When I set out to write Alora’s Tear, I took care in choosing names with meaning, sometimes direct, as clearly translated from their original languages as I could manage, other times personally meaningful or historically or societally through the world’s fiction. Above all, I desired the names of things in my work to feel like a part of the world they come from—familiar and at the same time foreign.

What I did not expect (though I should have) were varying pronunciations. When the characters are your own, and you’ve mentally and physically said the names hundreds of times, the pronunciations seem obvious. Based on my conversations with readers, this is not the case. So I had two choices: pull an “R.R. Martin” and refuse to give authoritative pronunciations (a fair strategy), or do what I prefer in the books I read myself, which is to provide pronunciations. Here they are, as close as possible to what I hear in my head and say aloud when I speak about the characters and places in Vladvir.


  • Alora: ah-lor-ah (though most American pronunciations will shorten it to uh-lor-uh)
  • Askon: Ask - on (rather than Ask - in, or worse Ask - off)
  • Líana: Lee - on - uh (rather than Lee - Anne - uh, or worse Lie - Anna)
  • Caled: Cal - ed (like Cal-ifornia, not like that hipster lettuce, Kale, or that thing we used to do with phones, call)
  • Morrowmen: More - oh - men (rather than Mar - uh - men)
  • Codard: Cod - ard (like the fish and the vark—the aardvark)
  • Iramov: Ear - uh - mahv (rather than a first syllable like Ireland and a last syllable like that most pretentious of colors, mauve)
  • Apopsé: uh-POP-say
  • Brâghda: Br-ah-g-da (with an ah like bog not a short A like bag or pack)


  • Vladvir: Vlad-veer (like glad cheer)
  • Tolarenz: Taller-enz (like tall and the name of the letter R, not like toll or pole)
  • Gæta: Gat-uh (like cat)
  • Aust: oust (like sour)
  • Vest: vest (like the clothing)
  • Noro: nor-oh (like oar)
  • Æsten Ridge: As-ten (like mass, with a short A sound)
  • Ellmed: El-med (like the letter L and med as in medical)
  • Grafmark: Graph-mark (short A sound on the first syllable, ah on the second)
  • Vitæsta: Vi-tass-tuh (the I like if and a short A sound as in pack)
  • Dalkaldur: Dahl-kahl-dur (like doll call in which the two words sound the same)