Shine Light Blog Tour: Ruzalia

Welcome to the Shine Light blog tour. Each stop we’ll be revealing something new about the characters in Shine Light. What makes them tick? Do they have any secrets? Read on to find out . . .


Occupation: Pirate

Home: Sanctus Island just outside the Golden Spiral.

Special Characteristics: Flaming red hair, a dominant personality

When I think of Ruzalia I think of a wild, untamed sea. From the very beginning, it was important to me that she was a powerful character who inspired both fear and hope. When I was considering names for her, I went to my own writing group for help. I asked them what words denoted “red”. Margo Lanagan came up with the name Ruzalia and I fell in love with it.

It fitted perfectly for the woman who rescues over-agers from a speed boat steered by echolocators, and who bravely sails an airship at night. I knew immediately that she was a driven woman to whom loyalty was vital. It was the only way she’d survived in the lawless seaways in and out of the Golden Spiral. It seemed natural then that her motivation against Ixion be personal – an obsession – born of something that impacted her at a deeply profound level.

It would have been wonderful to have more time to explore her background and life on Sanctus. As it is we only get time to meet Mesree and Long-Li who are close friends but not blood relatives. We only get to hear how she has lost her sister, not find out the mystery behind it. I considered bringing the sister’s story more vividly into SHINE LIGHT, for indeed she was there on the island, but it seemed like too much of a contrivance and so I discarded the idea.

Also, I had to remind myself that Night Creatures is primarily Naif’s story, which unfortunately meant not everyone ended up with the story time they perhaps deserve. Ruzalia could easily fill her own novel; a pirate driven fuelled by revenge and hope, who has a talent for mechanical contraptions and a blinding passion for life.

I love Ruzalia – long may she reign!

Break each code at the end of every blog post on the tour and your name will go in the draw to win a**super mystery prize** basket. Email your answers to


Shine Light

by Marianne de Pierres

Here’s a sneak peek of Shine Light . . .

Stop 1 of 13

Ruzalia’s airship swayed and shuddered through the night towards Ixion. In the main cabin, the pirate traced impatient laps; head down, wild red hair loose at her shoulders. Her breeches were crumpled and her white shirt marked by a stain of old blood. Mesree’s blood.

Had she slept in the few days since she’d dropped Naif and Markes on Grave? It doesn’t seem so, Naif thought. Ruzalia’s eyes were swollen with fatigue and her smooth white brow was creased with fury and frustration. And grief. She’d lost Mesree and her island, Sanctus, to a coup. All the young people she’d risked her life to save from Ixion had rebelled against her,

frightened by the knowledge that they had only a short time left to live.

Naif exchanged concerned glances with Charlonge.

Her friend had stayed behind with the pirate and had been the fi rst to greet Naif and her allies when they were winched back into the body of the airship.

Though Char appeared less ravaged than Ruzalia, it seemed that even in a few days, her cheekbones had become more prominent in her face. They’d all suffered; too little food, too much worry.

‘Tell me what you know!’ Ruzalia demanded.

The pirate had allowed them a meagre meal, some bitter-tasting beer and a few hours of sleep before commanding them to come to the main cabin. Now they sat around the table: Markes, Emilia, Char, Jarrold, Liam and Naif.

‘We hid in the rafters above the Grave Elders’ meeting. They spoke of many things,’ Naif began.

‘I will know every single piece of it!’

Naif glanced at Jarrold and Liam, the two who had also listened in on the Elders on Grave. Neither knew Ruzalia, other than by reputation. Their nervousness now they were aboard the feared pirate’s ship was plain. Naif knew that neither would speak unless they had to. But while Jarrold couldn’t hide his curiosity, Liam stared at the fl oor, attempting to keep his disfi gured arm from sight. So it fell to Naif to tell what had happened.

Ruzalia wouldn’t wait any longer for their story. And Naif didn’t blame her. Too much hung on what they’d learned.

Ready for your next fix? Meet Charlonge at

  • I agree that Ruzalia could have an interesting story! At first I thought of her as a villainous type character, but now I think of her as an ally for Naif.

  • Hi Candy, yes, circumstance has pushed them together.

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