The Coronation By Justin Newland and Meet the Author #HistoricalFantasy #Thriller Books

I’m absolutely happy to have Justin back. His The Gene of Isis was great, and this story, even if very different, feels just as good. Plus, man his cover are all so so good! Also, this is the book’s second birthday so it’s a real CELEBRATION!

The Coronation By Justin Newland released in January in the Historical Fantasy, Supernatural Thriller genre.

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 it is requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian captain strikes her. His lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour and 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 of the course of human history…

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Author Bio

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

His Books

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.

The Old Dragons Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times. 

His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery.  

The supernatural and fantasy elements of the novel.

I enjoy writing about supernatural/fantasy elements. They lend the story an added dimension, an extra lift, a sense of the unusual.

I don’t like the term fantasy, because I try to endow the characters with experiences that are what you might call paranormal, things like dreams, visions, clairvoyance, E.S.P., things of this kind.

I also try to introduce these supernatural elements in such as way as to make them as believable as possible, so that they integrate as fully as possible into the character’s arc and the plot threads.

The Coronation is set in Eastern Europe, specifically in East Prussia, a now defunct Baltic state sandwiched between the modern states of Poland and Lithuania.

Eastern Europe is rich is folk lore and custom, which is where I trawled for most of the supernatural elements in the plot. It was more a question of what of what to leave out that what to include.

During the Great Enlightenment, the previously-rigid shackles imposed by the Catholic Church were slowly being loosened, allowing the development of original philosophical and political ideas and the exploration of new scientific fields such as biology. Many of the seeds of our modern times were sown during the Great Enlightenment. The 1760’s was a time when giants such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Adam Smith, Carl Linnaeus, Immanuel Kant, and James Watt bestrode the world.

Today we live in large urban conurbations with mass movements of people.

The 18th Century saw the shift from the agrarian-based feudal society built around peasant workers and landowners (or Junkers as they were called in Prussia) to an industrial factory-based one with huge anonymous cities. In those days, village people still retained a strong binding relationship with the land on which they lived, expressed through folk customs, song, dance, story and the like.

They conceived folk such as Til Eulenspiegel, a German peasant trickster, a character I explored in the novel (that’s him in the picture). There was a love affair between the people and the land on which they lived – this was Arcadia. In Europe, this was the last time when this pastoral vision of harmony with nature was prevalent.

At the head of each chapter, I used sayings and proverbs from those times to provide an authentic voice.

Here’s a well-known proverb of the times:

“The maid who rises on May morn,

And washes in dew from the old oak tree,

Will forever after handsome be.”

Medieval Folk Saying

Here’s another; this one’s from the poem, Annie of Tharaw.

“Through forests I’ll follow and where the sea flows,
Through ice and through iron, through armies of foes,

Annie of Tharaw, my light and my sun,
The threads of our two lives are woven in one.”

Using the folklore and heraldry of the land of Prussia, which is redolent in the motif of the eagle, I conceived the idea of a supernatural entity, the Adler, and the part it would play in the development of the single most important event in modern times – the Industrial Revolution.

Here’s an image of the flag of the Kingdom of Prussia. It pictures the black eagle, and relates to the Order of the Black Eagle, the highest East Prussian chivalric order. It’s enigmatic motto is ‘Suum Quique’, meaning ‘To each his own’. 

As well as telling the story of this exciting, changing time, I wanted to provide an alternative genesis for the Industrial Revolution, and suggest why we live in a world so reliant on technology.

Welcome to the supernatural/fantasy world of The Coronation.

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