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Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Royal Ranger.
'Evanlyn' redirects here. For the Handmaiden whose identity was assumed by Cassandra, see Evanlyn (Real Character)
Cassandra is the crown princess (and later Queen) of Araluen, daughter of King Duncan and Queen Rosalind, and the only heir to the throne of Aralulen. In the Burning Bridge, she invents the alias Evanlyn to protect herself from Morgarath and his army of Wargals, and is known by both this name and her birth name for the rest of the series. Her father nicknames her "Cassie". She is married to Horace Altman.
Cassandra is daughter of King Duncan and Queen Rosalind, and is heir to the throne of Araluen. Her mother died soon after giving birth to her and left her with no siblings. She is a strong-willed, courageous character, proving her worth throughout the course of the series.
In The Burning Bridge she appears for the first time as Evanlyn and is captured by Skandians, who then take her as a slave along with Will. In the Icebound Land, she manages to escape from a life of slavery and finally, in The Battle for Skandia, she returns home to Araluen after helping with the signing of the Hallasholm Treaty.
During the course of Erak's Ransom she takes on her role as Royal Princess to a greater level, helping talk through the ransom for Erak and then in the Emperor of Nihon-Ja, travels to Nihon-Ja to find out what happened to Horace. The two are then engaged at the end of the book and later get married in the Lost Stories back in Araluen.
She first appears in The Burning Bridge. Cassandra created the alias Evanlyn after her red-haired maid (now deceased) was brutally murdered when she was visiting Princess Madelydd of Celtica just before the war between Morgarath and Araluen started. Her escort held off attacking Wargals while she escaped away into the expansive grasslands.
Later, she found Ranger Gilan with apprentices Will Treaty and Horace, and traveled with them without revealing her true identity. When they first saw her they thought she was a boy because she had cut her blonde hair and her clothes were worn down from travel. They soon realized that she was a girl, and under the guise of Evanlyn, tells them about the wargals and how they attacked the town and enslaved people. She makes it seem as though she was the handmaiden to a noblewoman, rather than reveal her true identity.
Gilan had suspicions about her and guessed that she wasn't the servant but in fact the lady and told this to Will before he left to get help and relay this information to King Duncan.
Evanlyn soon becomes friends with Horace and Will and together they make their way to the Fissure and discover that a large bridge is being built across it, thereby enabling the wargal army to cross over the chasm and attack the Araluen army from behind, a devastating manouver. They three make the decision to burn it, thus preventing the surprise attack from taking place.
Horace wasn't captured having been on the other side of the fissure and rode for help from the king when the Skandians struck.Skorghijl after they were captured, she developed a close relationship with him but occasionally became annoyed. Evanlyn told Will her true identity which stunned him, after which she proudly informed him that they could be ransomed by the King, but their hopes of freedom were dashed when Slagor's ship, Wolf Fang, arrives at the island and he tells Erak that Oberjarl Ragnak has made a Vallasvow against King Duncan and his family. This meant that if Evanlyn's identity was discovered she would be killed ruthlessly.
After they were taken back to Skandia, the two were given as slaves to the Skandian Great Hall, Evanlyn a kitchen slave and Will a yard slave. As a slave, Will suffers greatly and becomes addicted to warmweed. Erak pities them and gave them a pony, and with that, helped both of them escape. On the way, Cassandra nurses Will back to health after from hsi addiction to warmweed, a treacherous drug, and takes them to a cabin in the midst of the snowy forest. At the end of the book she spots a Temujai warrior in the forest but doesn't realize who he is. She arrives back at the cabin to find Will recovered from his addiction to her great delight and relief.
After arguing, the Temujai decide to kill her. One of the soldiers approach with his sword to do so but is suddenly hit by an arrow which Will has shot from a hunting bow back at the cabin. Will had tracked Evanlyn after she hadn't come back to the cabin. One of soldiers tries again to kill her but out Horace and Halt suddenly appear, and they quickly end the conflict.
She later takes an active part in the battle against the Temujai, helping Will and Horace with directing the archers which Halt is initially displeased with before realizing that his apprentice is right in letting her take a more active part in the battle.
After Ragnak dies, the Vallasvow is lifted against her, leaving her free to reveal her true identity with no fear of being killed.
Back in Araluen, she resumes the life of a Crown Princess but this creates a rift between her and Will, who is unsure how to treat her anymore. She tries to sort this out by giving Will the oppertunity to become a Royal Scout, which means he will be based at Castle Araluen and have a higher status as Royal Scouts are usually only from wealthy or upper-class backgrounds. Will declines this however, knowing that he is meant to be a Ranger and Cassandra takes this badly. However, she finds herself growing closer to Horace who doesn't mind the fact she is a princess being used to formalities in his life as a knight.
Evanlyn is a key character in Erak's Ransom, being one of the Araluens chosen to deliver the money for Erak to be set free. Her true skill is with a sling which is revealed in this book, along with her knowledge in politics. She manages in unmasking the man who claims to be a Wakir (a leader of an area) to be a normal accountant.
During the execution, she bravely stood up to the executioner with Horace, and in the conflict afterward, she was able to take out Toshak's horse using her sling-belt and a marble from her necklace. This eventually leads to Erak defeating and killing him. She also injured many of the Tualaghi soldiers during the fighting with her sling, including Yusal, the leader of the Tualaghi, giving him a memory loss and reducing him to a "drooling idiot", which she has some misgivings about.
Evanlyn plays a major role in the tenth book. She, with the company of Will, Alyss, Halt, and Selethen, travel to Nihon-Ja. She befriends Emperor Shigeru, and wants to help in the fight against the uprising. Cassandra and Alyss devise a plan to help their friends: travel in a kayak, from the fortress they reside in over the great lake towards the land of the Hassanu, to ask them for help in the battle. The Hasanu want to help, but they do not manage to because of their superstition; they believe there are evil spirits in the forest surrounding the great lake. Alyss and Cassandra go into the forest to hunt these so-called "spirits". They find instead a large Snow Tiger, which was supposed to have left those regions years prior. The snow tiger, or Kyofu (The Terror), is killed by a stab wound inflicted by Alyss and being hit by three sling missiles shot by Cassandra.
After travelling with Alyss and overcoming their rivalry, they become good friends. Toward the end of the book, Horace proposes to Evanlyn. They plan to marry as soon as they return to Araluen.
In The Bridal Dance, she is married to Horace. Her life is threatened by two Genovesan Assassins, Will and Nils Ropehander save her life. Shigeru takes on the title of Patron-Sponser for the wedding and gives the two a place in Nihon-Ja which coincidently lies close to his Summer Palace. The two quickly agree to give any profit gained from the castle and it's surrounding land to the people who have lost loved ones or been injured during the war against Arisaka.
She later thanks Will and gives him a kiss on the cheek, Alyss smiles quietly to herself at this, realizing how far the two girls' relationship towards one another has progressed.
It is later revealed in the story of Will and Alyss' wedding (And About Time Too . . .) that she and Horace are expecting a child, though it is not revealed what gender the child will be.
At the wedding she is the Maid of Honour and takes her place behind Alyss at the wedding whilst Horace acts as the best man.
Cassandra has gold-blond hair and is described as being "tomboyish", slim and not very tall as opposed to Alyss. She is in quite good physical condition as well, having led an active life and keeping fairly fit.
She is very determined, which also leads to her being stubborn; her and her father sometimes clash, neither willing to give way. Cassandra is also quite versatile and able to improvise. Though in earlier books her relatively sheltered upbringing caused her to act like a bit of a spoiled child, she soon overcame that.
- Sling - In the Icebound Land Evanlyn teaches herself to use the sling. She used to practice it as a child with her cousins but stopped using it after she had to start learning the skills of a princess instead of running wild. Evanlyn continues to use it throughout the course of the next few books until she is very skilled and accurate.
- Fencing - Cassandra can be lacking in coordination and technique when it comes to fighting with a sabre as shown the Emperor of Nihon-Ja, but she does make up for it in enthusiasm.
- Negotiating - during Erak's Ransom, Cassandra displayed a talent for negotiating, and retaining a clear mind in situations where other might have become confused.
- Needlework- As a princess, Cassandra found it necessary to learn needlework (even if she didn't want to). She puts this to good use in the Emperor of Nihon-Ja, using her talent to adapt to various situations she finds herself in.
In the Burning Bridge the two become good friends, Horace admiring the princess and she in turn admiring him. Their relationship deepens when they return to Araluen. Horace sees a lot of the princess, having been posted at Castle Araluen, and she in turns sees a lot of him. Somewhere along the line the two fell in love and in the Emperor of Nihon-Ja Horace proposes to Cassandra who promptly accepts. In the Lost Stories it is revealed that Cassandra is going to have a baby. The child, a girl named Madelyn, is the first female ranger and Will Treaty's first apprentice.
Will TreatyShe becomes very close to Will throughout the course of the Icebound Land and seems to fall in love with him, but later she realizes that he doesn't love her the way she loves him and instead, realizing this, starts to become more closely aligned with Horace and the two fall in love though Horace is a little bit slower on the uptake with regard to their relationship than her.
Alyss MainwaringShe and Alyss have a rather prickly relationship initially. Alyss worried that the princess may be in love with her boyfriend (Will). This is finally resolved in the Emperor of Nihon-Ja and the two become close friends. Being maids of honour to one another at each other's weddings.
She and her father are very close and he is proud of her daughter for all she has accomplished. The two often clash, though, having slightly stubborn and fiery temperaments. In Erak's Ransom, the two collide a few times, as Cassandra tries to develop her talents. So one day she can be a queen her father will be proud of.
Halt O'CarrickShe and Halt become good friends though he does sometimes get irritated with her and Alyss due to their prickly relationship and is glad when it is resolved in the tenth book. Halt accompanies and advises Cassandra when she is negotiating the ransom for Erak in Erak's Ransom. He is delighted when she and Horace get engaged at the end of the Emperor of Nihon-Ja and thinks they are a wonderful couple.
- Evanlyn Wheeler – the name of her servant, who was also a good friend. Cassandra assumed the name Evanlyn in the Burning Bridge to avoid capture because of her status as Crown Princess; later both Horace and Will get into the habit of calling her that name after referring to her as Evanlyn for so long. She still uses the alias when travelling incognito.
- Kitsune – the name given to her in Nihon-Ja as a tribute to her agility and speed and smarts. A Kitsune is Japanese folk lore is a fox spirit, known for being fast and agile.