Daily Thoughts 6/26/2010I finished reading Much Fall of Blood by Dave Freer, Mercedes Lackey, and Eric Flint. The Heirs of Alexandria series started with The Shadow of the Lion a fantasy set in a magical Venice. It was followed by This Rough Magic which was set in the Isle of Corfu. There was a standalone book by Dave Freer called A Mankind Witch that was set in Iceland. This book was quite entertaining because of Dave Freer's sense of humor. Much Fall of Blood could be considered the third book in the series, or the fourth book in the setting.
I have very much enjoyed reading this alternate history/fantasy. The magic is done well, so are the villains and heros. They are mashups of figures from history that are given magical powers; Countess Bartholdy, Duke Vlad of Valahia, Prince Manfred, Bortai from the Hawk Clan of the Mongols, Jagiellon Grand Duke of Lithuania, and others.
The settings are Aquitaine (a magical France), The Holy Roman Empire (think christianity with contact with angels and the forces of light and darkness), The League of Armagh (a kind of mystical Celtic state), the Territories of the Knights of the Holy Trinity (think of the knights Templar), the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland (controlled by the dark forces of Chernobog), and the Kingdom of Hungary (influenced by the wicked Countess Bartholdy). There are also cities in Italy, Milan, Venice, and Rome. With Much Fall of Blood, we get introduced to Prince Vlad, Duke of Valahia, grandson of the dragon, as well as characters from the mongol hordes. The setting is fantastic.
The breaking point in the series, The Heirs of Alexandria, with actual history is the survival of Hypatia and the Library of Alexandria creating a very different world filled with magic.