The Lunar Chronicles Pronunciation Guide

Posted on: 19th Jun 2017  /   Categorized: Cinder

Due to popular request, I am finally getting around to creating a brief little pronunciation guide for all those lingering uncertainties!


I hope I’ve captured all the big ones here, but if there’s one I missed, please leave it in the comments. I’ll attempt to check back on this post from time to time and make sure it’s updated.


Adri: ah-DREE (Hindi)


Aimery: EM-mer-ee
Note: I say EM, as opposed to AIM, because I knew a guy named Aimery in high school and that’s how he pronounced it, but I have heard it both ways. And no, the character was not based off that guy, I just thought it was a cool name.


Benoit: ben-WAH (French)


Channary: CHAN-ner-ee (Cambodian)


Dataran: da-TAR-en
Note: I’ve been unable to find the ‘official’ pronunciation of this name, but this is how I’ve always said it. I think it’s a Malaysian name?


Erland: er-LAHND (rhymes with pond)
Note: One of the few purely made up names in the book, Erland is an anagram for his Lunar name, Darnel.


Farafrah: far-AH-frah
Note: Inspired by a real place in Egypt; sometimes spelled “Farafra.”


Fateen: fay-TEEN (Arabic)
Note: Some sources I see have one syllable for ‘teen,’ which is how I pronounce it, but some sources seem to give it an extra hitch, i.e. tee-EN. Do any Arabic speakers know for sure?


Garan: GAR-en (in which GAR rhymes with car)
Note: This is a name I thought I’d made up (therefore I also got to make up the pronunciation). I later learned that this is in fact an old Gaelic name, but I believe there it’s pronounced GAER-in… or something like that.


Iko: EE-ko
Note: I’ve always said EE-ko, as the name was inspired by the Japanese language, but the audiobook narrator says I-ko (or EYE-ko), so I’ll accept both.


Jacin: JAY-sin (rhymes with basin; or exactly like the name Jason)


Jael: JAY-el


Kai: Ky (rhymes with sky)


Kaito: Ky-TOE (long I, long O)


Kesley (Ze’ev Kesley, Maha Kesley): KES-lee
Note: Pronounced exactly how it looks, but I’ve noticed lots of readers misread it as “Kelsey.”


Letumosis: let-oo-MO-sis


Levana: le-VAHN-ah (rhymes with Donna)


Linh: linn (like the name Lynn)


Nainsi: NAIN-see (in which NAIN rhymes with plain)


Peony: I say PEE-uh-nee, but some people say pee-OH-nee, and that’s fine, too. (A peony is a type of flower.)


Ran: Pronounced like the verb “ran” / rhymes with “tan”


Rieux: ree-OO
Note: Scarlet’s hometown was inspired by a real town called Rieux-Volvestre in southern France, and it turns out I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all these years! (I’ve been saying “Roo.”) Thanks to the commenter for correcting me.


Rikan: ree-KAHN


Ryu: ree-OO
Note: It was not intentional on my part for this name to sound like Scarlet’s hometown of Rieux, but let’s go ahead and assume there’s actually some deep metaphorical meaning there. *wink*


Sybil: SIH-bul


Thaumaturge: THAHM-ah-terj
Note: I did not make this word up! I heard it for the first time in one of those Word-a-Day calendars while I was writing CINDER. It technically means “a magician.”


Ze’ev: zeh-EHV (Hebrew)
Note: This one is really tricky for us Americans, so here is a recording of someone saying the name.



  1. Your Name commented on:

    Thanks, this is super helpful! Just wondering though, why would Rieux be pronounced like that, because if it’s a French name, surely it would be pronounced “Rhee-uh”?

  2. I commented on:

    How do you pronounce Nainsi, Kai’s android? It always confused me because it didn’t look like any word from any Asian languages I’ve ever seen.

  3. laking commented on:

    Hahahaha, I actually had a little argument with a friend about how to pronounce Iko. I said “Ee-ko is blah blah blah” And she was like “Ay-ko.”
    “No! Ee-ko! Ee-ko! She’s japanese, darn it!”

  4. Adina Fields commented on:

    Is Scarlet’s home town pronounced the same way as Winter’s wolf, I’ve only listened to the audio book and the narrator pronounces them the same.

  5. Daphne Papadopoulos. commented on:

    Finally, I can pronounced Thaumaturge properly. It’s the one thing that kept bothering me.

  6. Hana commented on:

    I always find these so funny because American authors pronounce the example words totally differently than me with my British accent – to me the words Levana and Donna have absolutely NOTHING in common. I have to say though, compared to most books I read yours are excellent in terms of being able to pronounce the words (and of course all other aspects too 🙂 )

  7. Marissa commented on:

    Thanks for the questions – updating now!

    And anonymous, you’re right! I’d ready long ago that Rieux would be pronounced Roo (but with a little hiccup/throat clearing around the R) but I’ve just listened to some audio pronunciations and it is indeed Ree-oo.

    Which means that – yes, Adina, Rieux and Ryu are pronounced the same. Totally unintentional on my part, but kind of interesting all the same…

  8. Adrienne Ashwood commented on:

    When I got my brother hooked on the series, we quickly got into a debate on how to pronounce Iko – I pronounced it “EE-ko” but he pronounced it “EYE-ko”. We settled on “EYE-ko” after opening a name dictionary app and listening to it. I’ll direct him here.

    And I’ve been pronouncing Aimery, Nainsi, and Adri wrong all along… oops.

    And a question: How would Ran Kesley’s name be pronounced? I’ve been a little confused if it should be pronounced like the verb “ran” or more like Ron, and swapped between both pronunciations while reading Scarlet.

  9. Marissa commented on:

    Hi Adrienne – Iko is definitely the most controversial name on this list!

    I say “Ran” like the verb ran. 🙂

  10. Angela commented on:

    So far I’ve listened to the first three books as audiobooks so all this time I thought Adri was spelled ‘Audrey’ (because that’s how the narrator says it). When narrators record these audiobooks, do they ever confirm with the author beforehand about correct pronunciations?

  11. Marissa commented on:

    Hi Angela, I can’t speak for all audiobook narrators, but I did not have any interaction with Rebecca before she narrated Cinder.

    (But for the record, despite a couple of differences in how she and I say things, I have been SO IMPRESSED with her and think she did an amazing job with the books.)

  12. Red commented on:

    I’d still pronounce Rieux and Ryu differently
    I could probably explain it in German but not in English, though

  13. Lily Sands commented on:

    This was so helpful. I listened to the audio book (too many times to count) and I have always pronounced

    Aimery AIM-mer-y and Iko EYE-ko

    Thank you Marissa

    Also I was bored so I made a cover for Winter. I wanted to know your thoughts

    I do not know how to show it here but if you want to check it out you can see it here

    Thanks Marissa!

  14. Sophie commented on:

    Thank you so much for making this! It’s super helpful! There were just a few other names that I was wondering about. Most of them aren’t very important characters, so I guess it doesn’t matter that much, but I was just curious.

    Dr. Erland

    And I enjoyed reading TLC so much! Can’t wait for Renegades to come out!!

    PS: Will there be any more contests any time soon? I’ve really enjoyed the ones you’ve had so far 🙂

  15. Pheanith commented on:

    I realized that I commented the first comment in the wrong place…. Oh My stars so embarrassing but anyways… Hi!
    I am Cambodian and I’m soooooooo happy when Marissa Meyer chose the name Channary and notice Cambodia. It is just so awesome because not much people notice Cambodia Btw I love your books soooooooo much!!!!!! I wish I can meet you one day!!!!! I love you. <3 – Pheanith

  16. JuliaTheBrain commented on:

    Super interesting tutorial! I’ve been pronouncing a few names wrong…….don’t know if I’ll be able to change it though. It became a custum because I read and listened so much already. <3

    A little side note: The name "Erland" really exists in german as a family name. =)

  17. Carina Olsen commented on:

    Eee, I loved this lots 😀 Thank you for sharing Marissa. <3 You are awesome. Oh, how I miss these characters 🙁

  18. Josie commented on:

    AAAH! THIS IS SO HELPFUL! I was wondering, though, is Ran just a name, or does it have a meaning. Also, did you think of all these names yourself?

  19. Holly Seabrook commented on:

    Hiya Marissa, me and my best friend are like your biggest fans EVER (I’m making her read them so we can ramble together about who we ship and stuff) and I freaked when I realised I am literally the only person on here to have previously pronounced Jacin as JACK-in and I still cant get over it… read all the books almost 3 times not so I’m afraid he’s going to be JACK-in forever to me. Ever heard anybody say it like that? Or is it only me lol whoopies

  20. Holly Seabrook commented on:

    And I will COLLAPSE if you reply to this oh my days I love your books so muchhhh! I have never read a book before that I’ve connected with the characters like this. My dreams quite often include me sat on one of the crates on the rampion, swinging my legs and watching netfeeds with Iko… am I weird?

  21. Jo commented on:

    This is super helpful, thank you. I’ve been having some difficulties with some of these for quite some time. Also, just though I’d add, when I first tried to look for the proper pronunciation of Wolf’s real name, Ze’ev, the video I found said it was pronounced in a way so that it rhymed with Steve, or eve. Another thing, my friend who got me into your books, she and I havehad many debates on the pronunciation of Iko. So glad to have found the answer. (I was right)

  22. lucy purplepaw commented on:

    how do u pronounce “Aces?” like when throne said,”Aces, is that all hair?” that made me crack up btw

  23. Lunar Chronicles friend forever commented on:

    Thank you so much for this! I absolutely love your books! They are by far my favorite! I should tell you, I bought the books as soon as I was able when I first started reading Cinder,

  24. Lunar Chronicles friend forever commented on:

    Your books are amazing and you should definitely never stop writing! I was wondering, what was your inspiration for these books? (Also I seriously love the fact that the comment sections says “post comm”.)


  25. Molly commented on:

    Me and my cousin always argue how to say Levana. She thinks it’s pronounced la-VAIN-ah. Guess who’s right now, Grace! Also, thank you so much for your books, they are by far some of my favorite books I’ve read.

  26. Hannah commented on:

    aces, i’ve been pronouncing almost all of these wrong. i’ve been arguing with 3 people on how to pronounce iko’s name. i’m already on “the princess and the guard” in stars above and i’ve gone the whole series saying these wrong but oh my stars if you reply it would mean the world to me!!! you’re literally my favorite author and your books are masterpieces. thorne alone is a master piece though i’ve gotten 2 people to read tlc and they love it. one girl was on PAGE SIX of Cinder and said it was boring and EXCUSE ME MA’AM BUT YOU HAVENT GIVEN IT A CHANCE BUT ONCE YOU DO YOU WONT REGRET IT. but now she’s on page 45 and loves it. i wish i were lunar tbh i just feel like it would be fun. everyone on this site let’s start colonization on the moon. i will be the first queen (sorry)

  27. Kshahbazi commented on:

    I’ve been also pronouncing most of these incorrectly. Also, I’d do anything for a Kai + Cinder wedding scene! Love all of your books!

  28. WrittenOwl commented on:

    How do you pronounce Emilie?

  29. randomfan commented on:

    ^in French it would be pronounced eh-mee-lee



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