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The Siege

by Ismail Kadare

Relentless account of an Ottoman siege in 15th century Albania which resonates with parallels to our own times as cultures clash, ambitious men struggle to stay in power, legends are manufactured and the many pawns on both sides fix their minds on survival. The Siege deserves to become a classic in the mould of The Iliad or Dante's Divine Comedy.

Extract

During his long saunter through the camp Mevla Celebi had heard about a special unit in the army, consisting of priestly men who were part healers and part sorcerers, and whose task it was to calm soldiers afflicted with mental disturbances after battle. In the old days they were killed, like any man who could not hold back his tears, but in the course of the last year the rules had been made less harsh.
Translated by David Bellos

Parallels

The Iliad by Homer
The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett
 

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