Please welcome Nicole Zoltack, fantasy and paranormal romance author. She writes female knights! Awesome!
When people think of female knights, they think of one of two things: they didn’t exist or Joan of Arc. But, actually, there were female knights back in the Middle Ages. An entire order of female knights for that matter – the Order of the Hatchet, the year 1149.
Now, these women were definitely kick ass. Their men had gone off to fight a battle, so the Moors thought that the town of Tortosa would be ripe for the picking.
After all, what would a bunch of females, old geezers, and some kids do? Well, those females pushed back the Moors and defended the town. Raymond Berenger established the Order.
These females knights most likely did not ever fight another battle and the Order most likely died out when the last of its members died, but they enjoyed many privileges that women back in the Middle Ages did not enjoy. They took priority over men in public assemblies. For a time period in which women had basically no rights and were treated as less than second class citizens, this was huge.
The dames, as they were called, were also exemption from taxes. Wouldn’t that be nice? But the biggest boon of all had to be self satisfaction, for had the Moors overtaken the town, mostly the women and their children would have been sold into slavery, if not killed outright.
When I first learned about the Order of the Hatchet, I immediately pictured a young girl pleading with her king, asking to becoming a knight, citing those brave women as a bargaining chip. And that is how I came up with the idea for Aislinn, the protagonist of WOMAN OF HONOR.
The story starts with Aislinn as a young girl. Seven almost eight. In the Middle Ages, boys were taken from their families to the castle to train to be a knight at seven. Children back then were far more advanced versus today’s children.
Children worked in the family business at a much younger age than one would think children would be able to nowadays. It was a product of the harsh times they lived in between constant wars and diseases. A large percentage of children died before their first year.
So young Aislinn approaches her king and asks to become a knight, just like I had envisioned. We know her argument for becoming one, but what was her personal reason for such a lofty goal that most girls back then would never have even conceived a possibility? Aislinn’s much older brother had just been knighted and shortly afterward was killed by a group of bandits. Although her mother is pregnant and might have a son, Aislinn wants to follow tradition and become a knight, even if doing so is rather untraditional.
To say that she has a hard road ahead of her is definitely an understatement! But she never gives up trying to realize her dream and will do whatever it takes to earn her shield. Time and again, Aislinn struggles to do what is right and save the day, and somehow loses her heart along the way. Aislinn will do anything to become a knight. She’s willing to give up everything for the kingdom of Arnhem: her childhood, her life, even her heart. No matter the pain it brings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole Zoltack loves to write strong female characters in fantasy and paranormal romances. When she isn’t writing about knights or superheroes, she’s riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course) or going to the PA Renaissance Faire dressed in period garb. Her favorite current TV show is The Walking Dead. More about Nicole at www.NicoleZoltack.com.
Desert Breeze Publishing: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/zoltack-nicole/