Tag Archives: history

Review: Sword of the Ronin

Sword of the Ronin by Travis Heermann My rating: 4 of 5 stars A rich, engaging, morally complex historical fantasy, deeply embedded in Japanese culture. This is the second novel in a series, but I must tell you up front … Continue reading

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Studying Magic in the Middle Ages

One of the frustrations of being a fantasy writer is confronting the accusation that one can simply make it all up. The best authors, IMHO, use a combination of reality and imagination to bring a new world to life. To … Continue reading

Posted in Elisha Barber, fantasy, history, magic, medieval, religion, The Dark Apostle, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

To Know the Future

As you know, next week will see the launch of Elisha Barber, and with it, the culmination of a dream which will hopefully lead to many more. Will it be a success? The suspense is killing me! And it makes … Continue reading

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More on the Scandalous 14th Century

In our last entry, I was summarizing the fascinating story of King Edward II of England. We’d just reached the point where his estranged wife, Isabelle, returns from a visit home to France, in the company of exiled traitor Roger … Continue reading

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Respecting Dan Brown

If you read Elisha Barber all the way to the end, you’ll find an Acknowledgements page. One of the first names on that page is Dan Brown. Yep, the same author everyone’s talking about this week, with the release of … Continue reading

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Skinning your Own Apes: Researching from Primary Sources

An article in the Stanford magazine this month talks about a new method of teaching history to high schoolers using primary source material, having the teens read several documents about an incident and draw their own conclusions based on the … Continue reading

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Handgun Control in Medieval Japan

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a nice exhibit of Japanese arms and armor. Toward the end of the exhibit hung two very elegant matchlock guns dating to the Edo period (the 17th century). A small accompanying sign stated … Continue reading

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The Hierarchy of Medieval Medical Practitioners

Elisha Barber, the first book in my Dark Apostle series, features a barber-surgeon protagonist. During the Late Middle Ages (about 1300 to 1450, depending on whom you ask) the barber occupied one of the lowest steps in the hierarchy of … Continue reading

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Hack Writers and Falconry: What’s the connection?

One of the most popular sports of the Middle Ages was falconry, the art of training a bird of prey to hunt on its master’s behalf. There are places today, like the New Hampshire School of Falconry, where you can … Continue reading

Posted in etymology, history, medieval, research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Werewolves in Medieval History

Whether you’re more Team Jacob or “Werewolves of London” you know that werewolves are hot right now (both in sales, and apparently, in sex appeal). But their prevalence in the Urban Fantasy genre might obscure their long history. My eyes … Continue reading

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