THE LION OF YANINA by Stoyan Christows
Kirkus Star


Email this review


I can't vouch for the general market appeal of this book, but I can vouch for its being absorbing reading, and good escape after the plethora of war books. It is a narrative based on the life of an oriental despot, Ali Pasha, whose rise to fame is told with no softening of the lurid colors of his long and bloody career. Son of a murdered father, and a vicious, ambitious, vengeful mother, he started life under a cloud, and began his climb to power with brigands as followers. He soon realized the value of official sanction so became a Pasha through cruelty, duplicity, greed and ambition, and betrayed his Sultan for the price of independent power. Greece, Albania and Thesaly were under his control. He dealt with Napoleon and used the French; he was as loyal as it was in his nature to be, to the British; Byron sang his fame in verse and his court became a tourist center. At the end, the Sultan demanded his head -- but he was in power for thirty two years, and held out at the end, for two years, deserted by everyone. Quits a yarn and quite a guy. Stoyan Christow has not minced matters and provides plenty of lurid details as to his perfidy, his passion for cruelty, tryanny and deceit, his love life. A picture of Oriental despotism and psychology, with marked resemblance to dictatorship, modern style.

Publisher: Modern Age