Explore Leira Blog Tour: J is for Jirkar

A few weeks ago I saw fantasy author Gillian Bronte Adams do a call on Facebook for bloggers who would be interested in celebrating the one-year birthday of her novel Songkeeper. It sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun since she was planning to do it alphabet style.

Now I confess I haven’t read Songkeeper, but I greatly enjoyed book one in the Songkeeper Chronicles, Orphan’s Song. If you enjoy epic fantasy (or any fantasy in general for that matter), I definitely recommend this one.

Anyway, I was eagerly looking forward to it and definitely decided to participate, especially since her characters are fascinating (Amos being at the top). With that said, I’m excited to present not only Gillian and her introduction to Jirkar, but also her novel Songkeeper.

About the Book


War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.

Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.

Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?

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Let’s Chat!

Thanks, Laura, for hosting me here and helping me celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world. If this is your first encounter with the blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles (follow the tour at gillianbronteadams.com and find a list of all the stops at #exploreleira tour). And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below!

Today, we’re looking at the letter …

J is for Jirkar.jpg

J is for Jirkar

Ah, Jirkar, another one of my favorites. (I’m fairly certain that I make that claim about nearly every character—but it’s always true! I do have favorites. They just tend to trade places depending on which one I’m focusing on at the moment.)

Jirkar is a dwarf from the Whyndburg Mountains, where he goes by the full name of Jirkar Mundibus Icelos Creegnan, Commander of the Fifth Cohort of the Adulnae. (You can find out more about the Dwarves of Leira here.) He has a twin brother named Nisus. The two look quite a bit alike, sharing the same short, curly dark hair and cropped beards, though Nisus has reddish streaks in his hair and beard and slightly sharper features. Of the two brothers, Jirkar tends to be more cheerful and soft-tempered, though once his mind is made up, he can be fairly stubborn. Though from the web of criss-crossing smile lines around his eyes, you would never guess.

“My brother can be a bit blunt-headed.” Nisus spoke in the dry sort of tone one would use to make observations about the weather. “Once he’s seized upon a notion, he drives after it with all the force and precision of a battering ram.”


Of course, one can always trust siblings to provide unbiased observations. (SARCASM ALERT) Still, as brothers go, Nisus and Jirkar have a fairly close relationship—with all the teasing, judging, jesting, and hard-knocks that tend to go with it.

“It’s high time we left this place. More Khelari are sure to come.”

“And who was it said this would be an uneventful trip home?” Nisus chuckled and shoved a hand toward Jirkar. “Pay up. Two dicus as wagered.”

Jirkar sighed, tugged a coin pouch from his belt, and dropped two bronze coins into Nisus’s hand.


As a member of the Adulnae (the elite warrior forces of the mountains), Jirkar typically wears a bronze breastplate over chainmail and a bronze helmet plumed with sea-green feathers. Strapped to his back, he carries twin swords.Map - Whyndburg Mountains.png

But despite their positions, both Jirkar and Nisus has restless feet. So it is that we meet them—in Orphan’s Song—in disguise, miles from their homeland, scouting the movements of the Takhran’s army. Perhaps their restlessness is but a vestige of their younger days, when as mere beardlings, they roamed with the roving band of outlaws who followed Artair the Songkeeper. The outlaws were hunted by the Khelari, cursed by the Takhran, and betrayed at last by a friend. Following the massacre of Drengreth where Artair was captured, the Creegnan brothers made their way to join the remnants of the band under the leadership of Hawkness (Artair’s second in command) in the town of Kerby.

There Hawkness vowed to fight against the Khelari until his dying breath. For nearly twelve years, the remnants struggled to maintain the comradery, bravery, and purpose of the old band, only to gradually lose sight of their cause and fall at last to greed and dissension.

Before then, Jirkar and Nisus had parted ways with Hawkness on good terms. After only five years in Kerby, they decided to return to the Whyndburg Mountains to contribute their skills and efforts to preparing the dwarves to stand against the final battle with the Takhran that they believed was coming.

A final battle that seems to be drawing near when the events of the Songkeeper Chronicles take place.

Siblings always make for fun characters, and twins make for extra fun! Who are some of your favorite sibling/twin pairs in books?

About the Author

Gillian.jpgGILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blogTwitter, or Facebook page.





Giveaway Time!

Blog Tour Giveaway promo image.jpg

And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit www.gillianbronteadams.com to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.

Giveaway Link

By | 2017-07-27T21:40:44-04:00 March 16th, 2017|Bookish Love|14 Comments

About the Author:

Laura A. Grace had a lifelong dream of getting to know authors behind the covers of her favorite reads. Little did she know that one day she would become an author, too! She has since published Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl and Team Lines: A Poetry Collection, and has an upcoming manga, Gathering Faith. An avid BookTuber and book blogger at Unicorn Quester, as well as writer of clean, Christian manga, Laura creatively balances her passions of supporting indie authors and feeding her readers new stories. In between, she wields plastic lightsabers with her children and binge-watches anime with her husband.


  1. Shantelle Mary March 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Amos is such an intriguing character, I agree, Laura! 🙂 Can’t wait to read the last book in this series!

    Ah, two of my favorite sibling pairs would be Kyrin and Kaden (twin sister and brother) from the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight, AND Renna and Brandi (sisters) from The Blades of Acktar by Tricia Mingerink. Such special relationships! <3

  2. Jessica Dowell March 16, 2017 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I love the bond between siblings. One of my favorite pairs is Lucy and Edmund in The Chronicles of Narnia. That may sound random, but after Edmund changes he becomes so supportive of Lucy, and the two of them have some really good moments when they work together. They also don’t mind exchanging some good-natured digs at each other.
    “That’s the problem with girls” said Edmund, “They can never keep a map in their heads.”
    “That’s because our heads have something inside them.” Said Lucy.


  3. To be a Shennachie March 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Interesting character- and what an impressive full title!

    Siblings make great characters- the Pevensies of Narnia, Una and Felix of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, the Igibys of the WingFeather Saga…I could go on, but I’ll stop here.

  4. Elizabeth R. March 17, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I loved Jirkar and Nisus’ relationship in the books!
    I’d have to agree with Jessica that Lucy and Edmund are probably my favorite sibling pair. Their relationship in Prince Caspian, especially, was both funny and supportive – much like me and my sister Catherine.

  5. sarahtps March 18, 2017 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Siblings are awesome (which is probably why I include them in all but one of my major projects at the moment). I always forget that Nisus and Jirkar are brothers, though! That’s cool.
    As for favorite book siblings . . . I love the Altairs from Ilyon and the Pevensies from Narnia, as others have said. But my favorite book family is the Wentworths from Entwined. They’re awesome. 😀 Heather Dixon does family relationships really well, IMO.

    • I haven’t read Entwined, but I heard it was really good and I think someone mentioned they enjoyed the Wentworths as well. 🙂

      • sarahtps March 20, 2017 at 10:36 am - Reply

        You should read it. It’s a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling with as much focus on family as romance and it’s just delightful.

        • Ooooh! That sounds good and I haven’t read a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling. I do have one on my Kindle called “The Firethorn Crown.” It’s written by Lea Doue.

          • sarahtps March 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm

            I haven’t read that one, though I have it on my Kindle as well. Another good retelling, if you’re interested, is Princess of the Midnight Ball.

  6. carylkane March 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I’m looking forward to read more about Jirkar. I really enjoy the McKenna siblings in Dani Pettrey’s The Alaskan Courage series.

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