In one of the many blogs I follow, the author posted about books that inspired him to paint. I thought I would follow suit. While it was Cornwell's Saxon Stories that got me started reading Dark Age stuff, this book has really inspired me with the band of Scots I'm painting:
Not only does Paula de Fougerolles have great credentials (Cambridge PhD in Mediaeval History from the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic), she is an amazing writer as well. While I kind of slogged through Cornwell, I find myself getting sucked through these books. Sometimes I read this book so quickly that I have to look back and make sure I didn't miss anything! I was a little put off at first as there is a "bodice ripper" element to these books, but fear not. She spends more time with missions, miracles, and monsters than with romance. I whole-heartedly recommend them to any Dark Age reader.
I'm scheming lately about making the protagonist Aedan the warlord of my band and perhaps adding a Scottish deerhound to his base. I was also looking at 28mm priest figures to use for Columba. It might be cool to make a larger, multi-figure base with both of them. I realize this book might be stretching the SAGA time period slightly. I've read that the games author was targeting around the year 1000 AD and this book is set in 563 AD. But I figure if I paint the band with more Pictish symbols than Christian ones, I'll probably be alright.