My entire series is set in an alternate world where magic is real, but the changes I made to accommodate that magic have only played a minimal part up to this point in the books. In Memories of Magic, alternate history has a starring role.
In this book, my main characters are both historians. Olivia is an archaeologist, preferring the hands-on and strictly scientific aspects of discovering the past. Savit is an anthropologist, looking beyond the facts of what was found where and when it was used, to the cultures and people that created the artifacts.
I’ll post another blog closer to the book’s release about the history of anthropology, and where Savit fits in the evolution of the subject, but within the context of Memories, Olivia and Savit are at odds over the scientific rigor of anthropology. Olivia calls it “informed fiction” and Savit thinks of it as giving a narrative to her data.
But now Olivia is actually seeing the story–having visions of the past. And of course, Etta wants to make use of that gift to find out more about the spell draining English magic.
I’ve chosen 1688 as the origin of the drain, and Olivia and Savit quickly learn that it is ancient magic, known as the Aegis Spell. The reason for it to be cast in 1688 is an event known as the Glorious Revolution.
In the real world, the Glorious Revolution came about because James II opposed many of the things that his Parliament wanted. With some exceptions, he wanted more religious tolerance and more power in the hands of the monarch. But the big issue that would eventually see him overthrown was his conversion to Catholicism and the birth of a Catholic male heir.
In my world, the politics are similar, but on magical lines (with their attendant deities) rather than religious. James II is for the Magisterium and chooses his Sorcerer accordingly. His daughters adhere to the Academe, but a son would not. So his eldest daughter Mary and his nephew William arrive from the Netherlands to seize power.
In the real world, there are some mild skirmishes, and James first flees, throwing the Great Seal of the Realm into the Thames. He is then captured by William’s forces. Eventually they allow him to escape to the Continent, and despite an attempt to regain the throne afterward, William and Mary had relatively few problems taking over. That is why it’s called the Glorious Revolution.
In my world, the events follow the same course, but the Great Seal is a magical artifact of kingship and not just a mundane seal. After its loss, William and Mary resort to a different magical recourse to legitimize their rule: the Aegis Spell.
The spell is still in place in 1897. But instead of taking English magic and channeling it through the monarch and then back into the land and people, the spell has been diverted elsewhere. Finding out where and when the change happened will take all of Olivia and Savit’s skills as researchers, and Olivia’s newfound talent of seeing into the past to discover secrets never committed to paper.
The problem? Olivia’s visions are dangerous, and none of the Fays can teach her how to control them. And while Savit has the knowledge needed to help her, his attraction to her gets in the way of his own magic.
Memories of Magic is coming soon!