If I wasn’t a fantasy writer, I should dearly love to write historical fiction. And as a reader, this year I have tried to read mostly hist.fict. which includes those I listed in my shopping spree last night as well as a re-visit of the unparalleled Dorothy Dunnett. To me, these top rated authors are paying an enormous compliment to time past, to our ancestors, to the breadth of experience that has brought us to this point in our existence. None more so than those who write of ancient Rome. I have read Marius’ Mules this year and below is my review of it for Amazon.com:
Why mesmered? I need to explain the meaning of the word . . . a meaning you won’t find in any dictionary.
Mesmer is a form of enchantment used by the fey. No shouted spells, no wands flashing. Just a smooth glissade of the hand across the air, almost indetectable. Whatever the mesmerer wants to happen happens. It could be sending someone to sleep, or stopping a dagger in mid-flight and turning it on itself so it begins a return journey to the thrower, remorseless in its progress. Or it could be as fatal as the death-mesmer: – on the swipe of a hand, there is a silvered sound as if a sword is being withdrawn from a scabbard. A swish through the air from nowhere and a fatal thrust . . . always fatal. The fey don’t often use this as they aren’t essentially a violent race, merely a race of individuals who are forever looking for entertainment with no thought for those they may injure in the process. Compassion is an undeveloped emotion in most of the fey.