Eleven books, fourteen months and three thousand pages later, all the high priority items on my reading list have been completed, finally. This experience has been quite rewarding, though sometimes demanding. I am therefore both happy and relieved to conclude my Medieval Warfare Reader with three superior titles that are not to be missed (or at least the first two — see below on why) by both the history aficionado and the serious Fantasy writer. My opinion on how to leverage the knowledge of actual history in writing Fantasy has been made clear enough in the first and second part of my series; I will not push that particular topic any further here.
The only acceptable reason for not blogging is that I should be writing instead. I am not. In the past months, I have rather spent most of my free-time reading, which I hope is at least near-acceptable. My defense? Research. Good and well-crafted stories are written by those who know what they are talking about and I believe this holds true with Fantasy just as well.
Everything I have written so far on this blog adds up to the suggestion that Fantasy is not really defined by elves, dragons or magic, but rather by the use of the ancient past as a vehicle for stories. At this point, however, it should be quite obvious that a further qualification is needed: if the past matters so much, then what is the difference between Fantasy and History? Are they any different? Of course they are. But in my view, a simple scale opposing fact to myth is a gross and insufficient measure of their demarcation.