12 Jun 2014


Warning: Contains spoilers: some plot lines are discussed in the below post.

Having taken part in The Tiger And The Dove Book Tour - you can see my reviews of The Grip Of God Here and Solomon's Bride tomorrow - today I'm delighted to welcome author Rebecca Hazell who asks .....


When I sat down to write this blog about my historical trilogy, The Tiger And The Dove, I asked myself this question. My answer was 'not much', but would you agree with me? As I see it, historical fiction is a broad genre, stretching from serious to action-filled to romantic. Sometimes the plots of lighter historical fiction seem less about transporting the reader to another era than about telling a modern story in an exotic setting. But could you say the same about any kind of main-stream fiction: some is light or fantastic, some is action-filled or romantic, some makes you think.

So where would my three novels fit in? Told as a memoir, my heroine's tale is both a coming of age story and a contemplation of one of the most violent times in history. In it you can learn how history comes back to haunt us. We only need to look at the troubles right now between Ukraine and Russia or Russia and Western European countries: their seeds were planted centuries ago because of the Mongol invasions, which happen to be the setting for my first novel. So I'd place the trilogy into the serious fiction category but leave some wiggle room for romance, since people of every century do seek love.

Why mostly serious? Well, you can't read about the thirteenth century and feel light hearted. In the first volume, The Grip Of God, Princess Sofia of Kievan Rus', is captured and enslaved by a Mongol war captain. The Mongols were among the most successful conquerors in history, their empire second in size only to the British Empire. Think violent, primitive, superstitious, and ruthless, and you'll get an idea of the kind of people Sofia faces in her struggle to survive. And yet people of all sorts befriend her, and at the end help her escape.

In the second novel, Solomon's Bride, having fled from Iran, Sofia encounters a much more sophisticated culture also devastated by Mongols, but now she must extricate herself from a feared branch of Islam known as the Assassins. They are bent on overthrowing the Islamic establishment and the Mongol juggernaut through political murders -that's how the word assassination came to be. While Sofia does find her way west into Crusader lands, her journey is far from over. And, though the serious contemplative aspect of Sofia's story continues, this novel will satisfy the most romance-loving reader and offer some surprises as well.

In the final novel, Consolamentum, Sofia might just find love and home, but with the shadow of both a 'holy war' and of the French Inquisition looming over her, merely being a foreigner can get her into trouble. The conclusion of the trilogy might leave you feeling not just about a character, a distant time, and a compelling plot but also about what Sofia's life might have to say about our modern era.

A final note: one of the challenges of writing this saga was that of crossing two genres, the serious and the romantic. While it has been done, it isn't easy; some readers want a hot story, and others want both plot and history, and some want history and enough plot to carry them along. I sought to satisfy to all three by offering a dark romance, an allegory of our own times, and accurate history brought to life by a dramatic story.

- Rebecca Hazell.
Back Home

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.


Stephanie Faris said...

It always seems as though historical fiction has a feel to it that's different than contemporary fiction. The atmosphere is just different somehow.

Kelly said...

Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. For me, the mark of a good story is one that leads me to do further research on my own...to want to know even more.

I'm looking forward to reading this series very much!

Literary Feline said...

Thank you for sharing the author's thoughts on the subject with us, Tracy!

Like Kelly, I find that the more I am drawn to do further research on a historical topic, the more I've enjoyed the book. I do enjoy history quite a bit, and while historical mysteries are probably my favorite, I do enjoy other types of historical fiction too. Like the author suggested, it's such a diverse and broad category.

Suko said...

The research an author does enhances historical fiction in several ways. Interesting guest post today, and the author's work sounds wonderful!

Lindsay said...

Great post, thanks Tracy and Rebecca. I agree about wanting to know more about a period/topic that I've read about in a historical novel that I've enjoyed.

Michelle Miller said...

Thanks for posting, Tracy, and for being on the tour!

Melliane said...

Thanks for the post it was interesting to read it. It's always so great to learn a little more about a series like that.

Brian Joseph said...

Great post.

Stories that involve the series and the light have always interested me. Sometimes they really do not work and the tone of such things clash terribly. When these tales do work I think that they reflect life itself as our existence is often such a combination.

Betty Manousos said...

what an interesting post!!

i'm a big history fan and have always loved reading about history, so historical fiction has always been one of my favourites genres.

big hugs~xx

Naida said...

Interesting post. I can only imagine how hard it is for authors writing this genre to balance fact with fiction, then to throw in just the right does of romance.