Julianna Roussel, Caidy's mother and the Lady of Rosemoor Dell, is the epitome of nobility. Since she married Mattias many years ago, she has come to be loved by the people of Rosemoor for her steadfast commitment to preserving their traditions and beliefs. For as long as she has been in Rosemoor she has attended every festival, worshiped at every service, and hosted every banquet with the grace and class of true nobility.
In the final installment of my character background series, I'm going to take you into Julianna's history. This isn't a story which gets explored in Summer Twilight; this article is the only way to learn about her background before future books are published! For more about her motivations--which are much more on display in the book--make sure you read this article too!
Unlike many of the other characters, Julianna is not from the Empire. She was born in Cerak, a town in southern Karath, just north of the Somber Mountains. Unlike the Empire, while there are noble families, power in the kingdom rests with the mages.
This is highly unusual; since Emperor Asim ordered the systematic murder of mages in the Empire some sixty years ago, magicians have been ostracized. Karath has always been a safe haven for mages, who flock to attend Rhiamor College in the far north. Few understand why the college is such a source of power, and if the mages know, they aren't saying. Nobility in the magical kingdom serve at the pleasure of the mages.
Born without a hint of connection to the Winds of Magic, Julianna grew up with several siblings in the mountainous forests along the southern border of Karath. She understood clearly from an early age that she would never amount to much; she would grow up, eventually lead her family in their small, speck-on-the-map village, have children, and eventually pass into the Pleasure Lands.
And, from an early age, Julianna decided that wasn't enough.
So she took every opportunity she could find to travel and experience the world. And, as luck would have it, one of her visits brought her to Rosemoor, to a feast where she met the young and charming heir to the throne, Mattias Roussel. While love at first sight might be a bit of an overstatement, anyone who met the young couple could see that they made each other deeply happy.
Julianna left Karath behind without a second look--an unusual move, but one she has stood by throughout her life. She has never returned home, instead choosing to dedicate herself to her duties as the Lady of Rosemoor. To any outside her family, she is the picture of perfection, though Caidy would argue she tries to hard. Though Julianna would never admit it, the heart of her work is in fear: fear she will be rejected by the people she serves, fear that she will be sent back to her homeland, fear that she will fail to make anything of her life.
Despite all of Julianna's insecurities, she is adored by the people of Rosemoor, and even Caidy would admit there is nobody more dedicated to her work than her mother. Julianna sees her dedication to Rosemoor as the pinnacle of her achievements, and the Province is stronger for her love and dedication to it.
Bridget is the author of Summer Twilight, available for purchase now!