Dark Triumph the follow-up novel to Grave Mercy is digitally released today.
It will be published in paperback in June.
Robin has kindly written twelve facts about Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph for us...
Fact or Fiction: The Truth in His Fair Assassin
One of the questions I am most often asked is what parts, if any, of the His Fair Assassin books are true or based on history? The answer: Probably more than you’d think. Even more fascinating? Some of the things that strain credulity the most are actually true. Honestly, even the most fervent imagination could not make up some of this stuff. So here are twelve historical facts from both Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph that may surprise you.
Fact or Fiction: The Truth in His Fair Assassin1. A twelve year old duchess truly did inherit one of the richest kingdoms in medieval Western Europe. Upon the death of her father, Anne was immediately saddled not only with the running of Brittany, but with trying to maintain its independence from France.
2. In an effort to find allies against France, her father the duke of Brittany had promised her hand in marriage to over half a dozen princes, nobles, and heads of state. Most of those promises had been made verbally so he couldn’t be pinned down and prevented from promising her hand in marriage to even more potential allies.
3. One of her most insistent suitors was the fifty year old Count d’Albret, who already had seven children of his own.
4. The duke of Brittany did have a mistress and had a number of illegitimate children with her. From all accounts, his ‘second’ family lived with him in the palace along with his wife and legitimate children. Just one big cozy happy extended family.
5. Of all the guardians and caretakers in whose hands the duke had placed Anne’s safety, nearly all of them betrayed her in some way.
6. In the middle ages, some women greatly preferred the idea of joining a convent, because it would give them more freedom and autonomy than their normal societal roles of wife, mother, or consort.
7. Assassination was a big part of medieval Europe’s political strategy. In the 11th century, Brittany itself was engaged in a number of back and forth assassinations with its neighboring duchy Normandy.
8. Assassination and poisonings were such a common occurrence (or heartily feared one) that many noble family’s had a poisoner on staff.
9. The island on which the convent of Saint Mortain sits is real: the Ile de Sein is located off the westernmost coast of Brittany and was rumored to have been the last remaining refuge of nine Celtic druidesses called the Gallizenae and were said to have mysterious powers.
10. The charbonnerie are also based on a real life organization of charcoal burners. While charcoal burning had been going on since as early as the Bronze Age, the charbonnerie are most widely known as a fraternal organization of charcoalburners that gained prominence during the French Revolution. There is some speculation that their roots were far older than that, possibly going back as far back as the middle ages.
11. The charbonnerie’s worship of the Dark Matrona or Dark Mother. This darker aspect is found of many older goddess and is known as Black Artemis, the Black Dianna, and even the Black Madonna.
12. The early Christian Church did indeed adopt some earlier pagan gods and goddess into its fold, renaming them saints and altering their stories so that they were more in keeping with church traditions. The most well known of these is Saint Brigid.
We will also be able to give away a copy of Grave Mercy the first in the series as well as a digital copy of Dark Triumph. My review will follow real soon. If you would like to win a copy leave a message as to why you should win and your email address in the comment box below.