Preventing Pronunciation Frustration

I don’t know about you, but it bugs me when I’m reading a book and keep wondering how I’m supposed to pronounce the names of the characters or the places. There’s a character in John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy calledPeter Guillam. How on earth are you supposed to pronounce ‘Guillam’? Turns out it’s ‘Gwillam’, or thereabouts.

Fantasy is particularly bad for this sort of thing, whether that’s names that are impossible to say or, for that matter, thinking you’ve pretty much got it right only to discover that you were wrong. How many of us got C’thulhu right first time? And who here can hold their hand up and say, ‘Yes, I was rolling the ‘r’ in Mordor long before Peter Jackson.’ Really? I’ll bet you weren’t.

So, in an attempt to prevent pronunciation frustration, here is a brief guide to how to say some of the names in The Blade Bearer. Because the last thing I want is annoyed readers. And to any professional pronunciation people, please forgive my attempts at phonetic rendering.

  • Markham of Mallarn: MAR-kam of MAH-larn
  • Rayne of Irenia: Rain of Ih-RENia
  • Maelcheon Mac Aefar: MAIL-ch-ee-on Mack AE-ih-Far. (The ‘ch’ is soft as in the Scottish word ‘loch’.)
  • Aeoland: AE-oh-land
  • Jeacas Chiron: JEE-cas KEYE-ron
  • Koseck: KOE-seck
  • Carnyth: KAR-nith
  • Talsany: TAHL-zanie
  • Adren: AH-dren
  • Prozhes – No idea how to write this out but the ‘zh’ is very soft.
  • Neghel – NAY-gell
  • Fen Llohan – Again, no idea how to write out the ‘ll’ but it’s how the Welsh say it, if that’s any help.
  • Magologist: Mah-GAW-loh-jist
  • Tyranna: TIH-ranna
  • Aeolyd: AE-oh-lidd
  • Will: Will