Sunday, December 09, 2012

What is Howard Andrew Jones reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Howard Andrew Jones, author of The Bones of the Old Ones.

His entry begins:
Because I’m writing in a version of the 8th century, albeit one where magic and dark horrors actually exist, I always have at least one book underway for research purposes. Right now I’m (re) reading the Shahnamah, or Persian Book of Kings, the epic poem written by Abolqasem Ferdowsi in the early 9th century. The recent prose translation by Dick Davis is pretty captivating, and I just finished a section about the adventures of Sekander, or, as we know him, Alexander the Great. It was fascinating to see the Macedonian conqueror depicted as a mythological figure torn between his drive for adventure and his duties as a monarch. Soon I’m going to be re-visiting a long section about the hero Rustam, who is a little like Herakles, complete with a series of labors.

I began the Shahnamah some years ago so that I’d know some of the fables and legends my characters might have heard, but it wasn’t too long before the sheer imaginative scope and...[read on]
About The Bones of the Old Ones, from the publisher:
As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped from a dangerous cabal that has ensorcelled her to track down ancient magical tools of tremendous power, the bones of the old ones.

To stop the cabal and save Najya, Dabir and Asim venture into the worst winter in human memory, hunted by a shape-changing assassin. The stalwart Asim is drawn irresistibly toward the beautiful Persian even as Dabir realizes she may be far more dangerous a threat than anyone who pursues them, for her enchantment worsens with the winter. As their opposition grows, Dabir and Asim have no choice but to ally with their deadliest enemy, the treacherous Greek necromancer, Lydia. But even if they can trust one another long enough to escape their foes, it may be too late for Najya, whose soul is bound up with a vengeful spirit intent on sheathing the world in ice for a thousand years...
Learn more about the book and author at Howard Andrew Jones's website.

Writers Read: Howard Andrew Jones.

--Marshal Zeringue