Species: Whispered Screech Owl
Gender: Female




Book Appearances
Appears in: The Rise of a Legend
Aunt of Lyze
Hanja, often called tantya Hanja ("aunt Hanja") by Lyze, is Ezylryb's aunt from the Northern Kingdoms. She's the sister of his mother Ulfa, and is sometimes called Prinka Hanja ("poor Hanja") because she has trouble flying and can't hunt as well as others. She's notorious for showing up around Lyze's family before something bad is about to happen, often the death of a family member. She only appeared in The Rise of a Legend.


Hanja is a Whiskered Screech Owl, "whose whiskers seemed longer then her wings" as Lyze describes. She has a condition where she's constantly leaning diagonally on her left wing, causing her right wing to grow much larger to compensate for the imbalance. She also wears a bronze H'rathghar grakle tail feather on her head.

Before the Book

Before the events of the book, Hanja had once had a mate, but he died quite young. She later tried being a gadfeather, but her singing wasn't as good as other gadfeathers. She once attended the annual spring equinox gadfeather gathering, where she preformed for one owl, an elderly Whiskered Screech who apparently loved her and her singing, but died a few hours after hearing her, cementing her reputation as an omen, appearing before tragedy.

The Rise of a Legend

Hanja first appears as Lyze is hatching, much to the dismay of the other owls and Lyze's broody Gundesfyrr, who starts to panic. She offers some of her down for the nest, and comments about how Lyze will grow up to be handsom like his brother Edvard. When Hanja flies out to gather moss, news reaches the hollow that Edvard has died. When Hanja returns to the hollow, she sings the song of the First Slime ceremony to Lyze.

Chapter 8 Song

In chapter 8, Hanja is at a grog tree and sings the following song:

Come, gather around, owls

I'll tell you a tale.

It's a story you know

Perhaps all too well.

Hatched in a war

With no end in sight

Two young'uns fledged

For their very first flight.

To be a warrior, is that

What Glaux intended?

To fight to the death

In a war never ended?

Come soldiers and teachers,

Heed my call.

Lay down your weapons

And try to recall

The nights that were peaceful,

The hollows so snug.

But this war is forever raging

To the bitter end must we always fight?

Think twice of your own,

Your very first flight.

Will the first be the last and the last be the first?

Is this how our world

Shall finally be cursed?

As Lasky mentions in the author's note, the song was heavily inspired by Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin'. (Compare Come soldiers and teachers / Heed my call to Come senators, congressmen / Please heed the call)

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