History is not something that happened to other people. History is a memory. August A.D. 1120 Dijon. A headless corpse is found in a room with shuttered windows and the door locked from the inside. The man's name was Salonius and he was the Duke. His young heir's grasp on the throne is precarious, yet a new alliance is made to safeguard his position. November A.D. 1120 Barcelona. Alexander, the Prince, learns that the emperor Enmerkar is looking to add Barcelona to his territories. January A.D. 1121 London. Julian, the Governor, finds that Enmerkar has turned his hungry gaze toward England. April A.D. 1121 York. Medb, the Queen, discovers that Enmerkar hungers for the whole Isle. Many now recognize the threat posed by Enmerkar's continued expansion, so a game of politics begins to spin a web of alliances and treaties that will thwart Enmerkar. But this is not a web of humankind. These men and women are Algul, a race that lives, unseen, alongside humanity. They are rulers and warriors, storytellers and shapeshifters, magicians and politicians. Each was human once. None is human now. Their learning is far deeper than that of humans, their strength far greater, their lives not curtailed by illness or by age - the price a life lived in the shadows and sustained by blood. Yet while all others are entangled in their political machinations, only one man can see that Salonius's murder was but the first move in a deeper plot, one that even he cannot fully piece together. For, in a world where history is a memory, the greatest danger comes from what has been forgotten.
This is where I tell you a few things about myself. I was born in Greece but moved to Oxford with my parents when I was six. After a few years we moved back to Greece, but tended to spend a couple of months every year in England. This went on for fifteen years. It has made me bilingual and somewhat confused. Part of me is very, very British, part of me not remotely so. There are some things I will never understand. Cricket, for example. It has been explained to me repeatedly but it continues to elude me -- its rules as much as its attraction. On the other hand, I played rounders at school, jam roly-poly with lashings of custard is my idea of the perfect pudding, and I approve of eccentricity, in both dress and behaviour (a very un-Greek thing to do. Eccentricity is not something the national psyche approves of. Sadly.)
I eventually moved back to England, to Leeds this time, to do a Master's and then a Ph.D. in Musicology. This was after getting a B.A. in English from the University of Athens.
I read a lot. Both fiction and non-fiction. I love science as well as history, but I am, if I'm honest, a history buff. I decided to study history as a hobby, rather than as a profession, since there's already three historians in my immediate family. Discussions on the price of wheat in 14th century Crete -- or how it may be proved that someone mentioned in one particular notarial register can be proved to be the same person as someone mentioned in a chronicle as having taken part in a rebellion -- would be, and still are, the normal fare round the family table. I thought three people dealing with that sort of thing every day were enough for one family. Still, it hasn't proved possible to evade the bug altogether.
Unsurprisingly, I love music. But my tastes range from Motörhead to François de Couperin, and from Rammstein to Mahler. I am a geek -unashamed and proud to be called one. I am a dedicated pen-and-paper gamer, and a vocal advocate of all things Open Source. I'm also an archer. I haven't shot in some time, unfortunately, but put a bow in my hand and I still know what to do with it. I also know what to do with several of the Chinese weapons in my collection. I have trained with a fan, with a flute, with a spear, and with a Dao sword. I'm terribly rusty of course these days so, knowing what to do with them, wouldn't necessarily equate with actually being able to do something with them.
I live in Marburg with my husband and two black cats. Fyren and Phaedra.
And if you're that way inclined you can get in touch with me through Twitter, or my website: http://www.irenesoldatos.eu