Alais de la Courcel is the younger daughter of Ysandre de la Courcel and Drustan mab Necthana. Despite growing up in the royal court of Terre d'Ange, she generally feels more connected to her Cruithne heritage. Like some Cruithne women, Alais dreams true dreams.
Alais generally favors her father in looks, with dark hair and the slight build common to the Cruithne. However, she has the dark violet eyes common to members of House L'Envers.
Alais is six years old at the beginning of the novel. When Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève and Joscelin Verreuil visit the palace, Alais mischievously grabs Joscelin's dagger from him, showing her strong-headed and mischievous nature. It is also mentioned that she dreams true dreams and may have inherited the gift from Necthana's line. By the end of the novel, Alais is eight years old. She is excited to meet Imriel and hopes that he will be a friend towards her. She hears Imriel's story from Phèdre when Phèdre, Joscelin and Imriel call upon Thelesis de Mornay.
Alais is Imriel's one friend at Court, and she grows to love him like a brother because he treats her like an equal when the rest of the Court does not. Imriel plays a game called 'Villains' with her and as a result begins calling her 'Villain', which she hates. Alais receives Celeste, a female young wolf-hound, as a gift from Imriel.
Alais, like some of her female Alban relatives, has the ability to dream true dreams. She dreams that Imriel will meet a man with two faces, one of which will be his friend.
She is devastated when Imriel goes to Tiberium, but is happy when he returns safely after the seige in Lucca. She is happy that Imriel has agreed to marry Dorelei mab Breidaia because it means they will truly be siblings in a sense, as Alais is betrothed to Talorcan, Drustan's heir.
Although nervous about marrying Talorcan, she is excited to be going to Alba and happy that she and Imriel, who is marrying Dorelei mab Breideia, will be brother and sister at last. She and Imriel learn about Alba from Firdha, an ollamh. Once in Alba Alais grows accustomed to the culture there and becomes beloved of the people, and she in turn grows to love Alba. She develops a close relationship with her aunt Breidaia and Dorelei, Imriel's wife. When Imriel is bound by an Ollamh's charm to protect him from the Maghuin Dhonn, Alais realises that because she is close to Imriel, she will not be able to dream true dreams until he takes off his bindings.
When Dorelei is killed by the bear-witch Berlik, Alais is distraught as her dog Celeste was also killed defending Dorelei. She also wonders whether a nightmare she had about bears years ago was a true dream predicting this event, and feels upset at not being able to prevent it if she could. Imriel is also injured seriously, and Alais helps nurse him back to health in Bryn Gorrydum. She shares his grief at the death of Dorelei and begs him not to die. Her engagement to Talorcan is postponed again as Alais wants more time to experience the Game of Courtship and Ysandre and Drustan fear that the Maghuin Dhonn would try to harm Alais if she married Talorcan as it seems they do not want D'Angelines in Alba.
Near the end of the novel, Alais finds out about Imriel and Sidonie's love for one another. She is surprised but accepts their relationship, and comments to Imriel that he and Sidonie had seemed so different from each other and were so hostile towards one another that it is a shock to find out that they are actually in love.
Alais is in Alba at the time of Carthage's "marvel", so she does not fall victim to their spell. Upon Imriel's advice, Barquiel L'Envers seeks Alais's advice in persuading Ysandre that the City of Elua has gone mad. As they are unsuccessful, she becomes the de facto ruler of the Terre d'Ange and establishes a court in Turnone. Ysandre declares her in rebellion to the crown and threatenes to wage war upon her if she does not surrender.
Fortunately, Imriel and Sidonie return to Terre D'Ange and break the spell in the City, and a remorseful Ysandre presents both Alais and Barquiel L'Envers with the Medal of Valour for keeping the country together. Imriel gifts Alais with a female wolfhound pup, fulfilling a promise he made to her months before-- that he would select another pup for her from the kennel in Montrève.
This experience of acting as the de facto ruler of Terre D'Ange teaches Alais that she does not want to wield this sort of power, not in Alba and not in Terre d'Ange. It makes her realize she wants to become an ollamh and break her engagement to Talorcan mab Breidaia.
Her aunt Breidaia mab Necthana is willing to foster Alais, thus giving her the status of a daughter under Alban law. This makes her children able to inherit the Alban throne after Talorcan. It is hinted that she will enter into a relationship with Conor, the child of Grainne mac Conor and a Maghuin Dhonn harpist.
Alais becomes an Ollamh and advises Talorcan when he becomes Cruarch of Alba. She becomes known as 'Wise Alais' and is well loved and respected by the people. She marries Conor mac Grainne and has many children with him, the eldest of which becomes Talorcan's heir. Her other children marry among the Maghuin Dhonn and live in the wilderness of Alba. Alais sets up a trust fund for her descendants, which the Cruarch promises to uphold, which is still in use a century later when Moirin of the Maghuin Dhonn makes use of it to withdraw money for her journey to Terre D'Ange. Alais also strengthens relationships between the Maghuin Dhonn and the Cruithne, up to the point that relations are still positive between the two races a century later. One of her descendants is Moirin mac Fainche.
Conor mac GrainneEdit
Quotes by or about AlaisEdit