|Artwork from Legend of Monsters|
It's surprisingly hard to find decent artwork of long-dead ancient Akkadian kings, so this'll do.
Well... things are happening. I've just hit 70k on Akkad, after removing the prologue and renaming the entire manuscript after Sargon rather than Enheduanna.
This is me accepting that it will definitely be two books.
At the moment, Sargon's just turned twenty, already King of Kish and married to Lugal Zage-Si's niece. He's on his way north to assist the Eblites against the Mari, after they helped him gain his throne. He's not yet the wizened old one-eyed bust below, but a young man making a name for himself in the world, driven by grief and rage.
So, things are going well.
I wasn't that into Sargon when I started out, he was only supposed to be the first couple of chapters, but I've really fallen for him since. There's no way I could have written him and his daughter in the same book whilst doing them both justice. I'm looking forward to Enheduanna, but I'm not in a rush. I want to finish what I've started here.
My friend Leif at the The University of Göttingen has been utterly invaluable. I'm so lucky to have someone who is completely immersed in the history of ancient Sumer to help me out, offer up resources and check my mistakes. It's very hard to piece together that time period because so few records remain intact. I've taken a massive dose of artistic license, but the bits that are known need to remain so, and there needs to be a thread of authenticity throughout this adventure.
It's tough. Sargon was larger than life. The first man ever to found an empire. Although, the more I read, the more I kind of feel like his predecessor, Zage-Si, probably should hold that title. He started out a lowly orphan - if you believe his version - to become ruler of the known world, and father to the first known author in history.
There's a lot to get in there.
Meanwhile, here's an entertaining musical interlude based on The Epic of Gilgamesh, the first great work of literature, from the same region and close to the same era.