Maryna Bernotas, Princess of Terragand, is the somewhat unlikely fictional counterpart to the grumpy Karl Ludwig. As the oldest child of Kendryk and Gwynneth, she fills the role of the heir to the disputed kingdom.
She’s just a little girl when the war starts, and after enduring six months of siege, leaves her home, unable to return again for an indefinite time period. During the long, boring months of the siege, she spent a great deal of time with Edric Landrus, the cleric who helped Kendryk start all the trouble. Like her father, Maryna is serious, studious, and enjoys pursuits like learning ancient languages and discussing theology.
Warning: light spoilers ahead for Valley of the Shadow, Hammer of the Gods, and Winter of the Wolf!
Also like her father, Maryna is very devout and never questions her faith, even as she grows older. After leaving her home, she spends several years on the move, following her mother and uncle on a long and ultimately unsuccessful military campaign. When her uncle, King Arryk of Norovaea is defeated, Maryna and her siblings barely escape capture. She spends the next several years in Allaux, the capital of the kingdom of Galladium while her parents make new plans to take back their country.
Ever the diligent student, Maryna is given the incredible opportunity to study with Natalya Maxima, the highest cleric in Galladium and Gwynneth’s best friend. When she’s not in school, Maryna spends time with her good friend Anton, and later with young Queen Zofya, Teodora’s unfortunate daughter who’s been married off to the much older King Gauvain of Galladium.
After surviving an assassination attempt, partially due to her own courage and resourcefulness, Maryna goes to Norovaea with Natalya, in hopes of disrupting another one of Teodora’s plots. After that, they take a ship to travel to Atlona, where Natalya wishes to present to Teodora in person a mysterious package she’s carrying. That doesn’t work out, and the two of them end up as prisoners of the hostile kingdom of Maladena. Eventually rescued, Maryna returns to Kronland with Anton and prepares to take back her birthright. In Fall of the Titans, she’s going to make some serious progress in this direction, although as always, there will be setbacks aplenty.
Though she’s only fourteen at the beginning of Book Five, sweet and innocent in many ways, Maryna has already had a great deal of experience with life. Inheriting her father’s brains and her mother’s beauty, she’ll make a worthy ruler for the kingdom of Terragand, if she ever finds a way to take it back from Teodora.by