This is a film about Tomiris, the queen and war chief of Scythians who defeated and killed Cyrus the Great around 530 BC.
We used proto-Scythian tribes as the model for the People of the Kurgan, so these are Julie’s people. Archeological evidence suggest that they were probably a bit more blondish, but the movie looks awesome. The featured image for this post is Fight of Scythians with Slavs by Vasnetsov.
I had to take a mental health day so Ryder might be Wednesday or Thursday.
Cris Reads says
Sorry? That’s meant to be shared! It looks great, I love the idea & design.
A Sloth hanging planter! I love it!
this sloth planter is adorable +1
OMG… are there any instruction on how to make the sloth hanging planter????
I found it! This is so adorable that I may have to learn how to knit, ha ha.
Angela Beck says
That was really good! Where did you find it?
Where do I find this and how do I watch this?!?!
I hope your mental health day includes a lovely nap and some yummy treats.
Aman Sidhu says
I did a ton of research into Scythians. I’m definitely going to watch this. The research I’ve done actually aligns with yours, in addition to the blond phenotype there were also indo-scythians who were a darker phenotype. These are the people who settled northern India. I was researching my ancestry. My mother’s maiden name can be traced back to the original tribes who settled and farmed what is now Punjab and Pakistan.
I think, like most large populations, they probably weren’t homogeneous and presented with a variety of phenotypes. 🙂
Some Irish historians in the 19 th century claimed the Irish Celts are descended from Magog and therefore the Scythians/Phoenicians. The Celts did come out of the same area and wandered allover EurAsia. They sacked Rome twice if I remember my history correctly. This is a longwinded way of saying thank you for your research tidbit waking my curiosity. And giving me a fun hour of checking stuff out. Your nuggets of myth and history make your books all the more interesting. Thank you
I agree, they are quite enjoyable and spark interest.
That’s awesome! What an interesting heritage to have and to know!
Thanks for sharing! Looks like something I would watch 🙂 Happy Mental Health Monday!
Lynn the PomMom says
Please take the time to rest and relax, your fans will be happy to see you feel better. Enjoy a nice drink, breathe deeply and evenly, relax your muscles and try to smile. Everything will work out sooner or later. Also, don’t let the number “44” stress either of you out!
As always, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us… and please, take care of yourselves.
We’ll be here when you are ready.
Joe Ellett says
44 was a wonderful number, but 45 is a totalitarian nightmare.
Evil! It doesn’t release on dvd until September. Delayed satisfaction. Looks awesome though.
As a manager, I have to remind people to take vacation/rest days, even if they’re at home. Myself included. Mental health days are good things.
Thank you both for working so hard so we can escape into your worlds.
This looks great! Thank you.
Mental health days are important! 🙂
Ryder can be out when it’s ready to be out
Johanna J says
+ 1 and I’ve added this to my Netflix list. Thanks!
Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll keep my eye out for this movie!
Hope you’re having a relaxing day, recharging your batteries 🙂
I’m in awe! O:
Thank you for sharing this with us and take your time for the mental health day^^
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews, for the post. Mental health days are good for you days. At least I hope so for you.
Here we are under severe weather warning for our Monday tstorm. Grin.
The Scythian are awesome! Have you seen any of the supercool museum exhibits featuring their artifacts? I saw one at the Met nearly 20 years ago now (Scythians:Gold of The Nomads) and the incredible metalwork including some kick*ss horse armor stuck with me vividly ever since. There’s also cool video from the British Museum from a couple years ago. https://youtu.be/MWZhD4cabd0
Thank you so much for writing and posting Ryder in the way you have. It’s been like having a series of delightful, incredibly generous little gifts. I hope it goes without saying that your health and happiness should always take priority.
P.s. I hesitate to say anything because corrections are annoying and I’m sure you’ll hear it multiple times, plus I’m guessing this is just a tired eyes/autocorrect run amok, but it’s Cyrus, not Cyprus.
Thanks for the video mention. I’ve got it queued up to watch!
Everyone needs mental health days.
I used to stress out and then go into my boss and pound on his desk.
Then tell him I need 2 days off. Thursday/ Friday or Monday/ Tuesday . Pick!!
It saved me .
The movie looks very realistic.
Don’t know anything about the Scythians. But I can understand a little from reading about Kate and Roland and now Hugh , Elara.
Rest and talk with some friends.
About pets and kids and food.
Reread some favorite books. Play some fun games, hang out in the pool with the dogs.
No TV, no social media.
Thank you , you are so generous with your talent , but you need to re-charge.
We all need to take better care of ourselves.
Suzette M. says
Enjoy your Mental Health Day!
After reading your post and seeing the Old Guard on Netflix, I’m now picturing Julie as a descendent of Charlize Theron’s character, Andromache. Also, I’m kinda wondering what a sequel to the movie might look like if you guys wrote it. It’s completely in your wheelhouse.
Sara Joy says
Now I’m excited to watch the Old Guard! I had knee surgery (my first!) three days ago, & am finally in the mood to watch a little Netflix. My first two days were nap, walk a little, drink water, maybe take meds if the time was right, nap, repeat. Andy of Scythia, here we come!
Suzette M. says
Shanna Albert says
Loved the old guard and hope for a second one or better yet a series. Wish it had more traditional music added though.
Eleanor Konik says
Aw yea, I love the Scythians. I’m in the middle of a quasi-academic textbook about ancient Amazons right now and the Greeks definitely drew the inspiration for those stories from real women. Can’t wait to find out more about the individuals!
Shannon from Texas says
That sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Would you care to name it?
(I alternate between fiction and non. I’m reading _Too Much And Never Enough_ now, and I need to follow it up with something completely unrelated to current events.)
I love all of the deep history that feeds into the storylines. Plus, when other people use the same history, it makes for all kinds of fun connections!
The Old Guard – the new Netflix movie (franchise?) based on the comic books of the same name – stars Andy, played by Charlize Theron. Andy’s full name is Andromache of Scythia, and since she is immortal they can tie her to all sorts of fun myths throughout history (some details here: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a33284335/old-guard-netflix-andromache-scythia-charlize-theron/).
Also, the board game Scythe features the Crimean Khanate as one of the factions you can play, and the player figurine for that faction is Zehra and her eagle Kar. According to the game mythos, Zehra can see through her eagle’s eyes (https://iron-harvest.fandom.com/wiki/Zehra). The ancient Scythian capital is located in modern day Crimea.
Those are just the connections I thought of off the top of my head – I’m sure there are many more. This is why it’s so fun to read books with real history used as the basis of the worldbuilding!
Here’s to mental health days!! ????????????????️????️????????
(Can’t find a hammock emoji….)
This is so cool!
That looks spectacular!!
That looks cool. She’s in the book Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath, I’m reading. My daughter had to write a report about a strong woman last year for a school project and I stubbled across it.
I love that book! I’ve gifted it to a few friends as well.
Thanks for the book mention. I just ordered it!
Patricia Schlorke says
Yay to mental health days! I have to take those every once and a while. ????
I tried to post something that makes me smile for a shared mental health moment.
You got a sloth plant hanger instead.
The sloth plant hanger us great. Made me smile as did for others. May be inspiration for a new project!
That made me guffaw! Thank you for the link.
thrilled that you are giving yourself time and mental health tlc. i bsolutely love that you have so much real history, research and facts built into your stories, thats part of what makes them so real. thank you!
Just an fyi, I’m loving the historical bend/showing us some of the research you did for your books. Which is a not really subtle way of saying that, if you want to share some of the research stuff you put into the book (even if it only resulted in a few paragraphs in the book itself) I would be all for it and well sated. I love research dives.
I also completely understand not doing so,as it kind of opens the door to historical nitpicking and emails. People can become armchair scholars as fast as it takes to read a wikipedia summary.
Mental health days are vital. Hope it was a good one.
Enjoy your days off. Have fun.
Mental health days are important. Take the time you need.
Floor is Lava on Netflix is great if you want to turn off your brain for a bit.
This movie looks great. How did you find out about it?
Susan Reynolds says
You know, there’s probably a Luby’s cafeteria not too far from you, and they make awesome pecan pies and yummy other stuff. You could maybe have a nice dinner that Someone Else cooked without heating up the kitchen. Curbside meal delivery or touchless delivery to the house? Just a thought. There are times my husband and I just get tired of cooking, and maybe it might help you to take a break.
You know, I’m of the opinion that food tastes better when someone else did the cooking. Not because my cooking is bad, but because someone else went through the trouble of making it… I do not find cooking relaxing at all. My sister on the other hand reckons it’s therapeutic.
It’s therapeutic when you have time for it. Otherwise, not so much. When the kids were young, it was something that had to be fit in for survival, in between work, school, and activities. Now sometimes I have actual time available for it, and it’s much more fun at those times.
Very glad to hear you’re taking the time out that you need. Keep doing that. The world – and, no doubt, your family – is a better place with a healthy, resilient you in it ????????
Ooh, this looks good
I second the comments recommending The Old Guard. Completely awesome!
Richard Cartwright says
Saw this and thought of Julie/Ryder
+1 I like this image
Wow!!!! Bare back, no reins, jumping and archery!!!!Impressive
I’ve been reading Jo Graham’s Numious World series & Mary Renault’s historical fiction, and one of the tidbits I picked up is that saddles hadn’t been invented yet in the time of Alexander. So whole troops of cavalry, including Persian horse archers, conquered the world as they knew it just using a blanket and reins, no shaped saddle or stirrups!
Scythians show up in some of Mary Renault’s work – The Bull From The Sea for one, IIRC. Great reads!
i hope the day included chocolate of some sort and a nice cool shower
This is a Kazakh film and I was hoping to get to see it in the theatres in Kazakhstan(with Russian subtitles, probably…). Alas, all the cinemas are closed so I’ll have to settle for streaming.
Mental Health Comes first! Please take care
Hooray for mental health days! Hope you have a relaxing time! And yes, the movie does look really awesome
enjoy YOUR day. You’re entitled to them. The horde can drink its tea and wait patiently!
Marie S says
Happy to hear you are taking time out, Ilona. We can wait.
Thanks for the insight into Julie’s heritage. She comes from a long line of great leaders and strategists. It feels from her discussion with Luther that she misses who she is whilst having to carry part of Moloch. A battle in itself. She will sacrifice anything for her mother. The power of love of the Daniels-Lennart family.
It is sad her biological mother could not hold the space for Julie when her biological father died. I think the Kurgan line comes from her? I would never change a thing though as Julie had such impact from when we first met her. I keep repeating myself but I was always hopeful for the continuation of the story of Julie and Derek. Thank you so much for allowing us to have what I feel is going to be an epic journey.
Take good care of you and your family. Family comes first. Big virtual hug.
Ahhhh the man on the throne is pretty much how I imagine Roland before the shift. And Tomiris facing him down with the kohl around her eyes. Definitly get Kate vibes when she says mascara catapalts her into exotic territory and Andrea says she looks like a desert princess. That actor is gorgeous.
Enjoy your time off!!! That movie looks cool
I call those days Mental Health days. Have as many as you need:)))
Hope you feel better. I very much appreciate how much you make us the readers feel better during these very tough times.
Glad to read your looking after yourself by taking a mental health day. Take as many as you need. Ryder can wait.
I once read an article about some genetic research into the scythians The got some DNA from a tomb near greece and followed it to the steppes. There they found a young monglian girl that matched. If I remember right she was either a blonde or a redhead. But bottom line the blood of the scythians still lives on
Looks great! You guys always impress me with the depth of your research.
Hope you enjoyed your Mental Health Day!
Happy mental health day! In fact, take two. Rest, and recharge your batteries.
Here is a link to what the Mayo Clinic has to say about laughter relieving stress:
So drag out your old copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, or Earth Girls are Easy, or Young Frankenstein, or whatever movie makes you laugh until your ribs ache; sit back, and enjoy! And forget the stress for a while.
Spaceballs! (the movie) ????????????
My ex-husband was Jewish and I am of Irish extraction so I used to tell people that I was a Druish princess!
I love it! ???? You’d know that anybody that got it had a good sense of humor. ????
Adding to my list of bad-a** historical women.
Cool-looking movie! She has an epic voice with that last rallying speech. Adding to my watch list 🙂
WoW! This film looks amazing! I hope they will at least stream it on Netflix here in the US. There are so many amazing foreign films that never get to our screens… ????
Thank you for sharing that with us! And take all the time you need. We can wait, mental health less so. Wishing you the best.
Bill W says
Mental health days are a must. They have priority.
Mental Health days are awesome! Feel better and enjoy 🙂
Hi Ilona ,
I read cozy mysteries and thought of you. Julia Buckley has a new series. Hungarian Tea mysteries. First is Death in a Budapest Butterfly.
It has a Hungarian family who run a tea house. They sort of remind me of the Baylor family. Only with teapots, paprika and hints of psychic abilities in the female members of the family. And recipes, Hungarian sayings and 2 cats.
It’s a great cozy series for stress. Two books in the series.
I hope this is ok to recommend.
Hope you are feeling better.
I hope this is OK.
I’m googling this right now! Love a good cozy!
Lovely preview. The visuals are epic and the actors are good looking, so watching it was nice. Thank you for the link. As I neither watch movies nor TV, I would never have found it on my own.
I have been playing Tomiris in Civilization VI. I had not heard of her before that, since my history classes (50+ years ago) were not very inclusive. My previous knowledge of Scythians was their amazing metal working that I saw reproductions of in a catalog. I am learning more history on my own than I did in class, for sure.
I am selfishly glad you are taking time off as needed.Hopefully, Gordon will do the same when he feels the need. I really don’t want either of you getting sick of writing. Ideally, the only thing pressuring you should be the need to get the story out of your heads and onto the “paper”. Everyone knows that won’t happen very often, but one can hope.
I am so selfish.
Mental health days are the best! A little time that you can legit call in sick for with the idea that “if I don’t take a day off I’m going to rip someones face off or turn my zoom icon into a skull and crossbones!” Here’s to little umbrellas or yummy beautiful tea on your day.
And FYI, you got me back into knitting with all this talk of beautiful yarn, and I’ve almost finished the granddaughter’s sweater! Thanks!
Jamie Hukill says
Hope your day was lovely ❣️????
I went to an exhibition at the British Museum about the Scythians. It was fascinating. They were big horse people and very gifted with gold metallurgy.
Cool!!! Julie is related to Charlize Theron. Kick ass women.
Judy Schultheis says
Mental health days. I took too few of them when I was working. Take as many as you need. We can wait.
Wow, Julie’s people were fierce. I always imagined them more peace loving because of her ties with the animals. But this fits really well. Thank you!
Ellen LeGros says
Yay for mental health days!
Sandra Carpenter says
Thanks for sharing the historical references and movie trailer! Love all your stories and am thankful you continue to write. I love your sense of humor and enjoy the snippets you share of your personal life. Thanks for all you do! You make a difference!
Stay well. I started meditation about 4bmonths ago using the app Headspace (free 30 day trial…free to those unemployed). I have found it truly helps to focus and quiet my monkey brain.
Mental health days are necessary! Hope you have a good day!
Alisa A says
Netflix just released “The Old Guard,” with Charlize Theron and some other European actors (mostly unknown to me). Charlize’s character is Andy, short for Andromache the Scythian. The movie was surprisingly good. Per Ilona and their recommendations, your mileage may vary and please watch trailer. Also, it is quite violent, but I didn’t feel it was gratuitous (I usually wont watch excessively violent films, but this was done well and not horror).
Just curious. I crochet & while I watch TV, I work on projects. Do you knit while you watch TV or does it depend on the show? Would you be able to since you would have to read the subtitles? I probably could since I like mindless projects that don’t require me to follow patterns over several rows & are fairly easy to do by just glancing down occasionally.
Awesome film… loved it!
The Scythians are so interesting. Love the fairly recent archeological finds. You are brilliant at integrating ancient cultures with your world building. Thanks for all you do.
Bill G says
Looks fascinating, only now I’m left trying to recall what S/F author had a character/characters calling people a Scythian ape.
Take all the health days you need; we can wait.
Get well soon! Sending positive vibes to you ????
Also, the movies looks great and I can’t wait for next part of Ryder.
Michele G says
Mental Health days are important. I hope you return rested & refreshed. I will wait patiently. <3
The level of details they you [both] add into your stories are the things that really attract me to your writing. I love learning about different histories, the legends, the myths the facts & fiction and where it becomes blurred. I love that you care so much about the small details. I also to love kick-ass heroines!!!!
jeanne w parsons says
mental health day? custodial grandparents of 7 and 2 yr old. feel like we need a month. cant wait til school starts.
really cute sloth hanger!
Cherylanne Farley n says
Scrubbly day dealing with health estate settlement attorneys avoiding sad social media news and general disappointing peeps. Shall focus instead on research into AncCiv. Rest. Don’t quit. Rest.
Mari L says
The movie looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Hope you’re feeling a bit better after your mental health day! I’m very excited for the next update, whenever it happens.
Cindy Montalbano says
I’m wondering where I can watch this movie? On what streaming platform would it be available?
Jean Morgan says
WOW! This movie looks really good! Thanks!
Yay for mental health days! Good for you ❤
Off topic but: I just noticed that Blood Heir is set to be released on my birthday! Hooray! I haven’t looked forward to a birthday in – well, more years than I care to count.
Ellen D says
Mental health days are verrrry necessary! Having one today myself.
It looks very interesting! Is the movie going to be on Netflix? and when?
And take care of your mental health first, writing comes later even though we are eager to read more about Ryder.
I’m still recovering from brain fatigue (not sure about the English term) since 1,5 year and it takes time to recover and sometimes it still gets too much and I must take a step back. But it gets better. But family and health first.
Hope for a good recovery!
I am not very tech savvy. I was trying to share a link to a website where 2 guys did a short video (instead you got sloth plant hanger).
This video provided my mental health moment for the day
But I’m glad you liked the plant hanger.
That looks amazing, and that’s the most I’ll ever see of it. I’m so weird. I can read this stuff all day long, never skip a fight scene, can listen to it on an audiobook – cannot watch it. Not for the life of me. So as much as I dig the story, dig the costumes, hard pass for me.
(Although, if KD ever gets adapted, I’d make a serious effort, even if I had to hide behind my hands.)
Take the break you need. We’re good.
You are the best. I am so grateful for your blog. Many thanks for Ryder.
Thank you for being honest about taking a mental health day. I always feel really bad for taking one and feel I have to lie about it and turn it into a physical thing so people understand. We need more prominent people like yourself to be as open about it as you just have. Nothing major just casually put and considered normal.
Flashy, but fun video of actress doing her own sword work
Wow! She’s awesome!
Seriously worried about IA family & fellow BDH fans following Covid news from your home state of Texas today. In addition to mental health day, please stay safe, mask, wash hands, social distance- whatever it takes to keep your families safe.
K D says
this movie is on my list to see when it comes out, it looks amazing. thanks!
Katherine Nobles says
Enjoy your mental health day. We will all wait. Not necessarily patiently, but still..
Kelly B Thomas says
This looks awesome. Where did you get the movie? I looked on Amazon and hulu?
Logan M Teague says
Did it mean ‘queen born to UNIFY the steppe’? Because I don’t get ‘magnify’
Have you watched The Old Guard on netflix? It’s about immortal warriors, and one of the main characters is a scythian played by Charlize Theron. It’s terrific! 🙂
Teresa M Reimer says
WOW! I need to see that movie.
I totally love that you all do this type of research to base your historical or even present day world building on. The richness of the world and the characters is visible! Thank you for all your hard work. Enjoy your day off!
I loved the trailer – made me want to re-watch Mongol: the Rise of Genghis Kahn
Michele Livesay says
Thank you for this and I hope your day brings you peace
Joe Ellett says
Scythians as “Julie’s people”?! I’m suddenly glad I’m retired, because it’s time to read/reread some history. I think I’ll start with Durant, if my eyes are still good enough to read the dense print, and branch out from there.
I’d love to see whatever internal background files y’all have on your series’, because I’m sure they’re tapestries to rival the Bayeux, especially the KD-related material.
Stacy McKnight says
Very cool! Thanks for sharing. Mental health days are good for us all!
I would like to say that Ryder has been a lovely excuse to reread the Kate Daniels series (again)(as if I really needed one). I just bought Small Magics And I love the new Curran POV. However, I vaguely recall a Curran POV of the Curran-Lorelei conversation where he realises that Kate was listening in. Or am I imagining this snippet?
Btw, I really appreciate the richness of the worlds you create in your books. The depth of knowledge and research really adds so much texture and heft!!!
I hope you and your family are all well and that your mental health days helped.
It always amazes me how far you are willing to go for your fanatical BDH with all our expectations of new stories, or requests for advice on the world of writing or even just explanations on our nitpicking.
If we can do anything to help you in these stressful times the way you help so many of us, please ask. We all like to feel useful.
CHILLS. LITERAL CHILLS.
Oh Kay says
This is what Kate Daniels looks like to me by the way
Lisa W says
I saw an amazing museum exhibit on the Scythians at the Prado in Madrid a couple summers ago. They were such an amazing horse culture – the tack looked almost modern. Winter leggings, presumed to be part of a noblewoman’s outfit, were vibrantly multicolored. It’s too bad that there isn’t a lot of written documentation on the culture although the Russian curators did an amazing job of piecing various snippets from Greek literature together to tell an interesting story. Basing Julie’s background on this culture is an excellent choice. I can’t wait to read more!
Lisa W says
One other note: I know that many say the saddle was a later invention, but the Scythian exhibit in Madrid did showcase a wooden saddle.
Steve W says
Looks to be a darn good film.
On about Kate Daniels by the way, it would be great to see your excellent Kate Daniels character in a series based upon your books.
Susanne Delisle says
Florida man gets $37,500 after officer thought doughnut glaze was meth. OR
Deputies ask Florida man to quit calling about his stolen marijuana