Today I would like to welcome you all on my stop of the Blog Tour for The Coronation By Justin Newland and I would like to share a guest post written by the author, with all of you. Thank you very much to Kelly from Love Books Group for the invitation. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Release date: 05 11 2019
Price*: Kindle £1.99 (GBP)/ Paperback £9.99 (GBP)
Kindle $2.99 (USD)/ Paperback $14.37 (USD)
Pages: ~ 216
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.
In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…
Guest post by Justin Newland
The Coronation is my third novel. Like the other two, The Genes of Isis and The Old Dragon’s Head, it’s a historical fantasy.
The main character of The Coronation is Marion, Countess von Adler. She is based on a real life personage, Marion, Countess von Dönhoff who lived at her Junker family estate at Castle Friedrichstein near Löwenhagen, East Prussia. For reasons of discretion, I changed the name of the estate to Castle Ludwigshain.
Much of the inner detail in the novel is derived from the real Countess’ autobiography, Before the Storm: Memories of My Youth in Old Prussia (tr. by Jean Steinberg. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990). Although she lived during the 20th Century, because of her book, I was able to add that rare touch of authenticity and flavour the story with unusual, subtle details. It allowed me to enter not only her pre-Second World War world and then, through imagine what it might have been like to live there during the 18th Century.
A wonderful read, she paints a vivid picture about her upbringing, from the parlour games, her dogs and horses, the names of the staff, to the layout of the rooms in the castle and the out-buildings, and beyond that, the rolling fields, the local villages, and running through the valley, the River Pregel.
She describes the diet, the Christmas meal, the daily chores and the routines of Lutheran prayer and cleaning, right down to the colour of the tunics worn by the housemaids.
Bordering the Baltic Sea, the land of East Prussia is special for several reasons. One of them is the presence of amber – a semi-precious yellow fossilized tree resin – along its Samland Peninsula, where 95% of the world’s amber is found. This fact gave rise to a significant plot element featuring the famous Amber Room, which, at the time of the novel in the 1760’s, was housed in The Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
Marion, Countess von Dönhoff, had much to say about life in Germany during the Second World War, and this extract is perhaps the summit of her mature views:
“I also do not believe that hating those who have taken over one’s homeland … necessarily demonstrates love for the homeland. When I remember the woods and
lakes of East Prussia, its wide meadows and old shaded avenues, I am convinced that they are still as incomparably lovely as they were when they were my home. Perhaps the highest form of love is losing without possessing.”
With such a profound sentiment, added to her sparkling wit and sense of compassion, she was the ideal inspiration for the novel’s lead character, Marion, Countess von Adler. Adler means eagle, and in The Coronation, I wanted to explore an alternative, spiritual genesis for the Industrial Revolution.
Using the folklore and heraldry of the land of Prussia, which is rich in the motif of the double-headed eagle, I conceived the idea of a supernatural entity, the Adler, and the part it would play in the development of the Industrial Revolution.
What, you may ask, is title of the novel, The Coronation, to do with the Adler? Well, to reveal that would be a spoiler. Enjoy.
About the author: Justin Newland writes history with a supernatural bent. His novels are The Genes of Isis, an epic fantasy set under Ancient Egyptian skies, and The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy played out in the shadows of the Great Wall of China. He lives with his partner in Somerset, England.
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.