eally, what better way to mess up a character’s day than to throw a violent war into his or her already complicated life? Some of my favorite fantasy books have featured some sort of grand conflict rolling around in the background that the protagonist has to dodge or, failing that, desperately try to stay alive within. Fortunately for writers, history is full of conflicts both international and domestical to pick events from for little bits of evil inspiration. Events such as The French Revolution or The English Civil Wars are full of people, battles and occurrences that are almost too grand for reality. They practically beg to be translated into fiction. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that History’s Most Insane Rulers who have given rise to the revolutions of the past, tend to also open the doors to History’s Worst Dictators. Revolution is a powerful, hopeful concept, but it doesn’t always turn out the way the revolutionaries want.