Serai is a courtesan and Cursor of the Crown introduced in the second book, Academ's Fury. She comes from Parsia and is an old friend and confidant of fellow cursor, Amara.
Serai journeys to the Calderon Valley to personally escort Steadholder Isana to the capital for Wintersend. Serai confides to Amara that cursors are being murdered and communications to the First Lord have been compromised. Serai hopes to use Isana's royal invitation as cover to reach Gaius Seximus without betraying her position as a cursor.
Serai is decribed as a charming and beautiful woman. She stands less than five feet tall, and appears petite, frail, and delicate. She has skin the color of dark honey, shining black hair, and large dark eyes. Isana notes that Serai is skilled at concealing her emotions. She dresses as a courtesan in silks, pearls, and decorated slave's collar. Despite being a slave, Serai's position as a courtesan allows her access to the High Lords and Ladies of Alera. Serai uses her connections and social graces to guide Isana as she navigates the capital.
Years before the events of Academ's Fury, Serai was a wife and mother. Her family - infant daughter, husband, parents, and brother, died when a sickness called The Blight came to her steadhold. She chose to sell herself into slavery to pay for their funeral.
"One can hardly be a courtesan without indulging in certain improprieties."