Historically Accurate Fantasy… seems like a contradiction doesn’t it? In my humble opinion, it is and it isn’t. When I set about writing Stiger’s adventures, I intentionally based the legions in his world off of Rome’s own for a number of reasons… not all of which I am prepared to go into.
Anyone who knows me understands that I am a huge fan of history. (I just finished Shelby Foote’s Civil War series and am now moving onto some research on Alexander.) So when I sat down to write Stiger’s Tigers… it was important that the military side of the story be authentic and ‘real.’ As I said, I intentionally set about using Rome’s Legions as a historical model and basis for the legions in Stiger’s world. As such, Stiger’s Tigers and The Tiger required a great deal of historical research to effectively pull off, covering everything from the lives of the legionaries, food they ate, to specific marching formations, weapons used, etc… The list goes on. The Tiger’s Curse (yet to be released) has required even more… as the book covers a major battle with many thousands on both sides. My feeling was that the more realistic the historical side of things… legionary training, daily life, fighting, etc… the more genuine the story, complimenting the fantasy side of things and making it that much more enjoyable for the reader.
When I read for pleasure, I always like to come away having learned something or having my thinking changed slightly. It was that element I worked hard to include and capture in both books… I hope I have been successful in that regard. From the feedback I’ve gotten I think I have. 🙂
So… a reader asked recently… Why fantasy? Why not just pen a historical fiction novel on the Roman Legions?
A – Who says I won’t? Oh… and who say’s I haven’t?
Back to work on Book 3: The Tiger’s Curse