Starling Birdsong is a wandering minstrel who befriends Fitz. Like all minstrels, she wishes to secure her place at court and in history by writing a famous ballad; much to Fitz's chagrin, she follows him in the belief that he will inspire one. Fitz's relationship with her remains erratic, in no small part due to her insistence on wanting to influence his life. Their sexual relationship terminates after Fitz discovers through Hap she has married a minor noble, Lord Dewin Fisher. Her relationship with the Fool also fluctuates, from distaste to belief that he is a woman and so on.

Starling was raped and tortured during the Red Ship Raids, where she became impregnated by one of the soldiers. Taking potent herbs in order to miscarry, she consequently believes she has become barren. However Starling is found to be pregnant at the end of the series (presumably by Dewin) and decides to leave behind her gallivanting life for the sake of her child.