My name is Tehi. I’m a moreva—that’s a priestess—of Astoreth, the Devi Goddess of Love. I’m a scientist and a healer. My job in the Temple is to find cures for various ailments that afflict the hakoi Temple workers. So if I’m not at devotionals, I’m usually in the lab, working. Like all morevs, I’m of mixed race, hakoi and Devi. Except I’m mostly Devi, since my mother was a moreva and my father was a Devi, one of the Gods of the Great Pantheon. It’s something I’m very proud of because it makes me different—better—than all the rest of the morevs and certainly better than the hakoi. I just wish I was a full Devi like Astoreth—who’s my grandmother, by the way.
What is your role in the story?
I am the story! I mean, the story is about me and my adventures after I’m exiled from the Temple because I missed an important ritual.
What is your favorite hobby?
I suppose I really don’t have one. I mean, we morevs in the Temple, between work and devotionals, we don’t have a lot of free time. My best friend, Eresh, loves to read so that’s what he does when he’s free. If I had anything that could even remotely be called a hobby, it’s tending the plants we use to find our cures.
What is the challenge you're trying to overcome in the story?
There are a couple, but the challenge is mostly me. You see, the other reason I was exiled is because I’m a bigot. I hate the hakoi, because in my mind, they’re beneath me, and I resent having to attend to their illnesses. I’m mostly Devi, I shouldn’t have to do that! And to be honest, I only do it because it’s my job. But I’m also part hakoi, which means I also hate myself. If I’m to survive as a whole person, I have to figure out a way to overcome my bigotry and learn to love all of me, lest I destroy my soul.
If you have one wish, what would it be?
While in exile, I fell madly in love with the chief of the village where I lived, Laerd Teger. So my wish would be that Laerd Teger and I can always be together, in that place they call forever.
Title: The Moreva of Astoreth
Author: Roxanne Bland
Genre: Science Fiction
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess who is temporarily exiled from Temple life in her beloved desert home to a volatile far northern corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
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