"Guests are sacred to us..."
Like many castles and monasteries of the Middle Ages, the Roq de Rançon always has guest rooms prepared, at the service of pilgrims and other travellers. The Sharai, too, acknowledge the duties of hospitality, as the travellers discover when they arrive at Rhabat. This page shows messages left by earlier visitors to Outremer; read them, and then feel free to add your own...
... and if you would like us to write to you, too, why not sign up for Chaz Brenchley's mailing list?
Misty Chavis from Sneedville, Tn, says:
I have found 3 of the6 books in the Outremer series - and have read two of them alrady - I read a good deal of historical fiction as well as historical non-fiction. I also am involved with many of the Renaissance festivals here in the United States - so any small bit of information that I can obtain is a great help so that I portray my persona correctly.
AKA: Lady Arial Macrath
Robert Farmer from Water Valley in the USA, wrote on Friday, September 15, 2006, to ask:
Do you think you will update this site and add The End of All Roads to the list?
The End of All Roads is listed on the site, but it's true that there isn't much background information given. It gets harder and harder to write about the books without giving away the story!
Is there something in particular you would like to know about?
Renee Solomon wrote from Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday, August 09, 2004:
Love these books.
Have read Tower of the King's Daughter and just finished Feast of the King's Shadow. I am going to the book store to get Hand of the King's Evil today - I hope they have it in stock.
Absolutely enjoyed the first two. They have been sitting on my shelf for nearly a year and a half. I have just had my first baby and love reading while I'm breastfeeding and during the quiet times.
Thanks for such an incredible mind, Chaz.
Kerry Zane, the Norski Dragon, wrote from San Bernardino, in California, USA on Saturday, September 06, 2003 at 08:30:51:
I just finished reading the first three books (well, the first three of the US printings...still have three to go!), and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed them. On my website there is a link that shows all the books I have read this year, and THE DEVIL IN THE DUST, TOWER OF THE KING'S DAUGHTER, and A DARK WAY TO GLORY are my latest entries.
I better hit up my local bookstore for the remaining volumes.
In general, I would say that medieval fantasy is by far my favorite genre of literature. I've often fantasized about writing my own. My ex-wife is more than fantasizing about it...she's doing it!
Mirko wrote from Orasje, Bosnia on Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 00:45:49:
I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL PAGE ABOUT OUTREMER AND HISTORIC VALUES THAT EVERY EUROPEAN SHOULD KNOW!
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Ann Smith wrote from Stalybridge in the UK on Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 23:56:02:
Just read the first book and am into the second. My husband can't understand why nothing's being done around the house but I just can't put these books down.
Liz Nicholson wrote from Stockport in the UK, on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 at 21:44:13:
Read all three books without a break - which is a rare compliment as I usually read series with loads of other stuff in between.The foundation in real history intrigued me and is the reason, I suspect, for the immense appeal of the books. I recently read Guy Gavriel Kay's Sarantine Mosaic, based (in a similar way) on the Byzantine empire, and was similarly impressed.
Is there anything else along the same lines, by you or anyone? I read a lot of fantasy and to find it combined with history is really "fantastic"!!! Please write some more!
Well, the first step is to read everything else Guy Gavriel Kay ever wrote, with perhaps the exception of his first trilogy, the Fionavar Tapestry. That's him working Tolkien and Arthur out of his system; no bad thing in itself, but not the true Guy.
After that it's trickier, especially as I try not to seek this stuff out myself; too worried about undue influence, my trying to do what others are doing already. I'm very impressionable that way. I'm comfortable with Guy as a criterion, he operates in a higher universe than the rest of us, but I don't want to confuse myself with too much alternative input. So I don't read much historical fantasy. Having said which, Manda Scott's Boudica is a remarkable achievement: marketed as historical fiction, you can read it as fantasy if you want to, and either way it's my book of the millennium, so far.
And I'm glad you liked Outremer, and I'm sorry, but I've barely started the next (think Ottoman empire - sort of following in Guy's footsteps through Byzantium, but a long, long way down the road...). It'll be a couple of years before that's out. If you find anything good in the meantime, let us know, yeah...?
Thank you to Lesley Zajac, who wrote from Malden, MA in the USA on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at 15:26:14 to say:
On a trip to England last year I went to the bookstore (doesn't everyone?) and picked up 2 copies each of your Outremer series (thank god they were all there hate having to wait for next book) One set I read avidly and gave other set to the sci/fi buyer of my local book store. We both loved the series and are looking forward to your next series.
To which Chaz replies:
You are clearly a perfect person. Buying the whole series twice is hard to beat; plugging it to to the SF buyer in your local bookstore beats it. I am more grateful than I have room or time to say.
For news of what comes next, keep an eye on my personal website, particularly the journal - I'm working on the proposal right now, and hope to be talking to publishers soon.
Meanwhile, would you like to tell your friendly bookstore buyer that the Outremer series will be published in the States next year? It's coming from Ace in a revised edition, in six volumes, starting in June and publishing one a month until Xmas. I love that schedule; I too hate having to wait for the end of a series, and there's really no point in making us do it where the whole thing has been written already.
Heather, who is the marketing director of Web Submission Services wrote on March 6th 2002:
As you know, if you are not on the first 3 pages of a search result, you will not get any exposure online. I found http://www.outremer.co.uk in Lycos on page 89 for the search term "wind chime part". Not very many Web users have the time or patience for such a lengthy search...
Sally Parker wrote from Harrogate in the UK on Friday, February 1, 2002:
Have read Tower and am halfway though Feast. Have to say that I am definitely enjoying the books, although the first one took me a while to get into. However, I do not agree with the comment that David Eddings is a "talentless no-hoper"! I'm a big fantasy fan, and enjoy the work of many authors, but the Outremer books are more gritty and realistic than many. Looking forward to Book Three!
Dave Rogers wrote from Lethbridge, Canada on Friday, 21st December:
Have completed both of the Outremer books. I have read quite a bit of sf and fantasy and although I do not agree with the previous assessment of writers like Eddings, or Jordan I found these books written in a very earthy manner. I look forward to the third book in this series with a further insight into what the djinni are up to and why they are involved with the human world. since i live in Alberta, Canada, I am hoping that the proposed release date is not in another year ie 2003.
p.fairclough wrote from Manchester, UK on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 at 13:41:11
I read Feast of the King`s Shadow in two days! Enjoyed it enormously. When will the third book be out!!!
erik gerner wrote from Sweden on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 18:17:38
hi i'm a guy at 15 years who is interested in the crusades ...
I would like to buy some of your books but i live in sweden. can i do it anyway?
Yes, you can use the Amazon links to order books anywhere in the world. Or see the home page for information which may help your local bookshop get the Books of Outremer for you.
I stumbled across Tower a few weeks back and took it with me on a three week trip to Cuba - read it on a beautiful strip of beach and it was very conducive. I too found the start confusing but then as Julianne's story started - and yes, when the Djinn appeared - I was hooked (and also waited for him to reappear!). I cannot wait to read the second book - my partner has it now as I got to read the first one first!
Can I say, Chaz, that the part where Sieur Anton and Marron sleep together is one of the most erotic things I have read in a long long time! Fantastic stuff, the whole thing - thanks!
Very much looking forward to the second book, you have a wonderful breadth and depth of imagination, and have exactly right the polite society that rules all by manners and words!
Ja Young Kim wrote on September 1st 2000:
i just wanted to say that you have a pretty good website on Chaz Brenchley and his books.
i'm just like a recent reader and i was just wondering if you know if there is going to be a third book in the outremer series. and if there is, approx. when it is due out =)
Meg Davis wrote:
I was so involved in Tower of the King's Daughter that I didn't realize I was reaching the end so the abruptness of its ending left me frustrated. (Where's the rest of the damn story !!!!!!!! ??????!!!!!!!!)
Chaz Brenchley's writing is slowly seductive in the way he draws the reader in - I usually find myself skipping over descriptions in many books because many authors present too much and leave little for the imagination of the reader. This author's understanding of feeding just enough to spin his tale and yet had enough respect for his reader's ability to visualize made this book a pleasure. (The djinni fascinated me ..... so little written, yet what was written pricked the imagination.)
Steve Savile left the first message of the new year on Thursday, January 20, 2000. He comments:
Beautiful homepage, wonderful atmosphere, I wonder if Saladin is looking over his ethereal shoulder.
You can also visit Steve's website.
Fiona Clements comments:
Thank you very much for introducing me to Tower of the King's Daughter. I found the first 20 pages (or so) rather daunting - he really throws you in the deep end - but it soon became clear that this was my type of book, after all, and then it was keeping me up until 2 a.m. VERY much looking forward to Volume 2.
I think you made a good choice of extract from the book. The encounter with the djinn was the moment when the book really started to work for me.
I read this Tower Of The King's Daughter quite a while ago and I have to say that I think it is the best fantasy I have read since Lord Of The Rings - particularly because it has no similarities to LOTR. It makes Jordan, Eddings, Brooks et al look like the bunch of talentless no-hopers they really are! It has wit, excitement and, most of all, intelligence.
As the S.F. and Fantasy buyer in the bookshop I work in, this is the book I recommend to people when they ask me what they should buy.
Quite simply, if you haven't read the book (and the sequels when they come out!) then you haven't lived.
Carina Stubenrauch wrote to Chaz, who passed the message on:
I've had a look at the Outremer webpage, and it's all I could have hoped for! I'm really interested in history, and the Middle Ages are one of my favourite periods.
Unfortunately, I don't know much about Outremer itself, except that it existed for a time and was ruled by a king. All I know about it I learned from a historical novel called Das Siegel by Wolfgang Hohlbein and tells the story of a Christian boy brought to the Holy Land as a slave (probably one of those poor unfortunates who took part in the Children's Crusade) and who is taken in by a Templar.
Now, this is just my favourite kind of website - feeding fantasy-readers through to the history, and historians through to the fantasy. I can't imagine a finer use for technology, than to link my twin fascinations. Besides which, of course, it's all about Me (though I naturally have no ego worth the mentioning...). Thanks, Jean. I appreciate it. - Chaz