Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Welcome to Nancy Jardine, who has kindly written a guest post about her writing strategies for me to share with you! Read on to find out more from her, about her latest book and to have the opportunity to enter a rafflecopter giveaway with a chance to win a copy of Agricola’s Bane…
The four published novels in my Celtic Fervour Saga vary in style from book to book. They’re all historical adventures, all written in 3rd person past tense, but beyond that themes and tones of the novels differ. Book 1 has an HEA ending and has strong ‘romantic’ elements, though it’s soundly historical in detail. The tone of Book 2 changes to being less romantic, a bit darker and more historically militaristic. Book 3 continues with stronger themes of military strategy on the part of both my ‘Celtic’ characters and the Ancient Roman ones, though it’s also got a subdued HEA ending for my characters Brennus and Ineda. Their reunion is subdued because they’re about to engage in a huge pitched battle against the Ancient Roman Legions of General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola and might soon be dead!
Book 4, Agricola’s Bane, is all about frustration, disappointment, being vulnerable but also being determined and persistent! It explores General Agricola’s Roman campaign strategies after that huge battle at Beinn na Ciche, victorious for Agricola but devastating for my Iron Age Celtic clan.
My Garrigill Clan members are downhearted because two of the young warriors have not been seen since the battle, though they aren’t thought to be dead. That could mean they were captured by the Romans, the result being slavery. Agricola’s Bane explores what younger warriors of the clan do to find Ruoridh and Beathan, searching at a time when Ancient Roman danger lurks around every bush. Being susceptible is a daily hazard. The novel also explores how life, and love, goes on even in the face of death and destruction but that it’s difficult for the young warriors to be consistently positive and ‘normal’ on their journey.
In bringing different clan members to the front of the stage, the different threads of the story are told via multiple viewpoints. Agricola’s Bane has three main Celtic characters, two strong secondary Celtic characters plus General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola flying the flag for the Ancient Romans. There are four viewpoints and, at times, four theatres of action. One of those is relatively brief, though very important, as it introduces the scenario for the beginning of Book 5 Beathan The Brigante (due spring 2020).
Agricola’s Bane opens in the aftermath of the great battle at Beinn na Ciche (similar to the historical Battle of Mons Graupius). For the Ancient Romans, winning a pitched battle only made sense if the enemy was predictable in its capitulation. That isn’t what happens in northern Caledonia and it thwarts and frustrates General Agricola. Equally, the Ancient Romans expected profits to be had from lands that they conquered and absorbed into the Roman Empire. Agricola in Agricola’s Bane is further aggravated because the normal spoils of war, and long-lasting profitable rewards for the Empire, just aren’t to be found. Caledonia is not like other territories! To add to Agricola’s disappointment, his emperor Domitian just doesn’t seem to like him very much. In Agricola’s Bane, I wanted to highlight General Agricola’s irritation, disenchantment and susceptibility.
Thank you for inviting me today to talk about my writing strategies.
Definitely my pleasure to host this, Nancy, I really enjoyed reading it! Thank you for letting me share it!
Read on to discover more about Agricola’s Bane and to have the opportunity to enter a rafflecopter giveaway with a chance to win a copy for yourself!
A.D. 84 Northern Roman Britain
Nith of Tarras helps Enya of Garrigill in the search for her kin, missing after the disastrous battle at Beinn na Ciche fought between the Caledonian warriors and the mighty Ancient Roman legions. Enya soon has a heartrending choice to make. Should she tread Vacomagi territory that’s swarming with Roman auxiliaries to find her brother? Or, should she head south in search of her cousin who has probably been enslaved by the Romans?
The Commander of the Britannic Legions and Governor of Britannia – General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – is determined to claim more barbarian territory for the Roman Empire, indeed plans to invade the whole island, but finds not all decisions are his to make. It increasingly seems that the goddess, Fortuna, does not favour him.
The adventures of the Garrigill clan continue…
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