A ubiquitous form of energy which could save the planet, an archaeologist in search for Atlantis, a biologist studying an endemic lizard whose skin excretes hallucinogens, an Australian tycoon and an ex-computer programmer, merge into a frantic adventure of idealism and deceit.
Early one summer, Vassili, the main hero, arrives at Irekoussa, a rocky island in the Aegean Sea, to meet up with his old school friend Serius. Upon arrival he is met by a beautiful young woman named Sonja, who informs him that Serius’ father had a stroke the day before and so Serius had to leave in haste for Athens. She invites Vassili to stay with her till Serius’ return. Through her, Vassili will become acquainted with Nico Kaloyanni, an Argentinean of Irekoussian decent, who has returned to his ancestors’ island to carry on with his late father’s research on Aggelokastro. Vassili will learn more about Aggelokastro (“the castle of angels”) -and its demise by the Ottoman admiral Kemal Reis in 1474 -, as well as its founder Laonikos Kantzis, a student of the 15-century Neo-Platonist philosopher Pletho. The citizens of the last bastion of the Byzantine Empire were not Christians but a strange brand of Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Paganism.
Meanwhile, Serius’ father passes away. Pete Megalokonomou, another Irekoussean immigrant, from Melbourne, returns to the island of his ancestors with a plan to acquire Aggelokastro and transform it into an “archaeological tourist resort”.
Vassili, having fallen in love with Sonja, will find himself entangled into a feud that has its roots in the fatal visit of Irekoussa of Ernesto Malipiero, an emissary of Lorenzo Medici the Magnificent, who travelled in Irekoussa in 1474 in order to obtain “maps and books” for the Medici Platonic Academy in Florence. By reading through the travel chronicle of the Italian he discovers that along with him travelled a certain captain Colon – alias Christopher Colombus -who was particularly keen to obtain a map. Sonja will invite Vassili to a ceremony at Aggelokastro where Nico unleashes the power of son luminescence, the secret weapon of the Plethonians. Atlantis, the maps of Piri Reis (nephew of Kemal Reis), the discovery of America, the Aztec myths, will come into focus and take on a new perspective.
Irekoussa will be re-born like Aphrodite from the froth and everything will seem to have changed.
Greece: Kedros (1999)
Zarkadakis succeeds in creating a climate by placing his renaissance heroes in motion, or when he throws his modern heroes into the whirl of time. He is very apt in using the interchanging of the plot in the various time frames, as well as in the organization of their mutual penetration into the climax of his story….
Zarkadakis is back, with an ambitious novel and a complex plot, which hides multiple surprises…
A multilevel Greek novel which, we are glad to see in the bookstore windows, as well as our own bookshelves.
The writing will satisfy the most demanding reader and the plot will take you into a magical world.
The universe of the novel manages to combine successfully the past and the present, involving a lot of soul-searching, historical fact, exotic beauties, digital wanderings and original erotic metaphor.
Zarkadakis story-telling is vibrant and flexible…a pleasure to read. (TA NEA)