Slovakland (available on Amazon)
When it comes to the epic history of Central Europe, the Slovaks were involved in it all, yet little is known of their story. Textbooks skim or omit it. Even my Slovak immigrant grandparents never talked about the "old country".
The captivating history of the Slovaks is finally told here. It begins with a cunning jewel heist and escape from the Hunnic Avars in 791. The characters then survive through the centuries as they become part of Great Moravia, Magyar-controlled Hungary, and finally the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire. The years connect them to Charlemagne, Crusaders and the Mongols. They survive plagues, famines, bloody battles, fires and cruel lords. We see them forced to work, fight, and change their religion. They learn to live by their wits and determination. Yes, they eventually rebel.
Despite the rape, plunder and gore, there are many light moments--the crazy priest, magnificent knights, the wonder of building a castle. And here the beautiful and mighty Slovak castles are settings for their own intriguing stories, not stand-ins for Game of Thrones or Braveheart.
Why should the Slovak's story interest anyone? These strong people lived for centuries as virtual slaves in a multi-ethnic nation. They survived pandemics and climate change before science could explain what was happening. Other than family values, few aspects of their their lives would be considered even remotely politically or socially correct today. And their quest for equality and independence may come full circle. Hungarians, who dominated the Slovaks for centuries, are now beginning to question Slovak rule in their lands that became part of Slovakia.
Slovakland is available for sale on Amazon/Kindle:
Also available on Biblio (New--not used):