Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bulgarian author shares love of her country and its ancient history in new time travel novel

I'm so excited to see that a woman from Bulgaria with a love of her country's ancient history has written a time travel novel that whisks readers back in time to 5th century BCE Thrace. I've been fascinated by all of the reports of such beautiful artifacts that have been peppering the news these past few years and have yearned to learn more about the history of ancient Thrace Now I can do this in a book that also gives me a time travel adventure as well.

Thracian Princess by Bistra Johnson, (nee Tangarova), explores the world of Thrace when its tribes were unified by the Odrysians and ruled by their leader Teres in the 5th century BCE.

"The 144-page book itself tells the story of Veronica, a young English woman whose parents bought a house in Stara Zagora and moved to Bulgaria. In somewhat of a period of transition herself, she goes to visit them, meets a handsome neighbour (an architect, at that) and starts to learn about the country.

Then, the reader is as surprised as is Veronica – suddenly she is in ancient Thrace (called Trakiya in Bulgarian), and the beloved new wife of the king.

Through this experience, the reader, like Veronica, learns first-hand about a world that is probably unknown to most.

Bistra says that her facts came from a variety of sources and lots of research. A comprehensive glossary at the back substantiates and further explains many of the characters and terms. For example, the town where the novel is set has been known under eight names: Beroe (meaning “iron”, a Thracian settlement), Augusta Trajana (Roman era), Beroia/Vereia, Irinopolis (in honour of Empress Irina, in the Byzantine era), Boruy (during the First Bulgarian Kingdom), Eskizagra (Turkish for “behind the mountain”), Zheleznik (Slavic for “iron”), and now, finally, Stara Zagora (meaning “the old one behind the mountain”)."

Thracian Princess is available from in both English and Bulgarian.
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