The second character I want to profile is Rhiannon’s best and most trusted friend, Nia. When I first created Aisling and its world, Nia was my initial introduction to the people who lived there. The chapter I wrote included her and a captured bandit. The interaction between them was quiet and tense, but her eyes stole the scene. Brilliant and green, Nia’s eyes were mesmerizing and offered great contrast to her straight black hair. One day, I might release the scene—it’s still one of my favorites.
A lot of people don’t know what to make of Nia. Many have told me they don’t trust her; some think she’s behind all the trouble that happens. I understand their feelings. She’s mysterious—a hint of deceit lies under everything she does, but honest desires command her words and actions. Nia is the youngest of three daughters. She wants to be a faerie more than anything and has dreamed about becoming one of Aisling’s chosen few for as long as she can remember. Her oldest sister, Madeline, is a faerie and is married to the Chief Elder. Nia views Madeline’s life as the personification of success and is jealous that Rhiannon is following a similar “perfect” path.
Nia lost her mother to illness when she was a small child. Both her sisters are much older than she, so Nia has grown up under the care of her father, who never remarried and is extremely protective. Nia hasn’t had a maternal figure in her home for many years, but has learned a lot from servants and Rhiannon’s mother.
Many young men in Aisling work for Nia’s father. She sought comfort with some of them in the past, but discovered nothing honest in their wanting. Because of this, she quietly despises the men in Aisling and worries about her future there. When a smart young man from DarMattey stays at her home, a romance grows. He is nothing like the young men she knows and offers an escape from the life she fears.
Since a young age, Rhiannon Phillips has been Nia’s closest friend. Nia calls her Rhia—a name chosen when they were younger to denote their similarities. But Nia and Rhiannon have changed over the years, and Nia knows this. If faeries are perfect, and Rhiannon is a faerie, then Nia thinks she is far from worthy of acceptance into the Fae. Rhiannon’s reaction to the tragedy of the season surprises Nia and it makes her guarded. She wants to help, but Rhiannon seems to push her away. Nia doesn’t want to lose her friend and doesn’t know what to do.
The season takes a toll on Nia, and the more complicated her life becomes, the more she wants to leave Aisling.
I enjoy the relationship between Nia and Rhiannon because, when all is said and done, they are still best friends. There are secrets they keep from each other and they both don’t trust one another at times, but that’s the dynamic part of it. Both young women are headed in different paths, but fate will eventually bring them together again. It’ll be fun to see what happens.