Nastasha is one of the four main characters in R.J. Francis’ Principality series, and is introduced in Principality Book One, The Orphan’s Secret. She is the seventeen-year-old daughter of High General Valeriy of the kingdom of Arra, and best friend to Prince Jaimin.
Here Nastasha is introduced in an excerpt from The Orphan’s Secret, Chapter Three:
When Prince Jaimin of Arra awoke, Nastasha was at his bedside.
Nastasha, the daughter of the king’s general, was Jaimin’s best friend. She was an attractive, elegant young lady, with the longest hair of anyone in the court: a river of light blond curls that ended just behind her knees. To rein in her cascading tresses, she wore a narrow ivory headband, and had her attendants fashion an intricate net braid that swept backward and converged into a single thick braid, which they interwove with white satin ribbon and gold floss. Today she had on a layered dress of silver, white, and cream, accented with lace and ruffles. Her pale neck was adorned with a delicate white gold choker necklace. This was what she wore to school; her formal attire was far more extravagant.
She was well known not only for her exceptional hair, but for her unusually dark brown eyes, and for her sweet smile, which she only let slacken when she was deeply distressed. That morning, she was deeply distressed.
Nastasha is very much a Daddy’s girl. Her father, General Valeriy, is powerful, but is rarely home. She’s tomboyish, and goes to great lengths with her beauty treatments to counterbalance her boyish hobbies.
She’s also quite nerdy – she’d frustrated with others’ intellectual inferiority but knows better than to show her frustration. Sometimes her frustration ekes through as impatience.
She studies long hours each night. Her subjects at the Royal Academy are management theory, applied mathematics, economics of trade, organic chemistry, vulcanology, and foreign literature. A few times a week, she calls on mentors to evaluate her progress in hematology and seismology—her independent study electives.
Her hobbies include archery, all sorts of outdoor adventures, botany, medicine, and exploring the hundreds of subject areas she has read about. She’s fascinated by technology such as the modern radio communications devices, and the new electric-powered medical and scientific equipment, but she’s a bit overwhelmed by all it entails.
Is she chased by the boys? Absolutely. But they are afraid of her father, and she uses this to keep them at a distance. She is very into her studies and Jaimin, and she represses her own sexuality and her occasional attraction to guys she meets.
Her best girlfriend is Sylvia. Nastasha sometimes acts like an older sister to Sylvia and Sylvia is OK with this. She’s also quite good friends with the young musician Kotaret whom she is always trying to coax out of his shell. He has opened up to her on occasion and shared his secrets – again somewhat of a big sister relationship.
It doesn’t bother Nastasha to spend many hours alone. When she is in public settings, she has no need to be the center of attention. When she is the center of attention, she is highly alert, emotionally aware, and careful to behave herself.
Despite her frequent solitude, Nastasha knows a lot of people-older adults as well as her peers. She is quite manipulative in getting them to trust her and reveal gossip they otherwise would not have. She always makes time to say hi – and she never breaches their trust.
She can be bitingly sarcastic when she needs to be, or when she feels threatened. This has caught people off guard who had previously seen Nastasha as sweet and all smiles.
Here’s another bit from The Orphan’s Secret in which Nastasha is trying to retain her patience while getting a curious servant to cooperate with one of her schemes:
“If you don’t mind, Miss,” said Bitsy, “what’s that thing called?”
“Oh, it’s a pseudo-hygrometer!” Nastasha said, cheerfully. “In a few minutes, this part here will start to spin, which will cause this knob to turn. When the knob stops I shall read the angle made by this line to this other little line—there. Then I shall know how much water is in the air.”
Bitsy looked confused and impressed at the same time. “There’s water in the air?” she asked.
“Yes! All around us. You normally can’t see it because the drops are too little. But when the drops stick together and get larger, they form clouds.”
Bitsy was stunned. “Clouds are made out of water?”
“Oh, yes,” said Nastasha. “And when the water droplets get heavy enough, they come down as rain.”
Bitsy’s mouth dropped open as if she had just been let in on the meaning of life. It all made sense to her now.
Bedtime in Nastasha’s luxurious bed, and bath time, are her times to dream and fantasize. And these secret dreams and fantasies are extraordinarily vivid and intense.
But what happens to Nastasha in the Principality Series is beyond even her wildest dreams. She is destined to become a true hero and the subject of legends.
Read more about Nastasha in Principality Book One: The Orphan’s Secret, available in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com.
Official Principality website: http://celmarea.com
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