In recent days, Richard Lee from the Historical Novel Society, Justin Lindsay (HNS member and fellow blogger) and myself (as a guest contributor), collaborated on an article for the Historical Novel Society.
It was timed to go out with the launch of Robert Low's new book The Lion Rampant, which is the last book in the author's Kingdom Trilogy.
As a fan of Robert Low's books, Richard Lee asked me to write a few words on what it is exactly about Robert Low's books that makes me such a big fan.
And this is what I wrote.......
Many writers can do action adventure historical fiction. Many writers
can even do action adventure historical fiction extremely well. But, in
my experience, not all of them can do it with that unique blend of
wordsmithing, research, passion and skill that Robert Low can. And I am
not talking just a skill to write, a skill to draw characters in the
mind and make them breathe and walk and talk and fight and hate, nor do I
mean the skill to simply write a book full of words that make sense.
is another skill at play in Robert Low's works that you can see if you
think about it or perhaps you know it instinctively when you see it.
skill one gets from having led a colourful life, meeting a real world
full of colourful characters. As a career journalist for many decades -
which included a stint reporting in that maelstrom of horror which was
the Vietnam War - he has probably walked a thousand miles alongside a
thousand different people, and for me as a reader, I responded to that
life experience from the very first book I read of his, The Whale Road
(Oathsworn #1) and it has been bringing me back to his books ever since.
are always one or two characters in each of his books that lift off the
page and stick with you. In the Oathsworn series, book one, they were
Pinleg and Einar. In the trilogy, The Kingdom Trilogy, that character
was Dog Boy. Each individual reader may find themselves attaching to
different characters in the Oathsworn series and the Kingdom Trilogy,
but I am confident one of them will stick and stay.
For me, the
author is a larger than life character himself and I would not be
surprised if he surrounds himself with larger than life characters in
his personal life. So, of course, why would his book's characters not be
as memorable and robust? I feel that to write his characters any other
way would be to go against his grain.
You should always expect a
passionate punch from his stories. They may not always go the way you
want them. Characters will die when you least expect it, others will
transform against your wishes, but they will always keep you on your
toes and they are certainly not books that you will ever put aside and
forget you have read.
For the full Historical Novel Society Article written in collaboration with those two gentlemen of the internet, Richard and Justin, go here: http://historicalnovelsociety.org/robert-low-the-lion-rampant/
Thanks to Richard Lee for giving me the nod on cross posting my section of the article to Ancient & Medieval Mayhem.