And the winners are… WIN! The brand new bind up of this epic YA series will have you binge reading in a heartbeat

It’s so eye pleasing!

Oh wow! Come a little closer, Philippa Gregory fans – we’ve got news that will make your Friday lunchtime EVEN BETTER!

We’re giving away 10 copies of Philippa’s brand new bind up of her fantastic ‘Order of Darkness’ series.

Woohoo, told you it would make your day!

The new bind up, contains the first three books of the series and features a brand new cover, which looks like this…

Oooh how fancy!

By now, you guys have probably binge read the epic series. But, if you haven’t, we’ll give you all the deets.

‘Order of Darkness’ is a gripping historical YA series that’s set in 1460 and documents the end of the world – or so everyone thinks!

Seventeen-year-old, Luca Vero, has been following the pointers of a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe.

He’s sent to map the fears of Christendom, and travel to the very frontier of good and evil – which leaves him navigating his way through an array of unknown dangers such as magic, crimes and politics.

We recently caught up with Philippa to discuss all-things ‘Order of Darkness’. She delved into why she wanted to write about the fifteenth century, as well as gave us plenty of recommendations for other historical YA to check out.

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Hi Philippa! Could you describe the ‘Order of Darkness’ series in emojis?

Dear Maximum Pop! if I could write a novel in emojis I would never bother with all those words.

That’s very true! So what was it about the fifteenth century that drew you to it?

In this period, the Ottomans captured Constantinople, now Istanbul, and everyone thought this would mean the end of days, the end of the world. I thought that was very interesting – the real belief in apocalypse. Luca’s task is to search for the signs of the end of the world. This time is really the beginning of the early modern era – and we are still feeling the repercussions of those same territorial, religious and cultural conflicts.

We love how funny the series is. What are your favourite funny books?

I love James Thurber, who nobody reads now but is a wonderfully kind humourist. I can cry with laughter when I re-read Jerome K. Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat’ and the wonderful Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘Why Come to Slaka?’

What’s the coolest thing you uncovered in your research for the series?

The series is like a compendium of weird cool things from the Middle Ages. I took a decision not to invent any weird beliefs but just to record them, and explain them when we knew the explanation. So I read about feral children raised by wolves and just how many there are (when you think how odd it is) for book 1, and the real belief that there were ‘stormbringers’ who lived in the sky and brought bad weather down for book 2. I studied alchemy for book 3 – if you want a cool unsolved mystery look up the Voynich manuscript!

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Did your writing process change at all from writing your adult books to writing YA?

This was quite liberating for me, because the adult series I’ve been working on for the past sixteen years has focussed on real people. But for this series I have created entirely imaginary main characters, and set them loose in a real landscape. My imagination can take them anywhere, to do anything. So my research is focussed on background details of the environment and life at the time, rather than on biographies, and it’s quite a different experience.

As the Queen of Historical Fiction, what books would you recommend for readers just starting out in historical fiction?

It really depends on whether you want novels about real people in their history or about imaginary people in a history period. An example of a real woman in real historical circumstances would be ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ which tells the true story of Anne Boleyn’s sister who was almost unknown when I wrote the novel. An example of an imaginary person in real circumstances would be ‘The Queen’s Fool’ which is about an imaginary girl who works at the court of Queen Mary 1 and spies for Elizabeth 1.

I love time travel novels too like ‘The Traveller in Time’ by Alison Uttley. Georgette Heyer does very enjoyable historical fiction which is very light with imaginary characters, but her ‘The Spanish Bride’ and ‘The Infamous Army’ are stories of the English army at war with two wonderful heroines.

To win a copy of Philippa’s brand new bind up of ‘Order of Darkness’:

We’re giving 10 copies away in total. The closing date is Friday 2nd June and unfortunately it’s UK only. Sorry, overseas pals!

This competition has now closed…

Congratulations to our winners, Zoe, Leila, Sarah, Chelsea, Nicola, Paula, Natalie, Lia, Adam and Heidi. You have all been contacted on Twitter.

Don’t wanna leave it to chance, you can snap up a copy of the ‘Order Of Darkness’ bind up here.

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Written by Emma Matthews

Emma is a freelance journalist at MP.

When she’s not writing articles for Maximum Pop!, you’ll find her attending gigs, geeking out over the latest beauty products and reading feminist literature. Hermione is her favourite Harry Potter character - obviously.

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