|Not part of Riordanverse|
|“||You're wrong, I've never been alone. I have my best friend and my family... and I have the heralds and the guardians... and I have the love and wisdom of my ancestors, and I have one other thing you didn't count on. I have the lightning.||”|
–Nizhoni as she faces off against Mr. Charles in, Race to the Sun.
Nizhoni Marie Begay (pronounced: "Ni-jhoh-nih") is the protagonist and narrator of the Rick Riordan Presents stand alone book, Race to the Sun. She is the current inheritor of the powers of Monsterslayer, one of the sons of Changing Woman, her ancestor.
Nizhoni was born into the Navajo tribe in Albuquerque, New Mexico ten months before her younger brother Mac. When she was three her mother brought her out to a snowy mountain and rolled her in the snow to prepare her for her life as a warrior. She gives Nizhoni her turquoise necklace and carries her back to their house when a monster finds them. They make it inside and she kisses Nizhoni goodbye before going to fight the monster.
In the first grade, Nizhoni played a fungus in the school play based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar, she messed up her lines.
When she was five or six, her father took her and Mac out trick-or-treating when she saw someone in a creepy bird costume holding a bucket of full sized chocolate bars. She made her way up to them but was forced to turn around when Mac started to cry.
In her old school, a white girl named Elora Huffstrater said her mother left her because she is a "dirty Indian" and made mock war cries, Nizhoni then attacked her and received Saturday anger management classes as a result.
She once thought of stealing a candy bar and broke down in tears over the thought. Her father brought her to the doctor where she explained it. He gave her a lollipop.
When she and her family visited their cousins in Texas on one occasion, she slept through a tornado warning.
When she was ten, her father dragged her and Mac to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture for a seminar on Navajo jewellery and she bought a stuffed horned toad she named Mr. Yazzie in the gift shop.
One summer when she was at summer camp she hit a bullseye, she thought it was skill but the instructor called it beginners luck. However it was really her ancestral powers.
Her father is a workaholic, having missed many events in her life such as school plays and basketball games.
When she was in the fifth grade she and her friend Davery Descheny transferred to the Intertribal Community Charter School, where the student body and faculty are all Native American and spent the next two years unsuccessfully trying to become popular.
When she was twelve or thirteen she had her kinaaldá, a coming of age ceremony for Navajo girls, and started to sense monsters only telling her brother of this ability.
During a basketball game, Nizhoni is distracted by a monster in the bleachers. During the last five seconds she requests that Davery pass her the ball, the Coach agrees as no one volunteered. As Davery is about to pass she focuses on the monster and the ball hits her in the face. She wakes up soon after to find that her team lost. She and Davery talk before heading to the soda machine to clean the blood off her jersey. As she leaves she sees the monster on the bleachers again.
She finds her father's car and heads to sit shotgun, only to find Mac already sitting there. She asks her dad if they can get frozen yogurt, but he says his new boss, Mr. Charles is in town and wants to get to know him before the family moves to Oklahoma for his new job. She gets in back as her father drives off. She tells Mac about the monster and notices his black eye and gives him her ice pack. As they arrive home, she sees a black Cadillac and two bodyguards get out before Mr. Charles, who she realizes is the monster from the game. Their father tells the siblings to come and greet his new boss and the reluctantly get out of the car and shake Mr. Charles's hand. When he notices her bloody shirt he tells her to go inside and change before they go to Pasta Palace, her favorite restaurant. She watches as Mac shakes their hands and nothing happens, causing her to question her earlier judgement. She goes inside to change into clean clothes and when she leaves her room she finds Mr. Charles trying to steal a family portrait and she calls him out. He turns to her and explains that her family, through her mother, are descendants of the Hero Twins and Changing Woman. He also explains that he was foretold a descendant of the twins would stop him. She cowers before him as he pulls out a knife and states that he plans to kill her. However when he mentions sensing a dormant power in Mac and that he plans to use him, she gets defensive of her brother and attacks him. Her father walks in horrified at what she has done and helps up and apologizes to Mr. Charles. She states that he came at her with a knife, but the only object that can be found is a mechanical pencil. Her father takes Mr. Charles's word over hers and ground her by taking away her phone and leaving her behind while everyone else goes out to dinner. As the others drive away, she cries into her pillow.
As she tries to fall asleep she keeps thinking about what Mr. Charles said to her and she hears a voice coming from her stuffed animal collection on her bookcase. As she investigates she finds her stuffed horned toad, Mr. Yazzie, is now real and talking to her. He tells her that her family is in danger and that she must journey to the House of the Sun to get the weapons she needs to take out Mr. Charles and save her family, or else she will die. He says to seek out Na'shjéii Asdzáá to find the map. She agrees and he jumps on her face to wake her up. She wakes up to find nothing on her face and that Mr. Yazzie is still a toy. She hears her father at her door and lets him in. He brings her dinner and asks why she attacked Mr. Charles. Nizhoni explains that he tried to kill her and that he called a threat to his plans, but he does believe her. When her father mentioned her mother stated she could see monsters, she presses for details and he ends the conversation, gives her her phone back and takes her leftovers to the kitchen.
As she and Mac walk to their schools he tells her about the dinner she missed the night before and Nizhoni feels angry that Mac thinks she was wrong and he calls her crazy before he leaves for his school. When she arrives at ICCS she finds Davery in the library and tells him she can see monsters. To her surprise, Davery believes her and they do some research. They find tabloid articles and articles that show Mr. Charles does not respect tribal sovereignty. When she mentions the name Mr. Yazzie told her they find the name "Spider Woman". As the bell rings, Davery tells her to come to Ancestor Club to learn more and she accepts. Nizhoni realizes she forgot her lunch and sneaks off campus to run home and get it. As she reaches her house she sees Mr. Charles and his bodyguards pushing a trunk into their car. She hides behind a bush and overhears them talking about using her father as bait to get to the children. As they drive off she runs inside and finds nothing out of place. She goes to her room to speak with Mr. Yazzie but he says nothing and she puts him in her backpack. When she picks up her lunch she finds an apple next to the bag with "run" carved into it. Soon Mr. Charles returns to get the family picture, but she grabs it and runs back to school.
She rushes into the library and tells Davery about Mr. Charles. They go to the computers just as the principal calls Nizhoni and Mac to her office. They find that Spider Woman lives at Spider Rock in the Arizona section of the Navajo Nation and Davery buys three tickets, two for the Begay siblings and one for him, and tells Nizhoni to meet him at the train station in an hour. The principal asks for the siblings again and she goes to the office. As she walks she wonders if Mac is safe or not, when she hears another announcement she breathes in release and, remembering Cuttlebush, goes to the baseball diamond to find Adrien and his friends ganging up on Mac. She goes to punch the bully but he moves out of the way. As he insults their family and snaps one of Mac’s colored pencils, her brother inadvertently had the sprinkler system attack Adrien and his lacking as they run towards the school. Nizhoni helps him up and explains everything to her brother and tells him they are catching a train to Gallup before Davery texts her to inform him school security is looking for her and Mac. They take the bus to the train station and arrive twenty minutes early. When Mac complains about being hungry she reminds him they have no money but she sees if she can find the leftovers. As she looks she finds an abandoned snack cart and, fighting every urge not to steal, tries to steal a bag. However she is caught by an Amtrak worker, a Navajo woman, and she explained that she and her brother are hungry. The worker gives the three sandwiches, three bags of Cheetos, and the drinks and tells her to give others food before eating herself. The worker mentions she knows her friend is joining them and refers to her and her brother by their names, but vanishes before Nizhoni can ask more questions. She asks a conductor about the woman but he does not know anyone matching her description. When she returns she finds Mac gone, but he soon returns saying he was in the bathroom.
As they wait in their seats for Davery she and Mac avoid the suspicions of the conductor when another passenger asks if she is on the right train. As the train pulls out she sees Davery jump onto the train just as it pulls out of the station as a monster disguised as Cuttlebush chases after him. When he reaches siblings he theorizes that Mr. Charles and his bodyguards are shapeshifters. As they eat lunch Nizhoni finds a note the woman left them and she reads it aloud. Advert realizes it is some kind of message and as he and Mac talk, she falls asleep. Nizhoni dreams she is at her grandparent's house on the Navajo Nation and her grandmother calls her inside and says she is just like her mother. As she does more and more coats keep appearing on her. Nizhoni wakes up to find the train traveling up a mountainside and her and her companions were the only ones on the train. Soon Mr. Yazzie comes alive and tells her and Mac, who can see and hear him along with Davery, they are descendants Changing Woman. He explains the holy people know of their quest and are helping them reach Canyon de Chelly faster. Mr. Yazzie then gets serious and tells the Begays what Mr. Charles and his bodyguards are and their plans to destroy the land. He also says there is a chance the Begay will fail and die, but they accept the quest and the train stops.
When they exit the train car Mr. Yazzie informs them they are on Sisnaajiní, the easternmost mountain of Dinétah, the traditional Navajo homeland. He says they are there to find a perfect white shell to offer Spider Woman, along with three other objects on the other three mountains. When Mr. Yazzie starts to sucrose to hibernation, she puts him in her sweatshirt to warm him up. When Mac and Davery have second thoughts on the quest, she gives a pep talk before an arrow hits the ground close to her. They put their hands up and a teenager body made of crystal appears out of nowhere. When she mentions Mr. Yazzie, the warms up to them and introduces himself as Rock Crystal Boy and takes them back to his hogan to warm up. After the three introduce themselves by name and clan, they tell him they are looking for a perfect white shell for Spider Woman. Rock Crystal Boy points them in the right direction and they find a pile of white shells the size of a three-story house. When RC leaves them they get to work. While she struggles to climb the pile, the others climb it with ease. She then visualizes the perfect shell in her mind and it appears in her hand. As the others climb down when she tells them she found it, a large bird arrives and Mr. Yazzie introduces her as Łizhin, the herald of Dibé Nitsaa, the northernmost mountain. She informs them that the mountain’s guardian Black Jet Girl is missing and Nizhoni must help find her. She is hesitant at first but Mr. Yazzie stresses the situation and says that if one guardian is missing the entire homeland is in danger. She then reluctantly agrees to go as Łizhin calls the guardians of the remaining two mountains to take Mac and Davery to them and flies Nizhoni to Dibé Nitsaa. As the other mountain heralds take Mac and Davery to find the other offerings, she reassures Mac before he takes off and has Mr. Yazzie go with him. When she and Łizhin are alone Nizhoni tells the herald she has her doubts about being a hero. Łizhin reassures her she can do it and to think of her as herself rather then a hero.
As they try to land strong winds keep them airborne, but Łizhin finds a safe spot and the wind dies down. Nizhoni looks around and finds a door in the mountainside. When Łizhin tell her she must leave as her presence will attract monsters. When Nizhoni protests she tells the girl she is ready for this task and gives her a feather that can turn into anything she needs. Before flying off, Łizhin tells her she will be back at sundown and if Jet Black Girl is not found by then, it will be too late. She enters the door to find two humanoid vultures, Bináá' yee aghání in their true form, eating and sees Black Jet Girl paralyzed close to the fire. She creeps over to the guardian and uses the feather to tickle her nose. The guardian sneezes and this alerts the buzzards. She introduces herself as Monsterslayer and they tell her to look into their petrifying gaze, as only Monster slayer is immune to them. Black Jet Girl tells Nizhoni to throw the feather into the fire and she does so. The feather explodes into a shower of salt and blinds the birds. One stumbles into the fire and the other crashes into the ceiling. She drags Black Jet Girl to her feet and they make a break for it. They hide from an avalanche behind a rock and she gives Black Jet Girl one of Davery's vegan cookies and her water. When she says she is their to find jet for Spider Woman, the mountain’s guardian tells her it must be perfect. Black Jet Girl calls her a true monster slayer and asks Nizhoni to watch over her until morning as she sleeps. Nizhoni reluctantly agrees to knowing she has until sundown to find the jet before falling asleep herself. She wakes up in the morning to find herself alone but relaxes when she sees Łizhin and Black Jet Girl coming out of a cluster of trees and the herald tells her they will reach Canyon de Chelly shortly. Black Jet Girl gives Nizhoni a piece of her earring and they fly off. Once the mountain is out of site, Łizhin tells her their has been an accident. They reach the canyon to find the others are alright and she learn the accident was Mac losing the turquoise to save Mr. Yazzie from falling. She offers her necklace as compensation and they fly to Spider Woman.
They reach Spider Woman’s trailer and knock on her door. When she lets them in they ask her about the map and give the holy person the offerings and her mother’s necklace. Spider Woman complements them before revealing she does not have the map. They ask how they can get to the Glittering World and Spider Woman reveals they are already in it and promises to take them to the sun in the morning, as it is dangerous in the night, where they will face four trials and invites them in for dinner. She and Spider Woman make the bread and after dinner she finds a rug she liked that Spider Woman said her mother liked and revealed she was at her trailer about ten years ago. As they get ready for bed she reveals to Mac that Mr. Charles kidnapped their dad but he is okay. Davery tells Nizhoni he thinks the song refers to their being backed by the holy people and after he falls asleep, thinks her mother was killed during this quest.
Spider Woman wakes them up before dawn a walks them to the raindrop road in rain. At first they don't see it but then it becomes visible to them. She wishes them luck and leaves them to take the trials. They look over the song lyrics and find a line referring to the trials. As they set out she walks off a cliff. She slides down the side and lands in a puddle of mud where Mac and Davery join her. They see the rainbow road vanish and hear what sounds like a voice calling them from a rock formation. Nizhoni thinks going through the rocks is their best option but Mac is hesitant until he sees Mr. Yazzie, who is still at Spider Woman's trailer, and runs after him. She realizes that Mr. Yazzie is a fake but Mac doesn’t hear her warnings and vanishes in the rocks. Soon the canyon starts to close in on them and she breaks off a branch to stop it. Her plan works at first before the branch snaps. They rush into a cave for cover, however the walls are still closing in. Nizhoni is able to speed ahead and see in the dark. She finds Mac, but her monster detection tells her it is an impostor. The creature attacks her and she fights back. It changes shape before fleeing and she realizes Mr. Charles has both her father and brother. When Davery catches up he pulls her along. They exit the cave just as the walls close in and they find the rainbow road. She cries over Mac but Davery reassures her that he has his ancestral powers and that if Mr. Charles has him, then he is with their father. They move on to a field of reeds that get sharper and cut them as they go on. After realizing this is the second trial, she suggests they cover themselves in mud for protection and Davery follows suit. However it starts to rain and wash off the mud. They rush out of the reeds just as the last of the mud is washed off. She asks Davery about the next trial and they hear music coming from what looks like a school gymnasium the rainbow road leads them to.
They enter and find a high school prom. They try to exit the students convince them to stay and she dances with a boy in a tuxedo. She starts to forget why she and Davery are there in the first place until a song jogs her memories and she drags Davery away. As the students tell them to stay, Nizhoni pulls the fire alarm to distract them and the two escape. They realize they spent hours in the third trial and she worries they won’t make it to the last trial in time, however Davery tells her it just found them. They turn around to find a field of assorted mirrors and Davery theorizes that the trials react differently to each person who takes it. As they look in the mirrors she sees a woman;s reflection with her fishes out her family portrait, after looking at it Nizhoni realizes the woman is her mother. She is sucked into the mirror and sees the moment her mother left her. After exiting the mirror she throws a fit and smashed the mirror. She calls her mother selfish for leaving her family to fight monsters but Davery calms her down and tells her her mother probably had no choice but to leave them to keep them safe. They walk hand in hand to another mirror and close their eyes before looking. However when she opens her eyes Davery is gone. She frantically searches for him to no success and she curls into a ball and cries. Soon a does walks over to her and stops a few feet away. After a one sided conversation with the deer she decides to continue for the sake of her family and Davery.
She reaches the House of the Sun and a pair of bear statues ask for her name and to take a number. When they tell her he is busily, she argues with them until she mentions the Bináá' yee aghání and they personally escort her to Jóhonaa'éí. They say her friend is already there and she finds Mr. Yazzie talking to the holy person. She happily greets the horned toad and tells Jóhonaa'éí she competed the trials. He asks her to prove it and she describes each trial, what she learned, and how she completed them. When he asks Nizhoni if she feels she is a true monster slayer, she says yes. Jóhonaa'éí accepts this and he takes her to get her weapon. When she informs them she lost Mac and Davery, the sun reveals they are in the lost and found. Nizhoni asks to see them but they say she must learn how to use her weapon, she refuses until she sees her friend and brother and they agree to take her to them after she gets her weapon. When they reach the weapons room Jóhonaa'éí tell her he can create weapons with the lighting in the room. He creates weapons for Nizhoni and her companions. When she asks they the holy people can’t fight the monsters themselves, he says it is a human problem. She leaves as he makes one last weapon. As they reach the lost and found she does not find Mac and Davery, but rather her mother. She finds her, other inheritors of the Hero Twins powers, and her companions encased in amber. Mr. Yazzie explains they failed the trials and Jóhonaa'éí enters and says she has a choice, to either go ahead and fight Mr. Charles and get glory for herself or stand aside and let the others fight the Bináá yee aghání. She chooses the later and the others are freed. She hugs Mac and Davery, gives them their weapons, and introduces them to her mother. While Mac hugs their mother, she is still angry at her for leaving. Her mother explains she chose to fight the monsters so that her children wouldn't have to. When she asks why their family had to fight the monsters, but before Jóhonaa'éí and Mr. Yazzie can explain they learn the guardians of the sacred mountains and the heralds have landed outside and tell them the monsters have escaped. As the sun leaves to raise light into the day, they prepare for battle, her mother, brother, and Davery mount the heralds as the others take the fight to the ground. Mac asks her why she isn't moving and she says she sacrificed her chance to be a hero to free them. However Mr. Yazzie tells her she only had to offer to sit out to free the others and she can still fight, she mounts Łizhin and goes to fight the monsters at Shiprock.
As they reach the monsters she and her companions each work to blind the Bináá' yee agháni while the heralds finish them off. She takes out two and Mac saves her for a third. She then watches in horror as Mac is knocked of Dólii and plummets to the earth. However he is saved by Spider Woman, who informs Nizhoni Mr. Charles is coming at Mac on a large Bináá' yee agháni. When she tries to save him Mr. Rock and Ms. Bird block them and break the Łizhin's wing. Davery then comes over to her and tells her she must jump to stop Mr. Charles. She steels herself and jumps off the black mountain herald. Nizhoni lands on Łigai, the white herald, and she shoots Ms. Bird out of the sky while her mother cuts off Mr. Rock's hand. When she sees Mr. Charles cutting her brother free she fires her last arrow at him, but he catches it and throws it back at her, hitting Nizhoni in the chest. Rock Crystal Boy tries and fails to catch her as she falls to the ground below. She wakes up alive with Mr. Charles standing over her and an energizing warmth growing inside her. He says all her allies will be killed, Mac will come with him, and she is alone. Nizhoni says she has her friend, family, ancestors, the heralds, and the guardians on her side. When she says she has lightning on her side she electrocutes the oil tycoon until he explodes.
Davery and her mother land and congratulate her. When she remembers Mac and her father, Spider Woman arrives with them both. She and her mother hug Mac and her father apologizes to her for not believing her earlier before turning his attention to his long lost wife. Just then her maternal grandmother arrives and offers them a ride to her house. As they leave Davery asks her if she is upset that no one at school will know what she did, Nizhoni tells him she is fine with it as the most important people already know what she did.
Nizhoni is a Native American girl with long black hair and an olive complexion. She often wears a turquoise necklace that belonged to her mother, who she resembles greatly.
Due to her mother leaving her at a young age and her father working all the time, Nizhoni is always looking for glory. She is also protective of herself and others, such as when she attacked Mr. Charles when he tried kill her. She has a strong moral value and refuses steal even if it is her only option.
- Superhuman Stamina: Nizhoni can run long distances without tiring.
- Superhuman Strength: As an inheritor of the powers of Monsterslayer, Nizhoni is stronger than most people her age and size, such as being able to rip a branch off a tree in three attempts.
- Superhuman Speed: As an inheritor of the powers of Monsterslayer, Nizhoni can run at inhuman speeds.
- Feather (formerly): Nizhoni was given a feather by Łizhin that can change into anything she needs. She throws it into a fire to save herself and Black Jet Girl from the Bináá' yee agháhí in the guardian’s home.
- Turquoise Necklace (formerly): After her mother left, Nizhoni kept hold of a turquoise necklace she left behind. She later gives it to Spider Woman.
- Bow and Arrows: When Meeting with Jóhonaa'éí, the merciless one creates a golden bow for her along with four lightning arrows in a quiver. She is unable to be harmed by her own arrows.
Nizhoni cares for her father, however she feels that he puts his work ahead of his family. When he believed Mr. Charles over him, she became upset. However when he was kidnapped, she set out to find him. When he was found safe, they hugged each other in joy.
After her mother supposedly walked out on her family, she missed her greatly and wondered why she left. When she learned her mother left to fight monsters, Nizhoni became enraged. However she calms down when she realizes her mother left to keep her family safe.When she was freed from the lost and found, she was happy to see her again but hesitant to embrace her. She is impressed with her mother's fighting during the battle at Shiprock. After defeating Mr. Charles, she finally hugs her.
Nizhoni and Mac have a normal sibling relationship. She is annoyed by him but cares for him. Whenever he is attacked by Adrien Cuttlebush, he does what ever she can do defend him. When Mac failed to get the turquoise, she told him not to beat himself up and offers their mother's necklace as a substitute.When he went missing during the trials and when he almost died during the battle at Shiprock, She feared for his life. When he was saved by Spider Woman she embraced him after the battle.
Davery is Nizhoni's best and only friend. They met at a young age due to their fathers being old college friends. When she told him she could see monsters, he believed her instantly and helped her with research.During the trials he would keep her focused on the task at hand when Mac vanishes and she sees a vision of her mother. When they ride to her grandmother's house he asks if she is alright with no one at school knowing what she did and she tells him she is fine with it as all the important people already know.
While Nizhoni was shocked at first, she soon grew attached to the horned toad as he guided her, Mac, and Davery on their quest to reach the House of the Sun. She relied on his guidance and wisdom to help her and her companions get what they needed during this time.
Nizhoni sees the holy person as a wise woman and close ally. When she and her companions came to Spider Woman when she needed to get her map to the Glittering World, she told them they were already in the Glittering World, she and the others spent the night at her trailer and made dinner. In the morning she supplies them with food and shows them to the Rainbow Road. Nizhoni was great full to her for saving Mac during the fight with the Bináá' yee aghání.
Nizhoni finds Jóhonaa'éí to be helpful but somewhat narcissistic.
Nizhoni hated and feared Mr. Charles the moment she sensed the Bináá' yee aghání. She was startled how quickly he could turn her act of self-defense into accusation of assault. When they met again a few days later, she was able to push her fear and hatred away and fight and kill him to keep her family safe.
Nizhoni sees Adrien Cuttlebush as a cruel bully with little to no empathy.
- Nizhoni means "beauty" in Navajo. 
- Marie is is the French variant of the name "Mary", it is also the French world for "marry".
- Begay is a surname derived from the Navajo word "biye" meaning his/her son".
- Nizhoni is on her school basketball team, which she only joined to become popular.
- She once filled her mouth with marbles on a dare and nearly died.
- Nizhoni enjoys rainbow sprinkles.
- She and her brother and descendants of three of the four Navajo clans. Their mother is of the Towering House Clan, their father is of the Bitter Water Clan, their maternal grandfather is of the Mud People Clan, and their paternal grandfather is of the Crystal Rock People.
- Nizhoni tends to fall asleep easily, this has caused her to miss the ball drop on New Years Eve and once slept through a tornado warning.
- Nizhoni, along with her brother and mother, are the first legacies to appear in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.
- She is the third P.O.V. character, second in the imprint, to swear openly after Magnus Chase and Zane Obispo.
|Race to the Sun|
|Books:||Race to the Sun|
|Main Characters:||Nizhoni Begay | Mac Begay | Davery Descheny | Mr. Charles | Mr. Yazzie|
|Secondary Characters:||Bethany Begay | Mr. Rock | Ms. Bird | Rock Crystal Boy | Black Jet Girl|
|Minor Characters:||Coach | Adrien Cuttlebush | Mr. Begay | Darcy | Maya | Bethany Begay's Mother | Bethany Begay's Father | Eugene|
|Navajo Holy People:||Spider Woman | Jóhonaa'éí | Turquoise Boy | Yellow Corn Girl|
|Magical Creatures:||Bináá' yee aghání | Łizhin | Dólii | Tsídii | Łigai|
|Related Content:||Rebecca Roanhorse | Rick Riordan Presents|