The US Civil War has been a fascination for me since I was old enough to read. I grew up in Franklin, TN, near the site of an epic, tragic battle, which for loss of life, rivals any single-day engagement of the war. Some day, I hope to have the time and wherewithal to do the necessary research for a Civil War novel, but in the meantime I have taken much of what I love about that conflict and applied it to Breaking the Skies.
I hope this gives the battles in my story a detail and realism that I often find lacking in the fantasy genre. Certainly in most fantasy movies the battles consist exclusively of head-on charges that immediately devolve into man-to-man combat. Tactics mean nothing. Topography means nothing. The flanks and the logistics and the quality of the troops are of no account whatsoever. Only the individual heroics mean anything.
Well, individual heroics are great and all, but I somehow find them less interesting than the great conglomeration of factors that make up real war.
So, how do you take those factors and boil them down to a comprehensible story? Hopefully I took the right lessons from the great writers of history and historical fiction: Michael Shaara, Bernard Cornwell, Cornelius Ryan... Hopefully, there is in this battle, the thrill of individual heroics and the tension of wider understanding that will thrill any reader.
And you might be surprised whose eyes you will experience it through.
This chapter initiates the final battle between the Toxies and the Artoren. The fight will be fierce, heroes will die, and the outcome will not be what anyone had hoped for.