Recommendation: The Eskkar Saga by Sam Barone

3 Apr

One of the best things any author can have is a fellow author, writing in the same universe—but in mirror image.  For me, that author is Sam Barone.  While his novels take place about one thousand years after mine, and a bit to the southeast (I’m Black Sea region, he’s Fertile Crescent) both!
of us write about the clash between nomadic horse tribes and the settled farmers who build the first cities. 

 

In my Kalie’s Journey series, I’ve attempt to show enlightened Goddess-worshipers struggling to overcome brutal patriarchic barbarians.  In Sam’s latest book, Eskkar and Trella—the Beginning we find admirable barbarians looking down on rather disgusting “dirt-eaters” (their word for farmer).  In this universe, city folk treat each other as badly as barbarians, but smell considerably worse.  They are shown as cunning and ambitious, but lacking honor, strength and courage.  While not all nomads possess honor—even by their own definition—all demonstrate strength and courage.  We see very little of those things in the villages and towns.

 

What fascinates me in all this is the chance to see a world so similar to mine, yet flipped upside down.  While reading, I constantly found myself admiring the work that went into a well-made bronze sword, or cheering for the lone warrior who could take on a dozen cowardly farmers.

 

Part of what makes this world work for me is that women have such a rotten deal in both societies that it almost doesn’t matter who wins.  The rest is simply outstanding writing.  My goal is to write as well as Sam Barone—but to do it for my team.

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