I am so close to finishing Embittered, I’m just a few pages short! I’ll certainly finish it up this weekend, though. After that it is editing, which practically takes as long as writing a King Arthur and Her Knight book, but it looks like the first week of February release is within my grasp. I’m reaaaaaaaally hoping I don’t get killed for the ending of this one. It’s not a cliff hanger, but it might leave people…overly intrigued in certain characters. But who knows, I might change the ending a bit after my test reader goes through it.
As we dwell upon King Arthur and Her Knights that brings me to the fun Arthur fact of this post. The sword fighting style Britt uses is historically accurate. (Or at least as fictionalized and accurate as I can make it.) I know we typically picture duels with parries and dancing back and forth, but it wasn’t like that at all. I did a lot of research and looked at some medieval manuscripts that a bunch of very nice professors/sword enthusiasts posted online. These manuals have illustrated pictures that show various techniques. Believe it or not but it wasn’t exactly unusual for someone to toss their sword aside and tackle their opponent before beating on them with their fists.
Swordplay wasn’t honorable–or at least not the honorable we think of. In Embittered Britt is involved in a sword fight (surprise!). One of the moves she uses is basically wedging a sword between the armor pieces of the leg and the foot. I got this idea because one of the sword manuals shows a guy literately STABBING his opponent’s foot, pinning him to the ground so he could slug him. (No, I’m not making this stuff up.) Grappling was also a common technique, and typically instead of parrying a blow it was encouraged to dodge it and then leap at your opponent since they just made themselves wide open.
In spite of the Arthur legends that talk about sword fights lasting for a whole day, these sword fights were really difficult and very fast. Typically they were finished in about three to five minutes. Fighters adopted the mindset Britt has–attack first and keep attacking to keep the advantage–which is why the fights were still incredibly taxing. (It was also why they were short.)
Now yes I did some research about this topic, but don’t take my word for it. There are a lot of varying records about fighting in the middle ages, but I decided to trust the ones that had papers and documents from the middle ages to back them up. The bottom line is we don’t know for sure what fighting was like–which is why King Arthur and Her Knights is still a fictionalized take on battles and fighting.
On a more pleasant note, again I want to give a shout out thank you to the wonderful readers who have been reviewing B&B. I’ve been trying to keep up with emailing out the extra chapter so if you reviewed B&B and sent me an email to tell me over 48 hours ago and I never got back to you please let me know!