|Years of Service|
|Other Family||Gower Isran (uncle)|
Tortallan Royal Palace
|Occupation||Dressmaker and seamstress|
|Affiliation||Keladry of Mindelan|
|Tortallan Universe character|
|Latest Appearance||Lady Knight|
Lalasa Isran (pronounced lah-LAH-sah IHZ-rahn) is a Tortallan commoner. She is the former maid and continual good friend of Keladry of Mindelan, the realm's second lady knight in over a century. She works as a very high end dressmaker and seamstress, and has made clothes for many aristocratic ladies, including the queen.
Lalasa grew up in southern Tortall with her parents and brothers. Her father and brother would beat her, and it has been hinted that one sibling sexually assaulted her. When she told her parents, they didn't believe her or refused to see the truth, as good as telling her that she didn't matter to them. After her parents' deaths she was sent to live in Corus with her uncle Gower. He was a lot kinder than her own folks and she got along with him. However, he couldn't be everywhere, and she was frightened by men at the Royal Palace who took her shyness as a cue for chasing her. Some of them were noble and upper class.
Maid to Keladry of Mindelan
Gower begged Kel to take his niece on as her maid. He claimed that she would be safe with Kel, as the Mindelan family was in great favor with the Crown after they successfully negotiated peace and a treaty with the Yamani Islands. Kel was about to refuse when she saw bruises from fingers and hands on the girl's neck and arms. She took Lalasa on to protect her.
At first, Lalasa was very shy around Kel, convinced that the noble's nice mask would slip off at any moment and that she would strike her or fire her for the least thing. After Lalasa was sexually harassed by Hugo Longleigh, Kel did force Lalasa to learn self-defense, which Lalasa treated as silly and a game for awhile. Once she got the hang of it, and after seeing that it actually did work after fighting off Vinson of Genlith, Lalasa took the lessons more seriously, and became quite good at the techniques and holds that Kel taught her. She even threw Kel into the door once when the other girl was daydreaming, and was terrified that she would be dismissed. Lalasa later threw Kel twice more, once in December of 455 and once in February 466.
She met Tianine Plowman, a lady's maid to Kel's sister, Adalia of Mindelan. Tian, as she was called, said that Lalasa would earn good money from her work as a seamstress, as Lalasa was that good at sewing. She received a number of orders and commissions from high ranking people. In January of 456, Lalasa received a commission from Queen Thayet.
Before Kel's big exams, two men, Ivath Brand and Urfan Noll kidnapped Lalasa and Jump, Kel's dog, in order to make Kel late for the exams. The mastermind behind this, Joren of Stone Mountain, threatened to hurt Lalasa if Kel told anyone. The men he paid put Jump and Lalasa on the top of Balor's Needle. Kel was forced to overcome her fear of heights in order to save herself, Lalasa, and Jump.
Work as a seamstress
Once Kel became a squire, Lalasa became more of a full-fledged seamstress. Since she received commissions from very powerful and wealthy court ladies, including Queen Thayet, she started earning quite a bit of money and clientele. She had her own shop in Corus. Later, it is revealed by Buriram Tourakom that Lalasa closes her shop early and teaches self-defense to city girls.
She began a relationship with her friend and fellow maid, Tian, although this has not appeared in the books and was only mentioned on the Internet by Tamora Pierce, thus making it quasi-canon.
Lalasa is described as being very pretty, with large eyes and full lips. She has straight black hair that she usually puts up into a sensible bun.
Personality and traits
Due to Lalasa's horrific experiences of child abuse at the hands of her parents and brothers, she was at first shy and timid, expecting the worse from people, especially men. Later, she becomes more confident while Kel's maid and becomes a brisk dressmaker and very businesslike. She makes sure to spread what she learned with Kel to other women, like holds, grips, and throws for self-defense.
Lalasa and Tian are gay, although their specific sexual orientations and private lives are not discussed in the books as the books focus more on the main characters, and characters' public lives in general. 
Notes and references
- Page, Ch. 11 "Unpleasant Realities" (pg. 190; Random House paperback)
- Page, Ch. 4 (pages 64—67; Random House paperback)
- Page, Ch. 11 (pg. 188; Random House paperback)
- Page, Ch. 8 "Messages" (pg. 141; Random House paperback)
- Page, Ch. 12 "Vanishing Year"
- Squire, Ch. 8 "The Price of a Maid" (pages 154—159; Random House paperback). This is where their names are officially mentioned.
- Page, Ch. 14 "Needle (pg. 229; Random House paperback)
- Squire, Chp 13