From the time I read Umberto Eco’s novel Foucault’s Pendulum, when I was in high school, I’ve wanted to write a novel about Assassins and Knights Templar. It would have been, I think, a story about two men who hated each other, but came to discover their respective codes and loyalties and the unforgiving terrain in which they found themselves stranded, gave them more in common than they had to separate them.
The Knights Dawning follows an ensemble cast of warriors, saracens and crusaders alike, with a special emphasis on the chivalrous fighters of the Dawning family, half-Saxon, half-Norman, mixed in their loyalties, conflicted in their aims, and spotted in their successes on the battlefields of life, love, and war.
I’ve had The Knights Dawning in my Kindle library for months, but this week I finally met James Batchelor. We had a good long chat about the business of bookselling, the craft of writing, the changing terrain of publishing, and historical fiction. Like me, Batchelor is not a writer content with generic fantasy settings. He’s also no more content with a story that is mere adventure than he is with a story that has no adventure.
I predict that The Knights Dawning and its two sequels will someday end up with a big name publisher. In the meantime, you can catch the stories as e-books, and if you pigeonhole James at one of the Wasatch Front conventions, make him talk to you about history.