Just submitted a couple of stories to two different markets. They’re fun little stories, I think. I expect to bring news of their rejection soon enough.
Just picked up Acacia: The War with the Mein, by David Anthony Durham, from the library. I own and quite enjoy his historical fiction novel, Pride of Carthage, about Hannibal’s invasion of Rome. I’ve barely started it, but I’ll let you know what I think.
If I’m about to write some fantasy stories, I find it helps to read other stories of the same genre. Some people like to avoid reading their contemporaries, for fear of copying something I guess, but really it’s a mistake to not stay current with the genre or medium in which you’re attempting to write. You need to make sure you’re not doing something that’s been done a million times and become cliche, make sure your voice is offering something interesting to the pile, and so forth. If anything, the other writers should offer something that inspire you, or even present something you discover doesn’t work.
So don’t avoid reading because you think you’re going to be influenced. You should be reading and hope you are influenced.