Author Profile: Bernard Cornwell

I thought I would start a series of author profiles, highlighting a new author each week. The profiles are intended to give you some background information about each author: where they grew up, how they got started, what they’ve written, things of that nature. I thought I would start with Bernard Cornwell, since he’s my […]

The Diffusion of the Stirrup into Medieval Western Europe

One of the most important advances in military technology came with the invention of the stirrup. The stirrup allowed warriors on horseback to use the power of horse and rider to deliver more powerful spear thrusts from a mounted position. With the stirrup, riders could rest the lance between the upper arm and the body […]

A Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin) on HBO

Here’s the latest news on A Song of Ice and Fire for HBO. From George R.R. Martin himself.
Ice & Fire on HBO

Medieval Historical Fiction Novel of the Week

The Evening of the World: A Romance of the Dark Ages (Dark Ages Trilogy) by Allan Massie
*this novel borders on the late Roman, early medieval period
Paperback - 304 pages
Publisher - Orion Publishing (June 1, 2002)

The Evening of the World is set in the period of the barbarian invasions. Its hero is a young Roman nobleman […]

Review of Acacia

David Anthony Durham steps into the world of fantasy with his latest novel Acacia: Book One: The War With the Mein. Most known for his historical fiction novels — Gabriel’s Story, Walk Through Darkness, and Pride of Carthage — Durham seems born for the fantasy genre. His characters are compelling, always changing, complex, and the […]

Medieval History Term of the Week: Pavise

1. Large, free-standing shield on hinged support used by archers and crossbowmen as protection when shooting. (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)
2. Large rectangular shield carried by spearmen or shield bearers (pavisers) and used to provide cover for crossbowmen. (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 250)
*term definitions retrieved from Netserf’s Medieval Glossary (

Medieval Historical Fiction Novel of the Week

War of the Gods by Poul Anderson
Paperback - 304 pages
Publisher - Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition (February 15, 1999)
Average Customer Review on Amazon - 3 stars
Editorial Review from Kirkus Reviews:
Veteran pro Anderson (The Fleet of Stars, p. 26, etc.) offers a Dark Age saga based on Old Scandinavian mythology and the exploits of the legendary Danish […]

Novel: 3rd Revision Complete

I finished typing up the third revision to my novel last week. I think it will take at least two more revisions — though not as time consuming as the first three — to get the novel to a point where I can start shopping it around to agents. Revision is such an important part […]

Medieval History Term of the Week: Enceinte

[en-seynt, ahn-sant]
Etymology: French, from Old French, enclosing wall, from enceindre to surround, from Latin incingere, from in- + cingere to gird
An enclosing wall, usually exterior, of a fortified place. (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

What is Urban Fantasy?

When talking about fantasy novels, what does the term ”urban fantasy” refer to? I haven’t read many urban fantasy novels myself, but according to wikipedia, urban fantasy is:
A subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of magical novels and stories set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings–as opposed to ‘traditional’ fantasy set in wholly imaginary landscapes, even ones containing imaginary cities, or having […]