Sunday, January 20, 2013
My 2004 historical fantasy Winter on the Plain of Ghosts: a Novel of Mohenjo-daro is now available from all Amazon sites as a kindle e-book.
Winter on the Plain of Ghosts is a story of sorcery, religious conflict, political intrigue and ecological disaster in the lost cities of the Indus Valley.
They are called the Chosen Ones -- children dedicated to the goddess Yamash and raised in pampered luxury. But such privilege comes with a terrible price. When Rujik and Bima learn of the gruesome death that awaits them as sacrifices to the Goddess, they escape across the desert to Meluhha, and the fabled city of Mohenjo-daro. Bima finds fame as a dancer; Rujik survives by turns as thief and alchemist's assistant, magician and merchant-captain. In revolt against the cruel, repressive priesthood that governs Meluhha, Rujik joins forces with the barbarian woman Utarah to lead a rag-tag army of warriors, thieves and street-sorcerers. What they unleash is a series of bloody rebellions in which much of the city is destroyed. The Wheel has come full circle. In a final desperate act of magic Rujik must invoke the totemic animals of Meluhha to save both himself and his beloved Bima from the grisly vengeance of the priests.
(From my Author's Note)
The fall of the Indus valley civilization is one of the great unanswered questions of archaeology. Were the cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa destroyed by climactic change? A shift in the course of the Indus River? Invasion? Few writers of fiction have explored the subject. Years ago in a used bookstore I stumbled across a small monograph which endeavoured to decode the Indus Valley seal inscriptions. I bought the pamphlet, and embarked on some intensive research. Here was a world lost in antiquity, and an unsolved mystery. I had the subject for a novel.
Alternate histories ask "What if?" Those of us whose fantasies play out in real historic time like to explore the "how" and "why" -- always keeping in mind that if you travel far enough back in antiquity, you may find sorcerers, baleful spirits, magical kingdoms, and spells that actually work.
Posted by Eileen Kernaghan at 6:58 PM