Follow me after the cut for our introduction to the Protagonist and one of her Love Interests!
But First … Let’s Discuss How Russian Names Work
There’s a reason I’m doing this: we’re going to run into some Russian Name Fail in this chapter.
Russian names take the form of First Name – Patronymic – Surname. So in the case of former Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak, his first name is “Vladislav,” his patronymic is “Aleksandrovich” (that’s Dad’s Name + “-ovich”), and his surname is “Tretiak”. Female names use the suffix “-ovna” in the patronymic, and the surname is feminized (I guess that’s self-explanatory). You can read this massive article on the subject on Wikipedia if you want more details, but for our purposes this is all you need to know.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled recap.
Once upon a time…
There was a Protagonist and a Future Love Interest, who were orphaned during some Vague Conflict and adopted by a local duke. They became fast friends and spent their days eavesdropping on the maids.
But then the Grisha examiners came to test Protagonist (Alina) and Future Love Interest (Malyen) in magic, and possibly whisk them away to a School of Magic! Will the test end up separating these friends before the story even begins? Well … we’ll just have to find out next time.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
I’ll be using lots of Russian hockey player names when I discuss Russian stuff. Just letting you know.
“Grisha” is a hilarious name for an army of sorcerers. Check out my translation notes below to see why.
Alina’s talent is drawing, while Malyen specializes in outdoor activities. Keep this in mind for the next chapter, when we see what happens to them when they grow up.
Character Names in Russian!
- Alina: Алина Старкова
- Malyen: Малень Орецев
Alina’s full name is Alina Starkov. This is obviously incorrect Russian, because her surname isn’t feminized! It should be Alina Starkova, like how I’ve written it in Russian above.
(For those of you who can’t read Russian, I’ll be posting all translations with romanizations. I’m nice like that.)
- malenchkiy (маленчкий) — possibly from malen’kiy (маленький) — little
- kvas (квас) — kvass (an Eastern European fermented drink)
- Grisha (Гриша) — diminutive of Gregory (Грегори)
So in Case You Didn’t Figure It Out…
The army of sorcerers in this series is called “Greg”. WTF.
Next time: A time skip!