New Novel Project: Shield of Fire

Here’s a bit of an introduction to my next novel, Shield of Fire.

Shield of Fire will be my attempt at writing a historical fiction novel. It will be tracing the history of the Persian Wars, from the start of the Ionian revolt to the Battle of Salamis. Now, the Persian Wars has been done before by authors much more esteemed and prestigious than myself, but I do like this period of time in history and I think it’d make for a great historical fiction novel.

Here’s a bit of the historical background of Shield of Fire. The Persians have conquered what was back then ‘the known world’ (basically the Middle East, Central Asia, parts of India and Egypt) and had pushed into Asia Minor (what is now modern-day Turkey). Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, found that the people living on the western border of Asia Minor were the Ionian Greeks; settlers from mainland Greece who had (according to legend) been planted there by Athens long before. Greeks, however, seemed to have a habit for quarreling and feuding endlessly; the Ionians proved to be no exception and the Persians found the Ionians tremendously hard to impose direct rule upon. Therefore, the Persians decided to sponsor a tyrant (dictator) in each of the Ionian city states; these tyrants would be backed by Persian military power and were allowed to rule as absolute dictators. Yet be too independent and the tyrants could find themselves being replaced; for after all, the Persian government now looked only to find tyrants, use them until they had become rebellious and replace them as quickly as possible. The Ionians hardly found this as a form of government they liked.

The match that lit the flame of rebellion finally came in 499 B.C when Aristagoras, the tyrant of the powerful Ionian city of Miletus, asked the Persian satrap (governor), Artaphernes, for help in launching an expedition to conquer the island of Naxos for the Persian Empire. The satrap agreed, but the mission proved to be a failure; not only did Aristagoras come into an argument with the Persian admiral, who happened to be a relative of Artaphernes, the invasion also failed. Artaphernes, fearing for his own position, chose to abdicate his tyranny and declare Miletus a democracy in the style of Athens. Overthrowing what had been put in place by the Persians was not the best way to please them, and it signified open revolt against the Empire; a flare of rebellions soon engulfed Ionia, with democracies being proclaimed and tyrants being kicked out. The Persians, however, were hardly a people to tolerate a rebellion, and the Greeks knew they had to do something.

It is into this background that Shield of Fire starts. I hope that this novel will not only be exciting and entertaining, but that I will also be improving my writing and learning quite a fair bit of history while writing this novel. But remember my last novel, Revolution: Rise of Darkness? That one had chapters that came out pretty quickly after each other; this one, however, is in the genre of historical fiction, which requires an immense amount of research. Because of this, I might not be able to write as quickly and as carelessly as I did before, so my writing might not come out as often. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Persian Wars, I have a post on Homewritten History about the Persian Wars. Also, if you’re interested, I will be relying mostly on Tom Holland’s Persian Fire and the writings of Heredotus for the history side of this novel.

Thanks for reading- I hope you’ll enjoy Shield of Fire.

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