The genesis of the above comment is that, because I am meant to be working on Undertow, the damned Promethean Age books will not leave me alone. Specifically, hot water being the second most sovereign brain-grease for bears (the first being long walks or bike rides) while I was in the shower today, I figured out a whole bunch of stuff about Matthias Corvinus (yes, that Matthias Corvinus) and how he fits into the Promethean Age stuff.
One of the planned novels in this series is set in Hungary and environs in the 15th century, and I expect his Majesty to slop over into several of the other planned titles (Patience and Fortitude... no, you know what, I'm clinging to my ampersands until Marketing pries them out of my clutching fingers... Patience & Fortitude, Rag & Bone, and Unsuitable Metal) (Most of the Promethean Age titles have an And, but there were a few titles just too good to sacrifice to gods of a hobgoblin consistency. Unsuitable Metal and Posthumous Jonson being two of them. Along with The Stratford Man and The Journeyman Devil. Assuming I get to keep any of those titles, of course.)
Anyway, I knew for some time there was going to be a book about 15th cen. Hungary, because for one thing, the Dragon Prince thing that's so important in Blood and Iron (note stripped-out ampersand) (and which gets some explanation in elaine_andraste; if anything is my lingering contribution to the stuff of story, the Dragon Princes may be it--it's probably the best real-world fantasy idea I've fielded; convincing enough, in fact, that people frequently won't believe I made it up and want to know my sources) rests heavily on Vlad III of Wallachia. (And Arthur of Britain. Among others.)
And I don't want to write a book about Vlad. He's overdone.
But a book about Matthias Corvinus and Stephen Bathory, that could be fun. (No Janos. Janos is dead by the time the story starts, which would probably be 1457 or so. Besides, stillsostrange has promised a book about Janos one of these days). Specifically, I wanted to write a book about what living with a Dragon Prince would be like. Why you would need one, and how much work it would be to keep him fed and maintained.
So I want to write a book about Matthias. And in the shower, it struck me that I knew why he married his cousin off to the psycho. (Which is a spoiler, so I won't tell you.) Which means that History Is Doing It To Me Again.
Also, convenient for me is that, at least on this side of the Carpathians (okay, technically it was this side of the Carpathians, what are you, my CE?), Matthias has kind of gotten scraped out of history a bit. (Not so in his homeland, mind you.) We hear about his dad (Janos Hunyadi) and of course we hear about the Draculas and the Bathorys, but Matthias, not so much.
...something he has in common with one of my other characters. *g*
I also got shower-injected with two possible working titles: Crow & Dragon, or Dog & Raven. (I'm leaning toward the second; not only does it have a lovely carrion ring to it, but it doesn't suffer from the dragon-in-title issue. Although that doesn't bother me too much in this case, as I'm talking about people, not fantasy tropes. (Corvinus is the raven; Bathory is the wolf (or dog, in this case) and of course Vlad is, well, dracul.)I also lean toward Dog & Raven because, well, it's not a book about Vlad, dammit.
Oh, and the other thing?
Matthias--like Arthur, like Vlad, like Owain and Bran--is one of the Sleeping Kings.
Something else that comes up in Blood and Iron.