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Lady Saraiyu Hetnim
Style '
Start of Reign
Coronation Date
End of Reign
Regency Council
Heir Apparent
Heir Presumptive
King's Champion
Prime Minister
Bequeathed by
Date Bequeathed
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Reigning Monarch
Liege Lord
Years of Service
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Maiden Name
Nickname Sarai
Honorific '
Born 446 HE
Race Half Raka
Half Luarin
Nationality Carthaki (naturalized)
Copper Islander (former)
Physical Description
Gender Female
Height 5' 7"
Hair Black
Eyes Brown
Family Information
Noble House Balitang family
Ancestors Rittevons
Haiming Dynasty
Parents Mequen Balitang (father, deceased)
Sarugani Balitang (mother, deceased)
Winnamine Balitang (stepmother)
Adoptive Parents
Siblings Dovasary Balitang (sister)
Petranne Balitang (half-sister)
Elsren Balitang (half-brother, deceased)
Husband Zaimid Hetnim
Lover Bronau Jimajen (former)
Children Mequen Hetnim
Adoptive Children
Other Family Nuritin Balitang (great-aunt)
Patron God
Rank Nobility
Bazhir Tribe
K'miri Tribe
Sponsored by
Sponsor to
Training Master
Knight Master
Year Knighted
Affiliation Copper Isles
Military Affiliation
Military Branch
Squad Leader Sergeant
Rider Group Group
Provost's Guard
Guard District
Guard Watch
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Trickster's Choice
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Trickster's Queen
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '

Saraiyu "Sarai" Hetnim (pronounced SAHR-eye HEHT-nihm), born Saraiyu Temaida Balitang (pronounced SAHR-eye-yoo tehm-EYE-dah BAHL-ee-tahng), is the daughter of the late Mequen Balitang, a Rittevon duke, and the late Sarugani Temaida, a descendent of the ancient Haiming ruling family. She is sister to Dovasary Balitang, and half-sister to Petranne and the late Elsren Balitang. Until her elopement to Zaimid Hetnim, a Carthaki nobleman, Sarai was considered to be the queen mentioned in the Kyprish Prophecy and was a beacon of hope for the raka who suffered under luarin rule.

As of 464 HE, Sarai is the sister of the Queen of the Copper Isles and the mother of Mequen Hetnim. As Petranne is not a descendant of the Haiming Dynasty, Sarai is her sister's heiress presumptive.[1][2]


Early life

Sarai was born as the eldest child of Mequen Balitang, a Rittevon duke. As such, she was chosen as the queen candidate for the raka conspiracy from her birth to Duchesss Sarugani. She was raised close with her mother and father, and was four when her younger sister Dove was born.

When Sarai was only nine years old, her mother died in a riding accident by attempting a jump much too difficult. This hurt Sarai deeply, as she was very attached to her mother, and like her in many ways. Dove, who was only five, barely remembered Sarugani. Sarai was angry when her father chose to remarry, believing him to have replaced Sarugani. As a very excitable young woman and child, this was difficult. Winnamine had two other children with Mequen, Petranne and Elsren, and although Sarai's relationship with her youngest siblings was caring, she was still bitter toward Winnamine. Sarai, who had taken swordfighting lessons for a long time, was forced to end them because of Winna, as the duchess said it was not fitting for a lady to do so. Sarai was livid, and this unfortunately did not better her relationship with her stepmother.

Even though she was half-raka, Sarai was still a member of the Balitang family, and thus a member of an immensely powerful noble house. This allowed her to move in through the more racist social circles that would have scorned her if she had not been so well connected. Since she was also exceedingly beautiful, she acquired a lot of male suitors who were usually young noblemen. Many of these young men, while they had more openminded views about flirting with a raka noblewoman who was well connected, did not have the same views of their parents. Ferdy Tomang was one of these cases, and flirted relentlessly with Sarai. His mother, Countess Tomang did not approve and did everything but send Ferdy to gather sunset butterflies to separate him and Sarai.

Exile to Tanair

Sarai, her sister Dove, the rest of the Balitang family and a few household servants were exiled by King Oron to Tanair, lands that were part of Sarugani's dowry on Lombyn Island. Alianne of Pirate's Swoop went with them as a slave, and was chosen to go with them because Mequen Balitang and Winnamine Balitang believed her to be Mithros's vassal. Eventually, Prince Bronau Jimajen came to court Sarai, and they fell in love. After many other events, Bronau left, promising to come back soon. He sent gifts to them, but the best - gems and jewels, went to Sarai. After the subsequent deaths of Oron Rittevon and his son from his first marriage, Hazarin Rittevon, Dunevon Rittevon was crowned king, a boy of only three. Bronau attempted to kidnap Dunevon, but failed to and escaped to the Balitangs. The Balitangs had already heard the news from Aly, and when Bronau arrived, were a bit wary. A few nights after his arrival, he attacked their castle to force Mequen to crown himself king, then pass the crown to Sarai, who would be married to Bronau. Many people there were killed or wounded. Some of the ones killed were Mequen Balitang by Bronau, and Bronau by Dove and Sarai. Even though Sarai liked Bronau, she never would forgive him for his heartless acts and the killing of her father.

Return to Rajmuat

After Bronau's death and the Balitang's return to the Crown's favor, the family remained for the winter in Tanair to have time to mourn their dead father and husband. In spring they returned to Rajmuat. Sarai, who had already been popular with the young noblemen and -women soon resumed her state. Among her suitors were Jevair Ibadun, Ferdolin Tomang and Druce Adona. She often went riding with them and her other noble friends and also developed a friendship to the Carthaki student Zaimid Hetnim. Sarai was revulted by the way the regents treated the raka and when finally she decided that she couldn't bear the situation in the Isles any longer, she eloped with Zaimid.

They settled in Carthak, where they married and Sarai had her first child which, if it was a boy, she wanted to call Mequen.

Physical description

Sarai is described as having golden brown skin, lighter than a raka due to her mixed half-raka blood, and long luscious black hair worn in curls or pinned up on her head in various fashions depending on the occasion. She has delicate features with full, sensual lips, a barely hooked nose, perfectly arched eyebrows, high cheekbones and the brown eyes of a raka. She is a very sought-after girl because of her curvy, womanly figure. Saraiyu is an exceedingly beautiful, and exotic woman, her looks have charmed many admirers and captures the interest of Prince Bronau among others, it is her beauty as well as her personality and charisma that allows her to gain the intense devotion and almost, worship of the raka people for their Chosen Queen.

Personality and traits

Sarai was described as being very headstrong and stubborn. She usually spoke her mind and wasn't as calm as her sister. She was also a bit of an idealist, and did not understand the world and how little she would be able to do against the treatment of her people. She also lacked subtlety, and Aly feared that her headstrong blowups would reveal their position to the Crown's spies. She lacked tact, and governmental knowledge. One could also say that she was selfish, in that she ran away with Zaimid Hetnim in order to avoid a marriage with Dunevon Jimajen. Either she did not know the potential consequences of her actions on her family—which would suggest a lack of political knowledge, or she did not care, or did not think about it. In her actions, she left Aly to face the wrath of a god, her family to face the wrath of a couple of crazed rulers, and her people without a queen.

Besides her negative traits, Sarai is a caring person. She loves her family with all her heart, and is quick to protect them. She also loves her people, and cannot stand to see them whipped or in pain. This could also be one reason that Sarai left; she did not want to be tied to a man who would do these things to his people, and she did not want to be around anymore suffering.

Skills and abilities

Sarai is an exceptional horsewoman, like her mother Sarugani. She also was heading to proficiency with the sword, as she had taken up lessons again on Tanair after she managed to kill a potential assassin. Lokeij described her to be like Gunapi the Sunrose, a raka goddess.



                             ?                                    Rittevon Dynasty
               ┌—————————————┴————————┐                  ┌—————————————┴————————┐
               │                      │                  │                      │
           Nuritin Balitang  unnamed brother ┬ Rittevon princess               Rittevon king or prince
                                             │                                           │                          
                   Sarugani Temaida † ┬ Mequen BalitangWinnamine Fonfala          Oron Rittevon
                                      │                 │
     ┌————————————————————————————————┴——┐             ┌┴———————————————————┐
     │                                   │             │                    │
Saraiyu BalitangZaimid Hetnim  Dovasary Balitang  Petranne Balitang   Elsren Balitang †
            Mequen Hetnim

She was the oldest daughter of Mequen Balitang and Sarugani Temaida. Dovasary Balitang was her younger sister and Petranne Balitang her half-sister. Petranne's mother, Winnamine Balitang, married Mequen after Sarugani's death, making her Sarai's stepmother. Elsren is Sarai's half-brother. Sarai is the grandniece of Nuritin Balitang and eventually marries Zaimid Hetnim with whom she had a son, Mequen Hetnim.

Romantic relationships

Sarai was involved with Bronau Jimajen during her family's exile on Tanair. Bronau even proposed to her, although it later became clear, that Bronau only wanted to marry her because it would bring him nearer to the throne of the Copper Isles.

After Bronau's death and the family's return to Rajmuat Sarai had several suitors and eventually eloped with Zaimid Hetnim.


Sarai appears in both Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen.

Notes and References

  1. Said by Tamora Pierce on multiple forums, confirming that Petranne is ineligible for the throne.
  2. Heir presumptive, differing from heir apparent, means that the current ruler or aristocrat has no apparent heir, usually meaning no child. This varies, however, and Sarai would not be considered heiress apparent until her sister names her as such whereas a child would have a clear claim.

See also

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