|James Sutter Executive Editor|
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So for anybody with the book, how does Ular Kel read? Is it hunnic, sarmatian/scythian, or mongol, or a kickass combo of all three?
It reads like pure, unadulterated joy. Like falling into bed when you're exhausted. Like an angel descending from on high with a lime slurpee when you're dying of thirst in the desert.
*ahem* Sorry, not sure where that came from. *cough*
In terms of real-world analogues, the most direct inspirations were the Kazakh and Mongol peoples, plus cities like Samarkand and Jerusalem. I generally try not to do straight-up reinterpretations of real-world cultures, though. While I love real-world history and anthropology, I believe in intentionally diverging from it (in part because it makes the writing process a lot more fun for me!). So a lot of the parts of the city that I'm most excited about—the Trade Palace, the Water Lords, the Spire of Azi, the Iridian Fold—have no direct historical precedent I'm aware of. (If they do, though, please tell me—it blew my mind a few years ago when someone compared Kaer Maga to Kowloon Walled City, because it was such a great analogue!)