I was greatly surprised and highly gratified at both the critical and popular response to my last foray into historical fiction. I was thus extremely delighted (and my Dean extremely dismayed) when I was approached by my publishers seeking a second volume. While my prior work was well-received, readers commented that the story felt unfinished. For those readers who have read my earlier work An Empire of Law, you will undoubtedly be familiar with this criticism. It is one with which I must agree.
I confess that when I started out on this literary journey, my aim was to restrict myself to the legal aspects, my area of expertise. Thus, I chose to begin my novel with the attempt on the life of the Emperor, which launched the legal battles that followed and follow it through to the point when Kilthanis D’Endray decided to abandon the law in favor of a more militaristic approach.
In hindsight, that decision was perhaps a poor one, since as I stated in my last foreword, my goal was to entertain as much as inform. Therefore, I felt it incumbent upon me to once again take up the quill and set about finishing the work which I have begun. Thus, I present to you this second volume, An Empire at War. Based on reader comments, I imagine that this volume will be well received, since I was surprised to learn that readers found my brief renditions of battles to be quite well done.
Because of my inexperience in this area, I relied on the help of several experts in the field, primarily at the Imperial War College. I am grateful to several of the faculty there, for their information and advice about tactics and strategy, as well as how to interpret certain decisions. Many of the battles related herein have been extensively studied as part of the College’s curriculum since almost the day the battles were finished. As such, we have a great deal of accurate information about the relative and absolute size of opposing forces, plans of battle and movement, as well as a very well understood hierarchy between and among the several forces which came into play.
As a scholar, I have done my best not to embellish this account too outrageously. I can tell you from my own examination and conversations with those who have studied this area that embellishment was not necessary to make the pages that follow exciting reading. However, as in my previous work, many of the conversations are based on second-hand accounts, or created whole cloth in a manner consistent with the known facts both before and after the conversations in question.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not once again thank those individuals and institutions who made this book possible. I remain indebted to the Imperial Records Keeper for once again allowing me entrance to the Archives. Without her exhaustive knowledge and boundless patience, you would not hold this work of historical fiction in your hands. To the members of the Imperial War College, for their invaluable insights and information, as well as correction of key terms and order of events, my undying gratitude. This book would not be half the work it is without their help. The history department at the Imperial University of Dhe-akatheyo was again generous with their extensive collection of personal correspondence and first-hand accounts of the era. To the School of Law for providing me with an unprecedented second sabbatical in less than five years, I am forever in your debt.
And once again, I must thank you, the reader. It is for you that I originally embarked on this quest and it is for you that I have continued the journey. The fact that you would spend your precious time with me and my fanciful account is gratifying beyond measure.
I remain most humbly yours.
Professor of Law and Legal History
Imperial University School of Law