“Everyone aims at the same meaning, but many are the versions of the story.”
—Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent
Timurhan loves battle, and Elena thinks that love is a battle. This agent of the Sultan and local witch get caught up in a cruel magical experiment, as well as other.
Timurhan’s mission was supposed to be simple: travel from the Ottoman capital to a Bulgarian village overseen by a rebellious magistrate, use the magic of his voice to seize the magistrate’s mind, kill him, and ride home. But the magistrate’s magical resources are greater than Timurhan could have expected, and the rebellion is more vile than he could have imagined. Also, there is a girl.
Elena is an ensensoress, using the charm in her fingers and the textures in the amulets she carves to control people’s minds. When the evil nature and disastrous scope of the magistrate’s plan become apparent, she charms Timurhan and forces him to protect her and her people.
If they are to keep themselves alive and the town safe, Timurhan and Elena must find reasons to cooperate. In the mean time, mind control will have to do.
CHARMING LIES is a historical fantasy set in Ottoman Bulgaria, where art is mind control and love is easy to mistake for compulsion.
STATUS: Shopping to publishers
Ars Magica: How to tell a charming lie.
St. Lazarus’ Day: A spring ritual
Ottoman-era Bulgaria with pictures!
Vocabulary and Slice of Life from Koprivshtitsa, an architectural preserve.
Other information on my tumblr research page
NARRATIVE OF TRAVELS EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA, THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY by Evliya Efendi. Translated from the Turkish by the Ritter Joseph Von Hammer
Medicinal plants from an old Bulgarian Medical Book by Anely Nedelcheva
Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Mehrdad Kia
Bulgarian Holidays and Traditions by Maria Prodanova
Koprivshtenski pesni published by the community center (chetalishte) of the town of Koprivshtitsa
Ottoman kit (for information on uniforms)
Inspiration (I want Charming Lies to be like this when it grows up)
…is what I was aiming for, but what I actual got was…
The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis
Lexicon by Max Barry
Quarantine by Greg Egan