Another character interview: introducing Juzeva from Chosen of Azara. (no, she isn’t the young lady on the book cover.)
1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
My name is Juzeva. It’s a Savarunan name meaning “promise.”
2. How old are you?
I am 20 years old.
3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
My mother, Ilvana, is the Queen of Savaru. My father, Ezdar, her consort, is also the High Priest of the Source Yizu. I have four elder brothers, who all have wives and children.
Though I love my family, of course, and I honor my parents for giving me birth, the person – or being, I suppose, since a Source is not a person – I am closest to, who is my true family, is Source Azara. I was born Chosen – that is, perfectly attuned to Azara’s power. I need her power in order to live, and I am closer to her than I could ever be to anyone or anything else.
I do have a good friend, though. My dear servant Ysa stood very much in the place of a mother to me when I first came to the Convent, when I was eight, and she remains my closest human friend and confidante.
4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
As a Daughter of Azara, vowed to the service of Azara, I am sworn to celibacy. (Not all Sources require those in their service to remain celibate; my father, for example, is High Priest of a Source and is also consort to my mother.) I entered Azara’s service when I was eight years old; therefore I have never kissed a man, other than, of course, my father and brothers in the manner of family members.
I don’t mind the requirement of celibacy. Azara is my life; her service, her magic, the love I feel from her, are all I need. I do not feel that I am missing out on anything by not marrying or having children.
5. What is your occupation?
As Chosen of Source Azara, I am the High Priestess of Azara. My primary responsibilities are to lead the rituals of worship, assist those who wish to draw upon Azara’s power in order to work magic, and convey Azara’s word to those who worship or are dedicated to her or who desire guidance from her. I hesitate to use the word “responsibilities;” that makes what I do sound like a chore or an obligation. Serving Azara is my greatest joy; I cannot think of anything I would rather do.
6. What are your best and worst qualities?
My best quality? I have no wish to sound vain, but I believe my best quality is my desire to serve Azara and, through her, to help the people of Savaru. I am, after all, the daughter of their Queen, and they are my people. My worst quality… Again I do not wish to boast, but Azara has never given me reason to feel that my character is lacking in any way.
7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
As I said before, I am sworn to celibacy in Azara’s service, and I have no regrets about living my life in that manner.
If for some reason I were to marry, though, I would like a husband who is kind.
8. What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to climb down the path and walk out onto the rocks in the cove where Azara dwells, and stand among the waves and speak with her.
9. What is your greatest fear?
That someday, for some reason, I will be forced to leave Azara.
10. What is your most treasured possession?
That is easy – my connection to Azara as her Chosen.