|Crown Princess of Tortall|
|Style||Her Royal Highness|
|Start of Reign|
|End of Reign|
|Tenure||460 HE - present|
|Princess of the Yamani Islands|
|Style||Her Imperial Highness|
|Tenure||- 460 HE|
|Years of Service|
Cricket (by Kel)
Yamani (by birth)
|Noble House||Conté family|
|Ancestors||Imperial Family of the Yamani Islands|
|Husband||Crown Prince Roald|
|Other Family||Jonathan IV of Conté (father-in-law)|
Thayet of Conté (mother in-law)
Liam of Conté
Jasson of Conté
Lianne of Conté
Vania of Conté
(brothers- and sisters in-law)
Binur Iliniat (nephew)
|Residence||Tortallan Royal Palace|
|Affiliation||Keladry of Mindelan|
Yukimi of Queenscove
|Tortallan Universe character|
|Last Mentioned||Trickster's Queen|
Princess Shinkokami of Conté (pronounced sheen-koe-KAH-mee of kohn-TAY), nicknamed Shinko or Cricket, is the wife of Crown Prince Roald of Tortall, and thus a Tortallan princess by marriage. She was born as a second-rank princess of the Yamani Islands and was part of the alliance between the Yamani Islands and Tortall. After the prince's original betrothed, Chisakami, died in an earthquake, Shinkokami was chosen by the emperor to be Prince Roald's new betrothed.
Because she is married to the Crown Prince of Tortall, it is likely that she will become Queen and co-ruler of Tortall after the deaths of King Jonathan and Queen Thayet, her father and mother in law.
Before coming to Tortall, Shinko's life in the Yamani Islands was far from pleasant. She was betrothed to another man, and his mother was a "terrible old woman" and she was practically a slave to her. Shinko met Keladry of Mindelan when she and her family were in exile. The other girl did not know that Shinko was a member of the imperial family, and addressed her quite informally, using the nickname "Cricket". When Princess Chisakami died, Shinko's betrothal was dissolved and instead she was offered as the new Yamani princess to marry the Crown Prince of Tortall. She was so happy to escape that she burned incense in every temple that she passed on the way to the ship, to thank the gods for their part in releasing her.
Shinkokami was accompanied by Prince Eitaro, Lady Haname, and Yuki in Tortall. She felt that it would not be welcome if she surrounded herself by more of her people, instead of getting to know the people that she would one day co-rule over. She had a private audience with Kel to re-connect with the squire, and was surprised and pleased when Kel remembered her. She asked Kel to join their sparring group so that they can continue to practice the naginata, an invitation that Kel accepted readily.
At first, Shinko was unsure of how to act around Roald, since Prince Eitaro had told her that even though Queen Thayet was unconventional, Prince Roald would probably want a conventional wife. This added to her shyness around him, as she knew that she was far from conventional, being a woman who knew fighting techniques and battle strategy. At a party, Kel came up with an idea to get them talking, and brought their mutual love of battle strategy to the forefront of the conversation. After hearing about the other's knowledge, they both became smitten.
Shinkokami had the opportunity to see the realm during the Royal Progress, a progress that took up a veritable two years. The King and Queen wanted to take Shinko and Roald on a grander progress that would show their future Queen to the realm, as well as to see the rest of their people as they would on a regular progress. She bonded greatly with Prince Roald during the rest of the Progress and continued her friendship with Kel. She, the other Yamani ladies, and Kel, began giving weapons demonstrations of naginajutsu and the shukusen, a fan that has a blade at the edge. She even asked Kel if the other girl had any ideas for wedding plans, and consulted with Kel about the wedding. Kel thought that it was kind of Shinko to include her, but that she really wouldn't be a good person to ask for these sorts of things.
Princess of Tortall
Shinkokami was originally supposed to marry Prince Roald in the early part of 460 HE, but because of the Scanran War, they had to postpone their plans. Although they acted gracious about it in public, they were quite disappointed. They did marry by early September of 460.
She has had one daughter with Prince Roald so far, Lianokami of Conté, who is second in line to the throne of Tortall after her father. As Tortall had begun moving away from male-preference primogeniture—the idea that the eldest male inherited regardless of age—to absolute cognatic primogeniture—the idea that the eldest child inherited regardless of gender, Princess Lianokami will still be her father's heir even if she has any brothers in the future.
When her husband accedes the throne, it is unknown if whether Shinkokami would become a co-ruler or a consort of Tortall. Both titles would give her tremendous power in the country; as queen consort she would have more social power (and by extension political/diplomatic power), and as co-regnant she would have more legislative power.
Princess Shinkokami is described to be willowy and extremely beautiful. She stood at about 5 foot 7 inches, and her complexion was peach-golden. Her hair was glossy black.
Personality and traits
Shinko is very reserved, but she does value her friends. Once she gets to know someone, she is far more comfortable speaking and letting down her guard. She is very intelligent, and knows battle strategy and history, as well as other subjects. She is proficient with the naginata, a skill she shares with her childhood friend Keladry of Mindelan.
Her Yamani relatives
Shinkokami and her family were in disgrace with the emperor, her uncle, before he proclaimed her to be Roald's betrothed. She was engaged to a man with a terrible mother who treated her badly while she lived in his house.
Roald of Conté
They have a reserved start to begin with, but they didn't dislike each other. They were at first very unsure of one another and of what was appropriate to do or say. Kel helped them out by finding a mutual interest for them to talk about. Then, they became infatuated and very deeply in love. They were extremely disappointed when they would not be able to wed due to the Scanran conflict.
Keladry of Mindelan
Shinko and Kel were friends from an early age. When all the other children ignored Kel because she was a foreigner, Shinko befriended Kel and taught her things about the Yamanis, like games. When the Mindelan family left the Yamani Islands, Kel never expected to see her old friend again and was surprised to discover that the prince's new betrothed was Shinko. They renew their old friendship, and become very close. Kel is Shinko's first non Yamani friend in Tortall so it was important to her to keep the friendship alive.
Shinkokami appears in the third installment of the Protector of the Small quartet, but is only mentioned in the fourth.
Notes and references
- Squire, Ch. 7 (pg. 137; Random House paperback)
- Squire, Ch. 7 (pg. 138; Random House paperback)
- Squire, Ch. 7 (pg. 139; Random House paperback)
- Squire, Ch. 9 "Midwinter Luck"
- Lady Knight, Epilogue
- Princess Lianokami has never appeared in any of the books, but has been mentioned by Tamora Pierce on the internet
- Lady Knight, early chapters