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A mix of religion and belief in magic was widespread in the days of Charlemagne, so an author of fiction set in that period has no choice but to give those beliefs a prominent role.

That’s why Alda, the heroine of The Cross and the Dragon, wears an amulet alongside the symbol of her faith. Leova, the heroine of The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar, chants spells of protection, even after her conversion to Christianity.

The Church officially opposed magic and even imposed harsh penalties for sorcery, but it could not stop people from turning to magic – even among the clergy.

Visit Unusual Historicals for more about the role of religion and magic in Carolingian Francia.

Talisman of Charlemagne

A ninth century piece of jewelry called the Talisman of Charlemagne (from Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License)