Tales of the Kingdom

Since reading The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, I have been intrigued by the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, especially after learning about Perkin Warbeck (see Perkin Warbeck: the Man who would be King) the young pretender who claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two princes.

At one stage I considered writing a novel about Perkin Warbeck, but then I realised that it had been done and done – as an historical novel, that is – but what if, I thought, I set a story inspired by Perkin Warbeck in an imaginary world, a world that is different, but not so different, to our own. However, since it would be an imaginary place, I would have to do some world-building before I could introduce the young pretender onto the scene. The following stories mark the start of that process.

Sometime ago I spent several years as a practising Tibetan Buddhist, and much of what I learned during that time about Tibet’s geography, social structure and history has gone into creating Kiralussats as an isolated mountain kingdom ruled by a reincarnated God-King and dominated by a powerful monastic clergy. For the Kingdom’s religious beliefs and its ancient history, I called on Robert Graves’ interpretation of the Greek myths – that they reflect a patriarchal religion and society imposed on an ancient matriarchy. The language and names are inspired by the non-Indo-European languages, Finnish and Hungarian, but with some influence from Sanskrit.

In He has returned to us! we are introduced to the Kingdom through the eyes of an ambassador from a neighbouring kingdom as he witnesses the investiture of a new God-King. While the Kingdom takes pride in its ageless traditions that go back over a thousand years, the ambassador’s very presence marks the beginning of inevitable change and disruption.

Beware! takes us back to the days before the investiture and explores the tensions disguised by the elaborate ceremony.

The Exile takes us away from the royal court to examine the daily life of the agricultural peasantry and the unusual family structure that allows them to survive in a brutal environment.

The Mother Provides gives us a woman’s view of the Kingdom’s complex and conflicting religious traditions.

In The Soldier, a monk undergoes a life-changing experience brought about by secret machinations in the far-distant royal court that he knows nothing about.

If you have friends who enjoy reading historical fantasy, please pass this post onto them.

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