“The Shieldmaiden’s Pride” – Book One of the new trilogy, The Song of Madron – is now in the final editing and proofreading stages, with the release scheduled for July 1st – but I can’t wait to show off the maps that will be in the book. Keen-eyed readers will recognise I used one of the earliest maps from Saxon Might as base for this one, but with added detail and some changes in political geography in the 25 years since the period of that book.
In “The Shieldmaiden’s Pride”, the story returns to mainland Britain, as seen by the natives of this land. The characters journey through the island, from hillfort to fortress, from town to villa – so it’s a good moment to run through some of the real-life villas of Roman Britain that have popped up throughout the series so far, and that will appear in the next book.
THE SAXON SPEARS:
ARIMINUM – Beddington Park, London
QUINTUS NATALIUS’s VILLA – Crofton, Orpington
THE SAXON KNIVES:
WORTIMER’S VILLA IN ROBRIWIS – Cobham Park, Kent
Rhedwyn ruled a settlement of Iutes and Britons here for a while, when the villa‘s grounds were confiscated during Wortimer’s brief exile.
CATUAR’S VILLA IN NEW PORT – Brighton, Sussex
A small villa to which the Regin Comes moved from his palace in Bignor as his wealth and importance diminished. Later, Rex Aelle took it for residence, when setting up the South Saxon capital in New Port.
THE SAXON MIGHT:
EADGITH’S VILLA – Newport, Isle of Wight
The half-ruined villa on Wecta, from which Eadgith ruled the small Iute colony.
THE CROWN OF THE IUTES:
MUTUANTON VILLA – Barcombe Mills, Sussex
The white-washed palace on the hill near Mutuanton, where Aelle kept the Briton nobles hostage.
MUTUANTON ISLAND VILLA – Beddingham Sussex
The ruined villa in the marshes, where the Saxon force kept in check the Briton army on the hill fort.
THE SHIELDMAIDEN’S PRIDE:
SOUTH SHORE VILLA – Southwark, London
Recently discovered near the London Bridge, I used this lavish mansio as basis for the South Shore ‘entertainment’ villa.
PUBLIAN’S VILLA – Rutland, near Peterborough
DORCIC PRAETOR’S VILLA – Wittenham Clumps, Dorchester-on-Thames
Another villa only mentioned in the story – the Praetor of Dorcic prefers to live here, in the remains of a hill fort across the river from the town he governs.
In 10 days, on Christmas Eve, “The Crown of Iutes” will be released on Kindle. It is time to reveal the main map for the book: Northern Gaul, comprising of the Domain of Gauls, under Syagrius, and the lands of its neighbours – the Franks, the Armoricans and the Goths of Tolosa.
A simple map this time, for a simple, short story – this is Armorica – today’s Brittany – at the end of the 5th century, just as the old, classic Imperial city names from Tabula Peutingeriana change to common tongue ones, as used in Notitia Dignitatum and later texts.
The Song of the Tides – a Song of Octa novella – is out on pre-order, to be released on August the 1st.
“The Wrath…” takes place in Armorica, Isles of Scilly and what is now known as Wales. It’s in Wales that most military action happens, with armies moving from fort to fort and ships going from port to port, so the one new map drawn for this book is one of Wales – or Western Britannia Prima.
Incidentally, this is my second novel that is partly set in Wales – so did my first book, the Shadow of Black Wings, and even the map was somewhat similar, if a fantasy version. I can’t tell myself if it’s just a curious coincidence or is there something special about Wales that makes me go back to it time and time again?
It’s time for another of the “locations” post – I like to think of my books as much as a travelogue as action novels, and the travels of my characters in Book 5 take them to the very north-western edges of the Empire: from Armorica to Northern Wales.
“The Wrath of the Iutes” is released on July 1st – pre-order now!
ROTOMAG – Rotomagus, Rouen
A major harbour on the River Seine, once the second most important city in Gallia Lugdunensis, now capital of Normandy.
REDONES – Condate Redonum, Roazhon, Rennes
Worgium – Vorgium, Karaez, Carhaix
Cair Wortigern – Craig Gwrtheyrn
The Forks – Tre’r Ceiri
An enormous, spectacular hill fort on Llyn Peninsula, used up to 5th century. The valley below, Nant Gwrtheyrn, is another place associated with Vortigern, who is said to have been buried somewhere in the area.
Hrodha’s Fort – Caer Gybi, Holyhead
A small Roman fortlet at the very end of the Mona road – the last harbour before Hibernia, the Edge of the Empire.
Silurian Isca – Isca Augusta, Caerleon
It’s that time again – the premiere of the new volume is fast approaching, and the first marker of the book being ready for release is the map is now done.
There’s only one map this time – but one that shows more of the ancient world than any of the maps before – all of late Roman Gaul and Germania north of Augusta Treverorum.
This should tell you how much greater the scope of the story has become – the interests of Iutes are no longer confined to Britannia, they now enter into the power plays of the late Empire
1. CPNRB – Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain.
The database of all Briton names confirmed in sources and found in inscriptions in the Roman period, from 1st to 5th century AD. Divided by period, location, tribe. Invaluable for coming up with real-sounding secondary characters.
2. DARMC – Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations.
This one has everything. Roman roads, settlements – named and unnamed, bridges, passes, temples, fortresses, villas… the most comprehensive map of Ancient Rome on the internet.
3. ORBIS – Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World.
Calculator of distances and travel times for the Roman Empire. Google Maps for Ancient Rome, using main roads and sea routes.
4. PASE – Prosopograhy of Anglo-Saxon England.
Similar to 1., a database of names but this time for the Anglo-Saxons. Covers all of Middle Ages, divided by locations, periods, occupations and more.
5. Rural Settlement of Roman Britain. Another detailed map of every archaeological find from Roman Britain.
An even more detailed map of Roman archaelogy than 2., but dedicated solely to Britain, rather than all of Empire. Down to single coin finds.
6. Omnes Viae: Google Maps for Tabula Peutingeriana
Similar to the ORBIS map, but using data only from Tabula Peutingeriana, the only remaining map of the Late Roman Empire. Also has the viewer of the Tabula reconstruction.