This is the perfect gift for your loved one – a great read for your child or grandchild.
In the novel, The Legend of Kalesh Andja, the brave peasant girl, Andja, her brother Angele-Arslan and most other characters in this story may only be the product of old legend and storytelling in Macedonia. However, most incidents in this story, the way of life of the people of the Mariovo region and Macedonia, in general, during the days of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his Grand Vizier Mehmed Sokolovich’s reign during the 16th century, as depicted in the novel, are quite real.
The story follows the lives of the twin sister and brother, Andja and Angele, after their kidnapping by the Turkish rulers in 16th century Macedonia. Andja has been captured in order to try and force her to become the newest wife in the harem of a local Turkish lord. Her brother Angele has been taken to the capital city, Istanbul, in order to be raised and trained as a soldier by the commanders of the elite Turkish military corps known as the janissaries. The story of their trials and triumphs is reminiscent of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of young David Balfour in the Scottish Highlands in a novel that appeals to both young and old, Kidnapped.
This is a classic story of when East meets West on the explosive Balkan Peninsula, with its long history of conflict and co-existence among disparate peoples and cultures. It is a more complex and interesting story than the superficial one we expect to read, of a European Christian subject people who were forced to bow to the overwhelming brute force of oriental Moslem despots.
The majority of the people of Macedonia at that time obey for the sake of the survival of their children, while clinging to dreams of a brighter tomorrow. And in certain remote mountain strongholds, the Turkish conquerors encounter people who resist all attempts to enslave them.
It is an instructive story for our own times, when East and West, the European Christian and the Middle Eastern Moslem worlds collide. Much like our own time, that collision is all too often cruel and violent. However, the author of The Legend of Kalesh Andja does not dwell on that violence. He focuses instead on a story of resistance to evil. He reminds us that even in the 16th century in the Ottoman Turkish Empire there were standards for justice under the rule of law, and that abusive rulers, then as now, used their authority to break that law for their own personal gain. And the author provides us with positive role models of people who, through courage and determination, regain their just rights under the rule of law in the end.
The author is a prominent and popular writer of historical fiction from the Republic of Macedonia on the Balkan Peninsula, Stale Popov. The book was translated from its original in the Macedonian language into the English language by Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literature from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA, Dr. Michael Seraphinoff, who is the author of a number of scholarly and literary works and translations in Balkan and South Slavic studies.
The book was published by the Macedonian Literary Association “Grigor Prlichev” of Sydney, Australia, in 2005. ISBN: 0 97573321 4. A paperback with durable plasticized cardboard full color cover printed by the “2nd of August – S” in Shtip, Macedonia.
Copies of The Legend of Kalesh Andja – a special offer to new members of the United Macedonian Diaspora – were generously donated to our organization by Dr. Michael Seraphinoff.