I assume if you’re reading this you’re either a fantasy reader or writer, or at least aware of the genre. You know you address people in power as Lord, and royals get their own sayings like Highness or Grace. We watch Game of Thrones, we know this, right?
And it seems I don’t either, at least not as well as I’d like.
I’ve been reading and writing fantasy for years. I published Larkspur two years ago, over a decade of fantasy and history nerd information in my head. I knew the correct way to address a king was “Majesty,” and “Highness” was for prince’s (and it irked me when I saw them used interchangeably). I had this stuff down.
And I yet I still went with the ever-generic and ever-wrong way to just call everyone Lord at first glance. To be fair, I had a reason- I thought the generic way was alright between peers, or if you weren’t sure of their station. Spoiler alert: it isn’t.
I got this pointed out to me not by a fantasy fan, but by a reviewer who read historical fiction. Pierre, being the heir of a duchy, is not a lord. He’s a duke (called duc in Clandestina because of the French term). He should be called Your Grace, or My Grace, not My Lord. So I went and tweaked the file (this is not long after it was published) and called it a day.
Yesterday I found this great guide: http://dankoboldt.com/feudal-nobility-guide/
It seems I was still wrong on a few things. Ophion is the made-up title Lord Physician, and so I called him Lord Ophion because it made sense to me. He is a lord. Except as Dan Koboldt pointed out, the term ‘Lord’ should refer to what he is lord of. Like how Pierre is sometimes called a Lord of Death (in that case he is a lord). But saying Lord Pierre, or Lord Ophion, would be incorrect. It would either have to be Lord Death, for Pierre, or my Lord Physician for Ophion (the example for Lord Treasurer was “My Lord Treasurer” so I’m borrowing that formula for Lord Physician as well).
I made the few tweaks and resent Larkspur to Amazon and the other retailers. I did email them and ask to tell those that have bought the book on amazon that there’s an update, but I don’t know if they’ll bother. I really wish they would, I kinda like the idea of updates and patch notes for books now that we have the technology. But I doubt more than a couple hundred people have read Larkspur, if that many, so it doesn’t bother me too much that I’m still learning.