When I wrote the first draft of Queen of Sind, I wrote it on the fly. I had a lot of fun writing it, but I did very little worldbuilding. It was purely laziness. But this week I’m diving into the research hole that is the Ancient Near East, or more specifically Persia. Why Persia? Because Persian women, at least the upper class, had basically the same rights women have today. Which is *rare* in Antiquity.
And I have only started the research and I am having so much fun. Right now I’m reading Introduction to Zoroastrianism by P. Oktor Skjaervo. It is really good, and available as a free pdf from Harvard. More importantly, I have had it for years.
One book about religion wont get me far, though. So, I just ordered Life in the Ancient Near East. This is the kind of book that I love. Packed fill with details about their lives and death. Don’t get me wrong. I like reading about history. It is intresting and it often gives me new ideas. But books about their lives gives me the knowledge to make sure that the details are correct. And to me, as fantasy writer, that is worth more than having knowledge about history that I probably wouldn’t use directly.
One thing that I probably would use, if just as inspiration, is knowledge about their legends and myths. Luckily, I know the library should have an e-book copy of Shahname.
I’m sure that there will be a lot of more books read for inspiration and research. But this is were I’m starting 🙂