Those who know me know that I’m a travel geek and suffer from #wanderlust. This month, in honour of my book release of Once Upon A [Broken] Time, I will walk you through the places, art and literature mentioned in [Stolen] Series.

As the story starts, you will find yourself lost in Hue Castle — a barren, colourless castle which is closed down for the public for centuries. Though the castle is purely fictional, some part of it, including the entire series, is a combination of my imagination and travelogues. 

In the second book of the series, Once Upon A [Fallen] Time, readers will be introduced le Roman de la Rose, which King Stefan happens to admire.

Le Roman de la Rose (The Romance of the Rose) by circa 1230, Guillaume de Lorris, is a medieval poem written in Old French and presented as an allegorical dream vision. 

The main characters are purely fictional but I have introduced the characters of Cosimo de’ Medici and the Renaissance artist: Donatello, who happen to be in 1415. For my novel, I made them travel to England 🙂

Cosimo di Giovanni de’ Medici (27 September 1389 – 1 August 1464) was an Italian banker and politician who established the Medici family as effective rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance. His power derived from his wealth as a banker, and he was a patron of arts, learning and architecture. (Source: Wikipedia)
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi ( c. 1386 – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello … bas-relief, and is one of the first examples of one-point perspective in sculpture. Donatello also restored antique sculptures for the Palazzo Medici. (Source: Wikipedia)

Both the characters shown in the novel are young gentlemen of the noble class and will be introduced in book 4, Once Upon A [Hidden] Time.

The main character Edward Hue is an admirer of poetry who often quotes Dante’s verses from the Divine Comedy.

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is a long Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Hue Castle itself is inspired by some of the existing and marvellous architectures of time. One of the main inspiration is Windsor Castle of the UK due to its enormous size.

Myra Farrow, our female protagonist is a lover of art. In one of the scenes in Once Upon A [Broken] Time, she admires the digital painting of Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer — a painter of the Dutch Golden Age.

Other places, art and literature used in [Stolen] Series for inspiration are:

The Royal Palace of Madrid: (Spanish: Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish royal family at the city of Madrid, although now used only for state ceremonies. The palace has 135,000 square metres (1,450,000 sq ft) of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms.

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is the title that Edward FitzGerald gave to his 1859 translation from Persian to English of a selection of quatrains (rubāʿiyāt) attributed to Omar Khayyam (1048–1131), dubbed “the Astronomer-Poet of Persia”. (Sources: Wikipedia)

In my story, Myra is being gifted Hue’s own and personalized version of Rubáiyát by King Stefan.

Cligès (also Cligés) is a poem by the medieval French poet Chrétien de Troyes, dating from around 1176. It is the second of his five Arthurian romances; Erec and Enide, Cligès, Yvain, Lancelot and Perceval. The poem tells the story of the knight Cligès and his love for his uncle’s wife, Fenice. (Sources: Wikipedia)

The poem will be introduced in book 4: Once Upon A [Hidden] Time.

I hope you enjoy the series as much as I did writing it. For further details, please visit my website

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