Welcome to my world. The Secret Journey series is what I call “historical fantasy”, much like the later novels of Guy Gavriel Kay (my favorite: A Song for Arbonne). Most fantasy novels are set in worlds which are very much like our own, but with various unreal elements added in. My books are like other fantasy novels but with a bit less of the unreal elements and a bit more grounding in the real world. Its all just a matter of degree.
Tolkien was famous for his highly limited use of magic in both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. The same was true of E.R. Edison in his novel The Worm Oroborus. This is my preferred style as well. The more magic there is, the less I can portray a world which makes sense to me.
Further, I really am trying to describe and (hopefully) explain Chinese civilization to American readers. China, for many reasons, is hard to understand. I read the monumental novel Shogun by James Clavell as a teenager and I still am amazed by Clavell’s skill in explaining Japanese culture circa 1600 to his English-speaking readers. My hope is to follow in Clavell’s footsteps.
So, what time period am I describing? It is the decade starting around 1355 in China. This is when the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty fell apart a new government took shape, the Ming. Now, my book is not set in China, not the real China. Nor is my book following the real history. But its not that far away. As to my main characters? They are from a slightly different time, specifically they are from England during the early years of the Henry VII (so, around 1490).
Hopefully, I have created a fun world to visit, some great adventures to read about and enjoy. And if, at the end, you have learned something about China, well, so much the better.