75 days

Welcome to the Bone Season countdown! As we get closer to publication, I'm going to be putting up teasers for The Bone Season to mark the 75, 50 and 25 day milestones. Today the clock reads 75, so without further ado, here's the novel's pronunciation guide.


Antoinette Carter: An-twuh-NET CAR-tuh

Birgitta Tjäder: Beer-GIH-tah JAY-der

Danica Panić: Dah-NEET-sah PON-ich

Eliza Renton: Eh-LIE-zuh REN-tun

Ezekiel Sáenz: Eh-ZEE-kee-uhl Signs

Nicklas Nygård: NICK-lass Nee-GORD

Paige Aoife Mahoney: Page EE-fuh MAH-huh-nee

Radmilo Arežina: Rod-MEE-loh Ah-reh-JEE (‘J’ pronounced similarly to ‘s’ in ‘treasure’)-nah


Alsafi Sualocin: Al-SAH-fee Swah-LO-sin

Aludra Chertan: Ah-LOO-dra KER-tan

Arcturus Mesarthim: Ark-TOR-russ Mess-AR-tim

Errai Sarin: Eh-RYE SUH-reen

Gomeisa Sargas: Go-MAY-sa SAR-goss

Graffias Sheratan: GRAH-fee-us SHARE-ah-tan

Kraz Sargas: Kraz SAR-goss

Nashira Sargas: Na-SHE-ra SAR-goss

Pleione Sualocin: PLAY-oh-nee Swah-LOH-sin

Situla Mesarthim: SEE-tu (like ‘tulip’)-lah Mess-AR-tim

Suhail Chertan: SOO-hale KER-tan

Terebell Sheratan: TEAR-ah-bell SHARE-ah-tan

Thuban Sargas: THOO-ban SAR-goss


Æther: EE-thah

Amaurotic: Am-aw-ROT-ick

Fionnuala: Fih-NOO-lah

Magdalen: MORD-len

Pieter Claesz: PEE-tuh CLAHS (like ‘glass’)

Rephaim: REFF-eye-im

Rephaite: REFF-ite

Scion: SIGH-on

Sheol: Shee-OL (softest possible emphasis on the first syllable)


  1. Oh, wow. Those are some...challenging pronunciations going on there. :) Thank you so much for putting it together. Can I ask what language inspired the Rephaim names (heh, I even had to scroll up to check the spelling of Rephaim).

    1. You're welcome! The Rephaim are all named after stars, so they're mostly derived from Arabic and Hebrew.

  2. How fascinating! :) I'm already dying to read The Bone Season.

  3. How do you pronounce Rephaim and Rephaite?

    1. I pronounce them "Reff-eye-im" and "Reff-ite".

  4. LOL! I just had so much fun seeing how very wrong I'd pronounced some of those :). Ack I'm so excited that there's only 75 days left and I can't wait until we hit fifty for another teaser :).

  5. I found your blog a few days ago and devoured it.
    Thank you for the pronunciation guide. Will it be published in the book? How do you pronounce Scion?

    Here's a question for your agent or publisher:
    Did the fact that THE BONE SEASON is the first book in a seven part series (three books in the deal) is why you got such a great deal--six-figure advance, foreign rights deals with over a dozen countries, movie option, featured as an up and coming writer by the publisher, comparison to J.K. Rowling, and much more? Do you think THE BONE SEASON would have received the same royal treatment if it were a stand alone novel with no squeals?

    1. Hi Julie,

      The pronunciation guide isn't in the book, no. Scion is pronounced "Sigh-on".

      I'd like to stress first of all that the JK Rowling comparison didn't come from my agent or my publisher. The comparison was made by a British newspaper because of my seven-book deal with Bloomsbury – a similar deal to JK. So I suppose the fact that it's seven books was important in terms of that comparison, yes. I believe Bloomsbury would still have put just as much passion and effort into the book if it were a standalone, though.

  6. Hmm, I always thought Mahoney was pronounced exactly as it's written... being Irish it's quite a common surname here. Still, at least you got Fionnuala right.

    1. I'm aware Mahoney is generally pronounced how it's spelled, but Paige and her father pronounce their name "Mar-nee". You're welcome to read it as you please in the book, of course – this is just how I personally pronounce them all.

  7. How exciting! I wonder how you settle on a name? What do you look for in a name?

    1. Sometimes the names I choose have appropriate meanings (mostly the Rephaite names), but I mostly select them because they sound "right" for the character.

  8. Wow, I love ALL of these names! I love having a name most people haven't heard before, even when it's pronounced wrong - slightly embarrassing, but if nothing else it's memorable and people think twice about it! If these characters are as unique as their names are, I for one can't wait to meet them! :)

    1. I love your name! I find people use my surname as my first name, so they'll often call me "Shannon". And they can't wait to meet you!

  9. Very enticing and the names are fascinating. Do you 'collect' names, or do they just come to you?

    1. I write down names I hear if I like them, but mostly they just come to me.

  10. strange the names that to me are Scandinavian Tjäder, Nygård and Æther I pronounced somewhat different.
    But when I was going to use an example I could not come up with any english words that use the "ny" or "Tj" sound. Every word is NEE or JAY. The ä and æ is the sound made in mad, rad or radical. But there would be an Englishification if they live in Oxford and it is 2059.

    Got to ask is the book kind of the matrix with magic and Neo is a girl and hacking is magic and scion is well zion?

    1. You can pronounce them as you please, of course - this is just how I pronounce them.

      I haven't actually seen the Matrix, but I don't think it's particularly similar. My understanding is that the Matrix is a computer-generated reality and Zion is a kind of human haven? Scion in TBS is an oligarchic security system that controls multiple European countries via 'citadels'. I don't know what the hacking aspect of the Matrix involves so I couldn't make a comparison.

  11. I just read this and realised I have been pronouncing literally every name wrong.

    You're books have been so inspiring and have really helped me in my writing style!

    Thank you so much for writing these books!
    Caitlin xxx
    PS: when is the third instalment of your book coming out? Or do you have any plans for when you would like it to be out by??


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