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Harry Mark Petrakis

December 2008
cloth, 0-8093-2863-1, $24.95
336 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Illinois / Historical Fiction

Read a review of The Shepherds of Shadows by Dan Georgakas in Ethos Magazine.

Read the author interview in Poets & Writers or New City.

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Praise for The Shepherds of Shadows:

The Shepherds of Shadows thrills with its storytelling, weaving larger-than-life people with greater-than-imagination occurrences... This historical novel presents a sprawling panorama of a legendary Greek era."
Vassilis Lambropoulos, auther of The Tragic Idea

"In a time when the anti-hero, anti-story and anti-talent are in vogue, Harry Mark Petrakis has the courage to bring out an epic rich in tension, action and heroism, full of the zests of life, a tale of the 1821 Greek War of Independence which will endure as a remarakable literary achievement."
Isaac Bashevis Singer (in reviewing Hour of the Bell - The Prequel to Shepherds of Shadows)

Waging War in the struggle for Greek Independence

Thirty-one years after masterful storyteller and prolific author Harry Mark Petrakis wrote the historical novel The Hour of the Bell - set in the first year of Greece’s war of independence from the Turkish Empire - he now carries the narrative for-ward in his newest work, The Shepherds of Shadows. With this powerful sequel, Petrakis captures the fury and ferocity of revolution in the country that formed the bedrock of western culture.

Featuring many of the characters who appeared in the earlier book, The Shepherds of Shadows depicts the horrors of war in battle scenes that echo the visceral starkness of conict found in Homer’s Iliad. The novel also includes a vivid portrayal of Lord Byron, who, through his poetry, supported the cause of Greece’s fight for independence inspiring the world to provide aid and volunteers for the struggle. Byron himself traveled to Greece to join the war for liberation.

Woven through the tapestry of war are stories of the love of a young guerilla fighter for a Greek girl and her child, born of a brutal rape, as well as the love of the scribe, Xanthos, for a village woman widowed by the war. There are lyrical descriptions of a village wedding and of the rituals of a village funeral. And always there is the mystical, overpowering presence of the Greek landscape and its majestic past blending reality and myth, as Petrakis creates a modern epic based on one of the most savage yet least known conicts in European history.
Harry Mark Petrakis is the author of twenty-two books, including A Dream of Kings, which was made into a major motion picture. He has held appointments at Ohio University as McGuffy Visiting Lecturer and at San Francisco State University as Kazantzakis Professor in Modern Greek Studies. He was twice nominated for the National Book Award in Fiction, won the O. Henry Award, and received awards from Friends of American Writers, Friends of Literature, and the Society of Midland Authors.

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