by Gail Carson Levine
Character Role Analysis
Areida of Ayortha is a sweet-tempered friend that Ella meets at finishing school. They bond over languages—Ella is the only girl in school who picks up Areida's native tongue, Ayorthaian—and they also giggle over all the silly etiquette they're expected to memorize. Areida sings Ella a comforting Ayorthaian song that helps Ella deal with the grief over her mother's death. The fact that Areida is such a steady friend makes it totally heartbreaking when Hattie orders Ella to stop being friends with her.