This page will answers questions about events, people, or things that occur in the novel.  It will be a work in progress.  Material will be added as new questions come in from readers.


QUESTION:  Was there really a giant species of cattle during the Iron Age?

ANSWER:  The giant bull that plays a role in this story was a member of the Aurochs species.  This is a giant species of cattle that flourished during the Ice Age, and managed to hang on for thousands of years after the end of he Ice Age. It is believed that the modern domestic cattle descended from the Aurochs.  The last surviving Aurochs died in Poland at the end of the Middle Ages.  A more complete account of the Aurochs can be found in the book's glossary.


QUESTION:  You have listed the Scythian priest and wise man Abaris as being a fictional character.  Isn't there something in history about him?

ANSWER:  Yes, and no.  Greek historians do mention a Scythian wise man called Abaris, but the time he lived, or which faction of Scythians he dwelled among can not be pinned down.  I did fashion my Abaris character after the one mentioned by the Greeks, but because of the uncertainty of dates and all other details I had to term him a "fictional" character.


QUESTION:  The techniques and materials used for manufacturing the Scythian poisons sounds a bit far fetched.  Did you just make it up?

ANSWER:  No.  The descriptions of the Scythian poison manufacturing came from a delightful book called "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological & Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World."  By Adrienne Mayor.  She in turn got much of her information on this topic from the Ancient Greek sources.


QUESTION:  Your description of the Scythian Horse Sacrifice and Bull Sacrifice sound like so much "Bull."  Certainly people never did that!

ANSWER:  The details on the combination Horse Sacrifice and wedding ceremony for the chieftain, and the Bull sacrifice with a human victim sewn up inside while still alive came from a wonderful book by J.P. Mallory called:  "In Search of the Indo-Europeans."  Different aspects of, and variant versions of, both the horse ritual and the Bull/Human sacrifice were practiced in one way or another by nearly all of the early Indo-European tribal groups from India to the British Isles.