Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HFVBT: Of Fathers and Sons by Evan Ostryzniuk--Guest Post and {Giveaway}

Giveaway Winner--Charlotte Wills

Gi
Please welcome Evan Ostryzniuk as part of his virtual tour while promoting his novel, Of Fathers and Sons.

 How Niccolo d’Este became great

The grand historical figure that resides at the heart of my latest novel, Of Fathers and Sons: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance, is Niccolo d’Este (1383-1441), Marquis of Ferrara and future Renaissance Man. As an adult, he was a respected military commander, major patron of the arts, kingmaker in regional politics, rapacious consumer of knowledge, culture and women, and a brilliant swordmaster. He was one of few men who truly epitomized the age of the Renaissance. He has been lauded by contemporaries and historians alike, and left a powerful legacy. But what of his childhood?

Of Father and Sons delves into the lesser known story of how the boy became the man. Children, on the whole, are absent from the records of the time and poorly represented in historical fiction. Nevertheless, I endeavor to show the origins of not just any prince of the era, but the prince, the prototype ruler for Machiavelli. What research I was able to collect strongly suggested that the seeds of Niccolo d’Este’s greatness were very much sown in childhood. He was the only (illegitimate) son of the previous Marquis of Ferrara, who from the moment he donned the mantle of power at the tender age of ten years old was betrayed by a clique of vassals and threatened by his uncle. He was tutored by some of the best and most progressive minds of the day, took arms training from one of the European masters, and entered the cutthroat world of Italian politics while more of his contemporaries were still playing with their friends.

Of Fathers and Sons joins Niccolo at the most pivotal point in his life. His lands are being governed by a regency council; he has not completed his education or training; he has no battlefield experience; his allies are wavering; his uncle has just won a series of military encounters, depriving him of land and men. In short, he is comprehensively insecure, and so he cannot wait any longer to decide his own fate. Should he fight on? Should he hide behind the regency council? Should he run away? How might he satisfy his father’s legacy? When must he assert himself as ruler?

To recreate the life of Niccolo d’Este as a twelve year-old boy caught in the maelstrom of medieval intrigue, I studied his life as an adult, collected the few sources available about his childhood, plotted his whereabouts during these tumultuous months, reviewed the key decisions made during the early years of his rule, considered the unique situation of Ferrara, considered his enemies, and examined his father’s legacy. Then, from this mass of information I calculated his likely doubts and how he might have responded to them. Niccolo was wisely counseled, to be sure, but the failure of his regency council to end the threats to his rule up to the point of the beginning of the novel must have exasperated and frightened him.

Yet, during those crucial early months of 1395, somehow he was able to keep his act together, so to speak, then gain the advantage that saved his reign and propelled him into a fantastic career. There must have been a series of catalyzing events that transformed him. After all, he was heavily outnumbered, had lost a lot of territory, allies had not yet come to his aid, vassals were leaving him at an alarming rate, was bereft of practical experience, and was very young. I speculate that someone from outside his retinue had a brief but profound influence on him, pushing him to grow up fast and make tough decisions. After all, he married several times, was head of a papal army at the age of twenty, had one wife and son executed, made the University of Ferrara one of the best in Europe, was not afraid to take in refugee scholars and artists, and ensured that his lands were wealthy, strong and intact for his heirs. And that influence might have come from somebody like the wayward squire Geoffrey Hotspur.

About the book:
Publication Date: March 6, 2013
Knox Robinson Publishing
Hardcover; 330p
ISBN-10: 1908483156

Of Fathers & Sons is the second book in the English Free Company series set in the late Middle Ages. The English Free Company is led by Geoffrey Hotspur, an orphan-squire and ward of the mighty Duke of Lancaster, whose driving ambition is to become a knight and serve a great lord. Anyone who enjoys the stories of Bernard Cornwall and Jan Guillou will find more than an echo of their exuberant prose and lively characters in Of Fathers & Sons: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance. Supported with extensive research done by a professional historian, Of Fathers & Sons utilizes true personages and events to weave a vivid tapestry of this exciting time of transition.

Of Fathers & Sons: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance takes place in 1395 when the conflict between rival branches of the mighty Este family over the succession to the strategic Marquisate of Ferrara reaches its climax. The Este lands are vulnerable. The unexpected death of the powerful Marquis Alberto d'Este in 1393 has left his ten-year old son, Niccolo, as his sole direct heir. Though born out of wedlock, the pope himself legitimized the boy’s birth, but in an age when great lords ruled by the sword as much as by the laws of inheritance, having a boy lead the family can be a sign of weakness.

Made unhappy by the father, several Este vassals want to humble the son, and they see their opportunity in the essential weakness of Niccolo’s minority rule. Championing their cause is the head of a humiliated branch of the Este family who is not only a famous condottiere, but also a powerful captain of the ambitious lord of Milan. Fearing that civil war will lead to a shift in the already fragile balance of power in favor of the hated Milan, the city-states of Florence, Venice and Bologna combine to keep the Este inheritance in Niccolo’s hands. If Niccolo falls, the great powers of Italy will be plunged in to war.

Geoffrey and Niccolo are confronted by the same questions: How can an orphan find his place in a society informed by patriarchal relations? For how long must a son honor the wishes of his father? When does the boy become the man?

Before Henry won his miraculous victory at Agincourt, before the Borgias became infamous, before Constantinople fell to the Turks, there was Geoffrey Hotspur, a man as tall as Charlemagne and armed with a sword that rivaled Excalibur. With little money, fewer friends and no name, Geoffrey Hotspur has little choice but to forge his own path towards knighthood.

A thrilling continuation of the story of Geoffrey Hotspur and his English Free Company, Of Fathers & Sons: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance is at heart a squire’s tale of hope, adventure and ambition in a time of great uncertainty.


About the author:
Evan Ostryzniuk was born and raised on the prairies of western Canada. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.A. in History and Modern Languages and an M.A. in Modern History, Evan crossed the ocean to do post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge, concluding four years of research with a doctoral thesis on the Russian Revolution. He then found his way to Eastern Europe, where he took up positions as a magazine editor, university lecturer and analyst in the financial services sector before rising in the ranks of the local publishing industry to become Editor-in-Chief of a popular weekly.

Evan Ostryzniuk currently resides in Kyiv, Ukraine near a very large candy factory. He has travelled extensively, including the locations of his novels. Of Fathers and Sons: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance is his second novel.

www.evanostryzniuk.com


Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #FathersAndSonsTour

Watch for my review of Of Fathers and Sons...coming next week!


GIVEAWAY:
One hardcover copy of Of Fathers and Sons to a winner in the U.S. or U.K. Please leave a comment and be sure to leave a way to contact you if you win (email address, Twitter handle, etc). Last day to enter is Wednesday, June 19 at 11:59pm CST. Good luck!

Photobucket

Follow on Bloglovin

16 comments:

I apologize for word verification, but I turned it off and had close to 50 spam comments within 12 hours (nobody has time for that) so I had to turn it back on. Sorry!

This blog is Award Free. I appreciate your thinking of me for an award, but please know that your comments are my award. Thank you!

  1. Most of our own time, they are simply there to commemorate.
    In all likelihood are a small cesspool service provider had built a cesspit.


    Also visit my homepage: wakacje na wyspach kanaryjskich

    ReplyDelete
  2. Discover the best printed t shirts CT has on offer you.

    T-shirt printing is get gone the or even additional, nevertheless
    hardly ever equally.

    Visit my weblog ... zespół muzyczny Poznań

    ReplyDelete
  3. In the current methods sweat is considered to be secreted out
    which clears the waste on the body. There is the perfect sense of efficiently being and wholeness.


    Feel free to surf to my web site: adwokat sprawy cywilne łódź

    ReplyDelete
  4. The DISH Network audio channels can always be found under how the name of Dish Music.
    Possess forgotten the audio tracks tradition of an individuals nation.


    Visit my web blog :: lotnisko pyrzowice

    ReplyDelete
  5. Each of these homes are inflated with all significant amenities.
    There may be more of a sense of isolation and noise
    remote location in a Ottawa two-story home.

    Feel free to surf to my site - zespół weselny

    ReplyDelete
  6. Filling out as much reports as you can, will work to your advantage.
    For instance, the new 12 months times of company carriers are large properties.



    My web page zespół na wesele

    ReplyDelete
  7. The adjuster's do the job will depend with regards to the least quanity paid to ones claimer.

    My website adwokat sprawy cywilne łódź

    ReplyDelete
  8. Achievable file a accidental injury case without requiring you to hire
    an legal representative. Sometimes, this often is best done because of
    the legal system.

    my web-site ... taśmy led

    ReplyDelete
  9. By way of disclosure, I know Evan Ostryzniuk...but that doesn't bias me for this book. What biases me for his books is the superb writing and the excellent research. I am not a huge fan of historical fiction (comparatively), but I found that the characters and the quick moving and fast-changing story were riveting, compelling and fascinating! I didn't know much about this time in European history, and now I feel as I do...and though I do recognize that it is fiction, I also note that Evan would not write anything without a strong underpinning of truth, vetted by research.


    All in all, I can't wait for the next installment, and send waves of applause and celebration to this current tome!

    ReplyDelete
  10. For details see the teaching resources provided here.

    So let's have a look about how provide security to your current sensitive information.

    my webpage - zespół na wesele

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are already a lot of applications that are out in the market that contain
    viruses, which can give out simple to serious threats to the users.
    If you wish to answer a quick question, again,
    use your Smartphone to go online and search for that quick answer.
    Dagar's invention will use quite the same technology.

    My homepage :: samsung galaxy s4

    ReplyDelete
  12. This was the approach we used when we developed their universal
    roulette programme.

    Also visit my blog post :: organizacja wczasów

    ReplyDelete
  13. At last, people are quenched that has what you end
    up with built, put keep in mind this apart for a bit of
    time. Usually have gotten the wrong impression from entitlement to live "Royalty Free Music".


    Here is my homepage dormitor.pl

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for stopping by, Brian. I'm reading the book right now and very much enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for this nice give away.
    CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. Natalie OstryzniukJune 8, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    A fantastic novel telling the reader about 14th century Italy and its intrigue. The main characters are captivating and one wants in anticipation for the next adventure by Hotspur and his cohorts.

    ReplyDelete
- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf