Thursday, June 16, 2011

Historical Fantasy in Dark Age Wales

Sarah Woodbury has put her own spin on the Arthurian legends with a number of novels. In "Cold My Heart", the main characters are the knight Myrddin (I still swoon a little over that name) and a former nun named Nell. Arthur, of course, is there too, but one might almost call him a secondary character.

I don't write fantasy, but I've loved the Arthurian legends since my mother took me to see Richard Harris in "Camelot" for my 8th birthday. The "Crystal Cave" series and "The Mists of Avalon" remain among my favorite books of all time.

I quickly fell in love with the resourceful heroine and realistic hero of "Cold My Heart", and Woodbury did a very good job of fleshing out the murky motivations and shifting alliances of everyone in her universe. Even Mordred isn't pure evil- although he comes pretty close. But the center of the story, in my opinion, was the question of whether people who could glimpse the future could use their knowledge to change it.

In this post, Woodbury discusses how she, a historian, used her research about the period to construct a world that might have existed.