And we’re off! Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Anna Kashina 🙂 She’s written an extremely interesting guest post about world building. I think you’ll enjoy it.
She’s also sharing her new release The Guild of Assassins. Another awesome cover on my blog….don’t you love it!
And don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway at the end of the post 🙂
Take it away Anna…
The Majat Code: History of the Old Empire
Thank you for hosting this post during the release week of “The Guild of Assassins” book 2 of the Majat Code. I am excited to be here.
After the publication of “Blades of the Old Empire”, book 1 of the Majat Code, earlier this year, a lot of readers expressed interest in learning more about the history of the kingdom of Tallan Dar, in particular about the recurring references to the events that happened during the days of the Old Empire. So, I thought I could give a brief outline of the events that precede the current time line in the series by about 500 years.
The kingdom of Tallan Dar and its surrounding lands used to be a part of the old Shandorian Empire, which spread from the Northern Ridges all the way south to the desert kingdom of Shayil Yara. It was ruled by an emperor, whose power demanded multiple layers of security, including magical guards of several kinds. At some point, the emperor became so removed from his people that commoners and even nobles and courtiers hardly knew what he looked like.
The Kaddim Brotherhood, an order of mind mages, took advantage of this situation. They worked their way into the emperor’s security, and secretly replaced him with their own man, similar in looks, able to convince everyone in his vicinity that he was the real one. Eventually the truth of the situation became known to a few of the emperor’s guards loyal to the regime, and one of them escaped the palace to deliver the news to the Order of Keepers — a scholarly order with a firm hand in the kingdom’s affairs.
Events erupted quickly. The Kaddim emperor had his men infiltrate the command posts at the church, causing the priests to proclaim all magic ungodly and instigate laws to eliminate anyone with magic (known as Ghas Shalan law, or Blessing of the Cursed). The Keepers took charge of the opposition, leading to a series of wars, known as the Holy Wars.
Eventually, an impasse was reached. The Empire fell and the emperor was deposed, however the anti-magic laws remained in power, this time, supposedly, as a tool against the Kaddim. The lands of the Empire were divided into several kingdoms, with Tallan Dar assuming the leading position over others. The Kaddim Brotherhood dissipated and went into hiding, but did not become extinct, even though many believed it to be the case.
The anti-magic laws remained in place for over five hundred years, leading to near-elimination of magic in Tallan Dar. Many, however, did not abide by this law, preserving some of the precious bloodlines. These efforts were secretly headed by the Keepers, who realized the implications and dangers of fully eliminating magic.
The conflict erupted again when the heir to the ruling House Dorn, Prince Kythar, had been born with a magic gift and marked for elimination. The Keepers had taken away the newborn prince and hidden him in a common village, to be brought up as a son of the local blacksmith. When Kythar grew to be of age, he returned to his father. During this time, the Keepers had set things in motion to overthrow the Ghaz Shalan law. The Kaddim Brotherhood did not remain idle either, and conjured a new plot to overtake the kindom and the surrounding lands, leading to the events in “Blades of the Old Empire” and other books in the series.
The world in the Majat Code books has general parallels with the history of Medieval Europe, mixing in some cross-cultural elements, and of course all the fictional situations and events. Some “true” themes, though, do remain. Among those, the way religion has dominated the society and hindered the scientific and technological development during the times we now refer to as the Dark Ages, is played out in my books and feeds the Kaddim theme.
A lot of research went into world-building for the series, and I hope to see these events play out in some of the later books.
Kara, an elite warrior from the Majat Guild, has escaped execution and achieved something that no Majat has ever managed – freedom from the Guild!
But the Black Diamond assassin Mai has been called back to face his punishment for sparing her life. Determined to join his fight or share his punishment, Kara finds herself falling for Mai.
Is their relationship – and the force that makes their union all-powerful – a tool to defeat the overpowering forces of the Kaddim armies, or a ploy sure to cause the downfall of the Majat?
Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/06/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_7.html
Anna Kashina grew up in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994 after receiving her Ph.D. in cell biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She works as a biomedical researcher and combines career in science with her passion for writing. Anna’s interests in ballroom dancing, world mythologies and folklore feed her high-level interest in martial arts of the Majat warriors. She is a recent medalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year and Independent Publishers Book Award contests.
*Anna is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Print Set of BLADES OF THE OLD EMPIRE and THE GUILD OF ASSASSINS*