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The Horseman was written by a passionate writer who is not only the product of the Old and the New World, but who also convincingly represents a harmonious intercultural fusion of the Occident and the Orient due to her personal biography. Kristina O'Donnelly's literary palette is extremely rich and universal, and draws on first-hand experiences, combined with in-depth historical research in order to write this fascinating fictional and multi-cultural epic. It is a relevant book to read in our contemporary time plagued by unwanted polarizations in both East and West. --Rahal X. - author of KHALIL & MAJNUN, A Memoir - Mahmutlar, Southern Turkey. 2008
… a gem among the myriad of pebbles, THE HORSEMAN is as literate as it is engrossing!.. --Dr. Martin Abend, New York, NY, USA
Dr. M. Ilmiye Cig, Sumerologist, Istanbul, Turkey ... fascinating! A cosmic tale of love, sin, and redemption with a variety of information about customs, archaeology, history and philosophy! --On record . 2003
From the Publisher
Kristina O'Donnelly's writings are astounding in their depth and diversity. THE HORSEMAN won the grand prize for JADA Press' Romance Novel of the Year Award, in 2004. Kristina is a firm believer in the can do, will do, spirit, and that one should never give up the good fight as every person's effort, counts. Looking into O'Donnelly's background, it becomes clear that this is the novel she was born to write. THE HORSEMAN is the lead novel of the international, multi-cultural series "Lands of the Morning." Poison or dynamite to some and manna to others, THE HORSEMAN elicits deep emotional responses from every reader. Prof. Karen-Claire Voss (Istanbul University) in her Introduction to this novel, writes, "Also interesting and at least as compelling is the brilliant, knowledgeable, and courageous way in which Kristina O Donnelly sheds light on the complex and controversial topic of the difficult relations between Kurds and Turks, an extremely sensitive issue, something which has been rarely discussed openly, still less has been made part of a love story. This book is precious. I do not use this word lightly and say it not only because this is the story of a truly incredible woman and a genuinely fabulous romance. I say it because unlike so many other romances, this one is not meant to allow us to escape the complexities of real life; rather, it is intended to lead us deeper into them. It also enables us to develop an empathetic understanding of the complexities of real life as it is lived in contemporary Turkey."
I purchased the paper version of this book last February. I ordered the package from this website and received the book after a few weeks. The package was in excellent conditions. Maybe I should have bought the hard cover, but the paper version is fairly easy to keep in the hands and read. I must admit this is an exceptional book, with an exotic and explosive story rooted around several countries and issues. Set among Turkey, Italy, Ireland and USA, The Horseman is a powerful narration that spans between the past and the present with some prediction for the future. The vicissitudes of a young American girl who is torn between two Turkish men is an extraordinary narration technique that shows the causes of the most serious and awful conflict of our time, the one between Eastern and Western world. Is religion a problem or maybe are prejudices that push people to conflict? These are the questions every reader will wonder during this reading that offers a clever reply in the form of a marvellous and superb novel.
An altogether different novel. I expected a lot, and the author provided it to me. Loved the characters Ariadne, the American, and Burhan the Turk and his close friendship to Ali, the Kurd. I loved the different locales and the information that came with it. A solid work for those who want a complex read.
Fantastic read! In a word, I enjoyed this book even more than my expectation! Thanks and gratitude to Author! Her imagination is just outstanding! I am waiting for her next book. I won't say anything more about this book. Just wanna say give it a try!
This book has dropped into my hands at the appropriate time. Just a few days ago, the world was upset by an unexpected terrorist attack in Paris and never no book was very current like the one I am about to review in this post. Terrorism is the fruit of a hard clash among two different worlds, Western and Eastern, and Christian and Muslim religion and if there is a place where these two worlds meet, this is Turkey, the land of the morning, as it is best known all over the world. Turkey is the home of Christianity and Islam, a glorious and ancient country that witnessed various wars and battles in the past and where this book is set.
This work also arrived just in a moment Turkey is in the limelight because of what happened yesterday, namely the Russian plane shot down in this country. The author of this current book is Kristina O’ Donnelly, an awarded novelist, born in Rome, Italy, and raised in Turkey. She also lived in Ireland and currently in the U.S along with her husband. She is, hence, an eclectic writer who knows about several cultures.
Thanks to this deep knowledge of different countries, the author has developed a gripping book series titled Land of the Morning. What I have reviewed is The Horseman, the first book of the series. The Horseman tells about a wealthy American family who is in Turkey for job purposes. The father is a famous architect, the mother, a skilled academician, passionate about reincarnation and esotericism, the daughter, Ariadne, is a beautiful, blond 17 year girl who dreams to work as a journalist at a Turkish newspaper.
One day, during an archaeological exploration, the girl has been kidnapped by a strange Turkish boy and saved by a likewise strange and alluring man called Mehmet Ali Mesut. The latter turns out to be a Kurd, who has a sister, Leyla, a sixteen year girl who, in turn, is about to marry a man who is older than her. Abruptly, the future bride commits suicide and this event upsets the life of Ariadne definitively, because she realizes today there are women who are still forced to marry older men and be enslaved by their husbands.
Through this chapter of the book, the author faces the burning topic of child brides. In certain places in the world, girls are forced to get married at 15 or less years. The suicide of the young Leyla happens in Turkey, a place where there are also great opportunities for Ariadne, who manages to get hired at the most important Turkish daily paper. Thanks to her new job, she also meets her idol, a hero of the Turkish Journalism, Burhan Bey, a fascinating reporter who is very attracted by Ariadne.
Over the several chapters of the book, the girl becomes torn between the love for the Turkish journalist and the one for Kurd Mehmet Ali. Through this intrigue, the author shows various sides of the culture in Turkey, step by step, indeed, Burhan Bey turns out to be a brave and modern political journalist, while Melmet Ali, even though is a professor of sociology and an idealist who fights to improve the life of his people, shows to be jealous of the job of Ariadne and of her attraction for Burhan Bey, so much to annoy her on the workplace.
This behavior proves that many habits and customs are hard to fight and makes readers ask the following questions: the Turkish men are liberal or not? The past can influence the present? Turkey is Christian or Muslim? We don’t have to forget Turkey was the home of the Ottoman Empire, as many ruins confirm. In the book, the father of Ariadne is, indeed, committed to retrieve and explore many important Turkish ruins. He has also many contacts with Turkish politicians and publishers and this other detail proves that Turkey has no prejudice to have relationships with Western people.
The plot of the book, hence, shows many sides and contradictions of this ancient and great country. The Horseman is also a book where the author also manages to insert important accountings about the political issues between Turks and Kurds, in addition to very poetic and lyrical pages where Ariadne’s love story is described. Also the religion topics are very important in this book. These topics go from ancient legends to reincarnation. Moreover, religion intertwined with political issues and with a love story is the right mix to dive into an unusual world where past and present are closely merged toward to the future.
Reading this book brought back memory of Europe and how diverse the people can be from country to country. While this is primarily set in Turkey, it brings a sense of the very fabric of Europe to the writing which you won't have to to travel there to experience, complete with richly detailed settings from Turkey and Mecca, on to Ireland and the United States, It is an easy read, yet provocatively written to take you on a journey into the very soul of the people you encounter in these pages.
The beginning of the book, left me feeling a little lost, but the more I read, the more engaged I found myself with the story. The characters felt real and I enjoyed experiencing their lives as they moved through the book. I feel that Kristina O’Donnelly has a strong grasp on the world she worked to present to the reader. Definitely a must read.
The author has done amazing research with this novel that takes place on three different continents. We get a deep insight of the Turkish culture and conflicts. In the middle of all is the main character who shows remarkable strength and faith while weathering many conflicts and heartaches! A must read!