Hey Everyone! I have something super exciting for you today! One of the best books I have read this year was Legacy of Kings (will post my raving review pretty soon) and so I’m super thrilled to host Eleanor Herman today! Since Legacy of Kings: Blood of Gods and Royals is a work of historical fiction with fantasy elements I asked how much is history, how much fiction, and how much fantasy? I really loved the combination of these elements and Eleanor created something super fantastical! And… at the end there will be w great Give-away!
Five Historical Elements in Legacy of King
- The members of Alexander’s family.
Alexander’s father, Philip of Macedon, was a one-eyed, womanizing, hard-drinking warrior. His mother, the beautiful Queen Olympias, was vengeful, ambitious, and reputed to be a witch who was a bit overfond of her pet snakes. And his half-sister, Cynane, was a badass warrior woman who modeled herself on the ancient Amazons.
- World Building
I worked hard to build my ancient world as accurately as possible so that readers would slip into this vanished time and really experience it almost as if they were there. I first set the stage. For instance, ancient palaces were like miniature towns. They had vegetable gardens, livestock pens, stables, barracks, kitchens, a laundry, latrines, servants, soldiers, priests, musicians… Then I added props: carefully researched clothing, food, furniture, weapons, and religious beliefs. Only then could I bring the actors on the stage!
- Ancient Warfare
I couldn’t write a book about Alexander the Great—even at sixteen—without knowing a boatload about ancient warfare! I read works by ancient Greek and Roman authors who wrote about battles: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Julius Caesar. Ancient armies played tricks on each other. They set up fake soldiers and lit fake campfires. They catapulted bees’ nests at invading forces and released mice to scare the heck out of enemy war elephants. I incorporated ancient military “strategems,” as they were called, into the epic battle scene at the end.
- Sea Journey to Caria
For Katerina’s journey to Caria, I read a book called Travel in the Ancient World and did a lot of internet research. The ships, their cargo, and what passengers would experience are all as accurate as I could make it.
- The Persian Royal Road
Princess Zofia has her misadventures along the Persian Royal Road—an oft-overlooked wonder of the ancient world. It ran 1,700 miles from Susa and Persepolis in what is now Iraq to the western coast of what is now Turkey. Posting houses were located every fifteen to twenty miles along the road and offered rooms, taverns, bathing facilities, fresh horses, and a safe, well-guarded place to spend the night. The Royal Road was built for the Persian imperial couriers who took mail back and forth across the enormous empire, messages which helped the Great King keep control. The Persian mail system was the inspiration for the US Postal Service. In the fifth century BC, the Greek historican Herodotus wrote, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Sound familiar?
Five Fictional Elements
- The Aesarian Lords
Every novel needs bad guys, and this one has the Aesarian Lords, a cross between the Spanish Inquisition, a black leather-clad motorcycle gang, and a SWAT team. Plus I gave them helmets with huge horns, which is really creepy.
- Legendary Creatures
The ancient Greeks believed in magical creatures such as Cerberus, the three-headed dog guarding the entrance to Hades; griffins, who were part lion and part eagle; and sphinxes, who had a human head and a lion’s body. They also believed in Pegasus, a winged, flying horse, which makes a brief appearance in Legacy will return in Book 2! So it wasn’t a huge stretch for me to create a hellion, a vicious black panther with enormous leathery bat wings.
- Zofia, Princess of Sardis
Alexander’s intended bride, Zofia, is fictional. But to me she represents all the thousands of cloistered Persian princesses whose stories we will never know because they were, well, female. And mostly kept out of sight. I made her experience—the palace, the rogue slave traders, her journey on the Royal Road—as historically accurate at possible.
- Jacob and Kat
Jacob and Kat from the little farming village of Erissa are two of Legacy’s main characters, and they are also fictional. Their world—rough-spun tunics, hunting for enough food to eat—contrasts sharply with the sybaritic life of Macedon’s royal palace.
- Blood Magic
There was no such thing as Snake or Earth Blood. But most people believed that gods and goddesses mated with humans, creating demi-gods with unique characteristics and abilities. Achilles, Hercules, and Helen of Troy were all reported to have had an immortal parent. Alexander himself came to believe that his father wasn’t Philip at all, but Zeus, king of the gods!
Legacy of Kings
by Eleanor Herman Shelf on Goodreads
Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.
Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.
Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
More About Legacy of Kings
As the young prince regent, Alexander has lived with his father’s disappointment and the shame of his deformed leg his entire life. Only his quest for the Fountain of Youth keeps him going, a journey he will undertake with his best friend, Hephaestion—a skilled warrior with a questionable past.
The fierce, wild Katerina has sworn revenge for her own mother’s death and plans to kill Alexander’s mother, Queen Olympias. That is, if she doesn’t get distracted by her budding romantic feelings for Jacob, her long-time friend who will compete—and likely die—in their kingdom’s Blood Tournament.
Kat’s and Alex’s stories collide in unexpected ways, and their unearthly powers will aid them in bringing back the Blood Magic—the only force that can help them take back the kingdom from an unspoken evil that has taken hold and won’t surrender without immeasurable sacrifice.
Before the Game of Thrones craze swept the nation, Eleanor Herman was hard at work entertaining readers with her extensive research on courtly intrigue and romance. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings, as well as three other works of nonfiction: Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican, and King Peggy.
Obsessed by all things royal and historical, she lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and four extremely dignified cats. Legacy of Kings is her first novel.
Eleanor and Legacy of Kings will be on an amazing two weeks Blog Tour – with exciting content and Interviews!
Monday, August 3rd – Swoony Boys Podcast – Guest Post
Wednesday, August 5th – Bewitched Bookworms – Guest Post
Friday, August 7th – Once Upon a Twilight – Guest Post
Monday, August 10th – Book Swoon – Author Interview ,
Wednesday, August 12th – Pageturnersblog – Guest Post
Friday, August 14th – Reading Lark – Author Interview
Monday, August 17th – Two Chicks on Books – Author Interview
Wednesday, August 19th – Supernatural Snark – Guest Post
Friday, August 21st – Mundie Moms – Guest Post
Thanks to the amazing team at Harlequin Teen, each stop on the tour will be offering up a copy of THE LEGACY OF KINGS, so be sure and follow along for more guest posts, interviews and chances to win! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/CA only.
I really really loved this post as it exactly combines what I loved so much about this book, Fiction and Fantasy! Tell me, are you excited about it now?