Familiar with a Twist
One of the best things about writing fantasy is that I get to create my own world.
One of the hardest things about writing fantasy is that I get to create my own world.
If that seems contradictory, it’s because… well, it is. To quote Voltaire (or Uncle Ben from Spiderman, if you’re more comic book inclined), “With great power comes great responsibility.” I have the power to create a world that shapes everything from the characters to the plot. It has to make sense. It has to be unique and engaging, but it also needs to be familiar enough for the reader to relate to.
Enter familiar with a twist. I’ve made no effort to disguise the fact that I based the Deizian Empire on Ancient Rome – even the characters’ names are Roman. And to me, it made sense for the world I was creating. I wanted a ruling race with advanced technology for the time, skilled in war craft and possessing a strong army. I also wanted a world that was a mix of enlightenment and hedonism, a place where the mind was constantly at war with the flesh. And lastly, I needed a world where freedom and prosperity were enjoyed by many, but only on the backs of conquered slaves.
If you could create a world based off a known civilization, which one would you choose, and why?
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by Crista McHugh
Azurha, a beautiful former slave turned deadliest assassin in the empire, has just been offered the ultimate challenge–seduce, then murder the new emperor. But Titus is not the tyrant his forefathers were, and his radical ideas might be the glimmer of hope the empire needs.
Titus Sergius Flavus has yet to master the powerful magic of his ancestors–magic he must wield if he’s to protect his people–but his father’s death has left him no choice. Rule the Delzian Empire and attempt to right his ancestor’s wrongs, or watch her fall to his greedy kin.
More than just Titus’s ideas hold Azurha captive. Night after night, he awakens desires she thought lost and uncovers the magic of her hidden lineage. As her deadline approaches, Azurha is forced to make an impossible decision–complete her job and kill the man she loves, or fail and forfeit both their lives.