Real Life Is Like Epic Fantasy

The queen is dead. Long live the king.

Many of us were saddened at the news of Queen Elizabeth’s passing. She was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, and her legacy is hugely impressive. As an epic fantasy author, it’s been exciting to watch the pomp and pageantry surrounding the Queen’s death and her son’s ascension to the throne.

People die in real life and in fantasy. I have a funeral scene in Wayfinders: The Novice (Book 1) for a member of the Livanian Royal Family. I’ll share a snippet below and omit names to avoid spoilers.

When […]’s body had been returned, […] hadn’t understood, at first, why it was only his. How she’d wished she could’ve seen […] one last time to say goodbye. But when she and […] had gone outside to the enormous pavilion erected in the courtyard, she realized exactly why. In spite of the banks of flowers piled high, the strongly scented herbs scattered over the stones, and the scented candles burning at the head and foot of the sealed box, the miasma of death still lingered. They weren’t going to look at […]’s face one last time. And knowing that he was inside that awful box in such a state made his death, no, their deaths, even more horrible and unfair.

Only one day had been granted for the court and the people to pay their respects. After that, the massive casket had been buried in the royal burial ground. And, to honor the other Livanians killed that day, there had been wooden plaques inscribed with their names and dates set up along one side of the pavilion. A portrait or bust for each of the deceased nobles and merchants… had also been on display. But the soldiers and servants had none. Their families would have to content themselves with empty graves and fading memories.

Wayfinders: The Novice (Book 1) by C.A. Morley

There’s a certain amount of bleakness surrounding the pomp in my above snippet. We were recently in Vienna and got to visit the burial place of the Habsburg Emperors (Kapuzinergruft) where the splendor of the imperials is contrasted by the grim sarcophagi. The symbols and inscriptions on the sarcophagi speak about their lives, death, and hope of an afterlife. Below are some of my photos taken this past July (2022). Amanda (my youngest child) is in one of the pics, wearing a yellow dress.

Burial place of the Habsburg Emperors
The lead coffins of the founders: Empress Anna and Emperor Matthias
Some examples of the sarcophagi
More examples of the sarcophagi
Maria Theresa
Some of Maria Theresa’s family members
Franz II and his four wives
Ferdinand I and his wife
Franz Joseph and his wife (Sisi) and their son (Rudolf)

4 responses to “Real Life Is Like Epic Fantasy”

  1. I have so much respect for fiction writers, creating a world with all its tragedy and rejoicing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, Tina, I love your fantasy writing style so much! And this peek inside the Habsburg burial place is so fascinating! I have long been intrigued by all the Royal families. What a cool place to visit!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Queen’s passing has really set the scene. In real life and fantasy, death is a sorrowful and joyous event if you know God.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] utmost best. I loved seeing all the pomp and pageantry as I mentioned in last week’s post, “Real Life Is Like Epic Fantasy.” Westminster Abbey and St. George’s Chapel were amazing in their Gothic style and epic in […]


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