For more than three centuries after the Mongol conquest of 1240, the rulers of the Golden Horde played a major role in Eurasian politics, both directly and indirectly. One of the states most affected was Russia, where the ruling house of Moscow played the post-conquest political game so successfully that it made itself the center of the resurgent Russian tsardom. In her Legends of the Five Directions
series, C. P. Lesley
explores the dramatic potential of that distant and often conflict-ridden world.
The Swan Princess
(Five Directions Press, 2016)--third in the Legends series--returns to the story of Nasan, heroine of book 1, The Golden Lynx
. Despite her high standing as a Tatar khan's daughter and two years of marriage to a husband she has learned to love, Nasan has yet to bear a child. As a result, her status within her in-laws' household is compromised. Her husband has been sent faraway; her snippy sister-in-law seldom misses a chance to score a point; and her mother-in-law, the mainstay of the household, has fallen seriously ill but is nonetheless determined to undertake a pilgrimage to a northern monastery. Nasan has reached her wit's end when her older brother offers her an out: ride ahead and prepare the family estate for visitors while secretly investigating a renegade member of their family.
Nasan jumps at the chance to strike out on her own. What she does not know is that her most bitter enemy has escaped from his Arctic prison, and he wants nothing more than to avenge himself on his relatives, starting with Nasan.
C. P. Lesley is the host of New Books in Historical Fiction.
Joan Schweighardt, author of
The Last Wife of Attila the Hun and five other novels, conducted this interview. Find out more about her at www.joanschweighardt.com.