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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

✉ Daughter of Aithne: The Silver Web [3] - Karin Rita Gastreich

Today author takes over our blog to tell us  how women in history inspired her fantasy series, The Silver Web.

Daughter of Aithne (, Orb Weaver Press 373 pages) is the final book in the trilogy.

"A tale of female oppression, prejudice, and even deadly seduction, EOLYN touches on issues that are deeply relevant to our own society." -Apex Reviews review of EOLYN, Book One of the Silver Web

“The story's greatest triumph is Gastreich's prose, a consistent blend of lyrical verse and dark imageray....Lush, evocative descriptions carry readers through an unforgettable journey.” –Kirkus Reviews review of SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two of The Silver Web


|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


How Women in History Inspired The Silver Web

by Karin Rita Gastreich

Long before I began writing The Silver Web trilogy, I became an avid reader of history and historical fiction. I have a special admiration for women in history, especially in medieval and Renaissance times. I’ve come to realize how women’s stories have been erased time and again, and I am grateful for the historians and authors who seek to reconstruct those stories and return women to their place as equal protagonists on the stage of history.


All the women I’ve read about – and many that I’ve known in real life – inspired, in one way or another, the saga of The Silver Web. But in the interest of keeping my post to a reasonable length, today I will focus on a contemporary author, Gioconda Belli, who’s work had a lasting impact on me during the formative years of my journey as a writer.

Belli is a Nicaraguan author and poet who has published many works. The one that sticks with me the most is El País Bajo Mi Piel (The Country UnderMy Skin), a memoir of her involvement in the Sandinista Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.


It seems odd that this memoir of modern history would have inspired my medieval fantasy novels, but Belli’s personal story seems to resonate with many universal themes. One of these themes is the importance of poetry and art in maintaining resistance under oppressive regimes. Another, of course, concerns the proactive roles women assume in organizing revolutionary movements.

Belli’s memoir illustrates how even in revolution, women often find themselves marginalized. Men who assert control over revolutionary movements often do this on the (predictably masculine) assumption that what’s good for them is good for everyone. As a result, the situation of women doesn’t necessarily change even as one regime is toppled and replaced by another. This is especially frustrating in cases like the Sandinista Revolution, where women like Belli had a significant role in overthrowing a terrible dictatorship.


Finally, I was deeply impressed by Belli’s honesty when it came to women’s sexuality; in particular, her personal experiences with romance and love. I wanted to achieve that level of honesty in my novels; to paint my characters as complex women whose ambitions and passions are not always predictable, and who do not under any circumstances shape their behavior to serve stereotypical expectations.

Belli is only one of countless women who have inspired me. Reaching deeper into history, I could also mention Elizabeth I, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the Tigress of Forli, among others.



The women of The Silver Web were very much modeled after these medieval and Renaissance heroines, and those of you who know their stories will undoubtedly see their reflections in the pages of my novels.

How about you? What women in history have inspired you, and why?

Daughter of Aithne
Available NOW!

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