December Author Spotlight
Jessica K. Knauss Presents Seven Noble Knights
This month I’m hosting an author who’s just about to release her medieval novel,
Seven Noble Knights
It’s a pleasure to introduce her and her work. Here’s a little bit about Jessica and her book in her own words. Enjoy.
I was born and raised in Northern California to wander all over the United States, Spain, and England. The Middle Ages captivated me with bright colors, crazy musical instruments, the spirit of discovery, and wonderful writing done in languages that were just developing. I studied the Middle Ages in an academic context, and had the opportunity to feel the excitement of touching history when I examined manuscripts from the era, but scholarly seriousness never permitted the joy that was roiling inside me to burst out.
My advisor said, “You like to tell stories, don’t you?”
Of course I did. That’s what literature is all about!
While I was taking courses, I read the fragments of an epic poem preserved in a thirteenth-century history book and was captivated. I never wrote anything scholarly about it, but after I earned my PhD, I thought I’d try my hand at NaNoWrimo, and that’s where it finally began to come together. I could write novels about the Middle Ages! My readers would be a willing audience, and I could draw a realistic picture of a rich, exotic world that would make them feel they had traveled in time.
Spain, 974. Gonzalo, a brave but hotheaded knight, unwittingly provokes tragedy at his uncle’s wedding to beautiful young noblewoman Lambra: the adored cousin of the bride dead, his teeth scattered across the riverbank. Coveting his family’s wealth and power, Lambra sends Gonzalo’s father into enemy territory to be beheaded, unleashing a revenge that devastates Castile for a generation.
A new hero, Mudarra, rises out of the ashes of Gonzalo’s once great family. Raised as a warrior in the opulence of Muslim Córdoba, Mudarra must make a grueling journey and change his religion, then chooses to take his jeweled sword to the throats of his family’s betrayers. But only when he strays from the path set for him does he find his true purpose in life.
Inspired by a lost medieval epic poem, Seven Noble Knights draws from history and legend to bring a brutal yet beautiful world to life in a gripping story of family, betrayal, and love.
“Let Seven Noble Knights welcome you to historical fiction! …it’s a rich saga populated with characters you will grow to love (and a few you will love to hate). The ancient empires of Spain are a beautiful backdrop to the struggles of humankind across all generations of all lands: romance, revenge, war, and adventure.”
—Pushcart Prize nominee Reneé Bibby, The Writers Studio