort me in the cellar’s darkness.

And I don’t know how much longer I can keep it alight.


If you want to follow Faanshi’s story, start the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy today, with Valor of the Healer! And if you’d like to see more Boosting the Signal pieces, come on over to and check out the Boosting the Signal posts. And if you’re an author who’d like a little signal-boosting love for your own work, how Boosting the Signal works is described on its own official page.

I write as Angela Highland with Carina Press, and as Angela Korra’ti for my indie works! Come say hi to me at, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

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