THE BULLS OF WAR
by E.M. Thomas
As clouds of civil war gather over a dying empire, two friends and generals find themselves on opposite sides of the factional divide. Now, they must sacrifice everything to save themselves from their realm and their realm from itself.
Ten years, two months and this morning, Kyrus thought, blinking away drops of sweat. Yet still… still it’s not any easier.
For the thousandth time, his hand slid to a blade’s hilt, body braced against a gust ripping through the sweltering berry thicket. Wide eyes scanned the crush of steamy greenery all around him, ears hearing only his own short breaths and a heart that pounded like a drum. Even as the wind petered out, his anxiety held firm, held him frozen in place.
Ten bloody years of this… a wonder I’ve any wits left about me at all. He grunted. Or do I have any?
He’d grayed since then, since his first days in Valogar. Wrinkled too. Bones ached from the constant marching, mind frayed from the perpetual fear of knowing they were out there, somewhere, always itching to add another Rokhish scalp to their belts…
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AN INTERVIEW WITH E.M.
-What inspired you to become a writer?
At its core, I write because I love a good story – specifically an epic story, one with big stakes and a broad scope. I like stories with believable characters, characters who are deeply realized with actions, thoughts, and words that go beyond mere plot devices. Once I had an idea of what I like to read (and watch on television or movies, for that matter), I knew it was time to combine that with my love of writing – and voila, The Bulls of War was born.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
I’d like to see the capital of Dray’gon Rokh. I’d like to see its looming white walls and towers, its immaculate temples and sculptures, its massive marketplace which dominates the center of the city. I’d like to see the rivers that flow through it, the sacred groves that dot the various sectors of the city. Most of all I’d like to see the diversity of peoples roaming the streets, races of men and women descending upon it from all corners of Andervold, each trying to make their fortune.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
One of the things I researched most was travel times in the ancient world, specifically in the era of the Roman Empire. When dealing with timing during that period, there is a very stark dividing line – roads or no roads. The Romans built a staggering road system which connected the farthest flung regions of their Empire with the rest; the presence of a such a luxury could cut travel times (compared to non-road options) by as much as 75-80%, sometimes even more. Thus, when crafting the Rokhish Empire, a realm that expands for a thousand miles in multiple directions, it was important to me to have travel times that reflected an analogous situation in Ancient Rome.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Probably Treos Lokner. Treos has lived a long, tragic, and adventure-filled life from several regions of the Empire, yet he still looks upon life with a sense of bemused detachment, accepting his fate for what it is. He keeps a positive air about him and likes nothing more than to relax with a good drink, a good friend, and a tale a or two.
-What do you enjoy reading in your free time?
I split my reading about 50/50 between non-fiction and fiction. To the former, I enjoy any and all things ancient Rome and Greece; more broadly, I like military history. With fiction, I primarily read fantasy and historical fiction. Whichever the subject, however, I certainly don’t get to read as much as I’d like!
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I think it’s important to write the types of books that you like to read. Consistent with that, I find it unlikely I’ll ever branch too far beyond the genres of fantasy and historical fiction, as those are the genres I enjoy the most. As an exception to that, I have a strong desire to write a sci-fi novel that takes place in the near future. I’ve already story-boarded the novel, but again, the sequels to The Bulls of War as well as an entirely separate historical fiction will be my first and foremost priority in the coming years.
E.M. Thomas is the author of two novels – an epic fantasy (The Bulls of War) and a historical fiction set in Ancient Greece (Fortress of the Sun). E.M. Thomas was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth – while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.
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E.M. Thomas will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway