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Put on the Armor of Light

In talking about the Historical Fantasy Storybundle that I'm currently in, one of the things that delights me is sharing space with several novels that I love. One of them is The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett. Two decades before I even dreamed of writing a book with Melissa Scott, I read and enjoyed The Armor of Light. It became one of my touchstones in how to write alternate history and historical fantasy in general.

Like many alternate histories, it begins with a small change -- Sir Philip Sidney, Elizabethan courtier par excellence, did not die of his wounds after the Battle of Zutphen in 1586. Because he did not die, he prevented the murder of playwright Christopher Marlowe in 1593. Thus our two protagonists in an Elizabethan England where magic works the way the Elizabethans believed it did and a murderous magical plot is afoot to kill the queen's heir. Not only is it a tremendously entertaining concept that is executed with pure love of the period, but the final solution to the magical problem is so elegant and lovely that I have reread it many times. If you love historical fantasy, this is a classic. Right now it's available in Storybundle with some other fantastic books in the genre. Go check it out!