Today I have the privilege of hosting my good friend, Amanda Tero on my blog. She has an amazing fairy tale retelling series that I absolutely love and the third book in her trilogy is coming out in August. To celebrate, she is doing a 3-month long blog tour! Each month will focus on one of the books. As part of the tour, she wrote up a bit of a historical note for her books.
About the Tour
In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. 😉 Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Connect with Amanda
Castles, REAL Castles
I’ve always had a little bit of trouble trying to define the Tales of Faith series. It’s not exactly historical fiction because, even though I’m a stickler for historic facts, the entire kingdom is a fabrication of my imagination. But it’s not fantasy, because it doesn’t have the magical or mystical themes that usually go with that genre. Non-magical fantasy? I’m not quite sure.
Regardless of exactly what genre Tales of Faith is, I did do a lot of research for it. I wanted things to be believable for this “unknown era” I created (14th century, maybe?). There are many things that I decided not to include because when you dig into the real history of the medieval era… let’s just say there is a reason it is known as the “Dark Ages.” Sanitation was pretty much nonexistent (germs were far from being discovered) and cruelty ran rampant. And then there were some things that I decided to go with my imagination rather than history. One of those things is what almost everyone knows and loves about the medieval age: castles. I don’t know about you, but visiting a castle is definitely on my bucket list!
What do you think of when you visualize castles? I’ll be honest, I think of hours playing Age of Empires II with my brothers where the castle was a compact unit that was added around the other buildings. While it is true that some castles are constructed in such fashion, the more I got to digging, the more I realized the expansive options of castle portrayal.
Sometimes, the castle wasn’t a single structure, but rather a fortress which contained many smaller buildings (DK has a great visual here). Castles weren’t built for their grandeur. They were built of necessity. Many times, a moat surrounded the castle to deter the enemy. Battlements circled the top of the walls for stationing soldiers. Narrow windows were built into the castle for archers to shoot through (called arrow slits, loopholes, and arrow loops). In every way, castles were built with military in mind.
The castle I portrayed in “Befriending the Beast” is (in its best state) tidy, orderly, with well-maintained grounds. It is that solitary Age of Empires II type of building with grounds around it—and sounds more like an 18th century palace than an actual medieval castle. There, you see the glories of writing fiction and inventing your own era and rules.
For the Tales of Faith series, I kept the castle pattern very much the same—a singular building rather than a fortress unit surrounding other buildings. These castles served their purpose, but if I were to write another medieval series, I’d definitely toy with the idea of having a different type of castle portrayed. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see.
If you were to invent a castle, what would it include? Would it be more historical or fantastical? Have you ever visited a castle?
If you want a more detailed article on castles, I recommend you visit this site.