The Queen of Cantica

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The Queen of Cantica (美島の女王 Cantica no Djòo) is the first published novel of Yasuhira Çuneco, the pen name of Çuneco, Princess Heian. It was published in November, 2003. The book is noteworthy for its inclusion of a constructed language, Cantican. The language is incorporated through the use of fuligana. For example, the name Cantica is written with the candji 美島 (Beautiful Island) with the catacana カンティカ (cantica) above it.

Major Characters

  • 美媛 (Andaranna "Beautiful Princess") - the Queen
  • 福華 (Mocasani "Happy/Fortunate Flower") - Eldest daughter of the Queen
  • 金手 (Locambi "Golden Hand") - Andaranna's late maternal uncle
  • 戦獅 (Motabi "Lion of War") - Prime Minister of Namitizatu and enemy of Andaranna

The character of Queen Andaranna is often thought to be based upon that of the late Empress Gacudai, the author's elder sister. In interviews, Yasuhira (she prefers to be referred to by her pen name in the context of her works) has stated that, while there are some aspects of her sister in the character, she is more of a composite of people.

Plot

Cantica is a large island in the middle of a vast ocean. It consists of seven kingdoms. The seven kingdoms have been consolidated under two rulers through a series of intermarriages stretching back centuries.

  • Queen Andaranna's Realms
    • Banzatu (北国, Kingdom of the North)
    • Quifazatu (東国, Kingdom of the East)
    • Cotanzatu (川国, Kingdom of the River)
    • Fitazatu (星国, Kingdom of the Stars)
    • Quibozatu (西国, Kingdom of the West)
  • King Locambi's Realms
    • Namitizatu (大湾国, Kingdom of the Great Bay)
    • Pitticazatu (小島国, Kingdom of the Little Island)

King Locambi is the childless maternal uncle of Queen Andaranna. When the book begins, Andaranna is in her late 40's, and has reigned as Queen for nearly 10 years. King Locambi dies, and she inherits his kingdoms, uniting the island for the first time in its history.

However, not all are pleased with this. Particularly the Prime Minister of Namitizatu, Lord Motabi, a cousin of the late king, seeks to have his own claim to the thrones of Namitizatu and Pitticazatu recognized, and launches a war against her.

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