The Descent of the Lyre

The Descent of the Lyre

Publication information

  • Title: The Descent of the Lyre
  • Published by: Roman Books (2012)
  • Category: Fiction
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It is the early nineteenth century, and the Bulgarian village of Gela, the legendary home of Orpheus, is suffering under the heavy taxation and arbitrary justice of Ottoman rule. When his bride-to-be is abducted the night before his wedding, Ivan Gelski takes to the hills and turns to banditry to seek revenge. But a chance encounter with a travelling guitarist, and the bloodshed that follows, set him on a musical journey through fame, martyrdom and legend. This reinvention of the tale of Orpheus plunges us into the music and folklore of Bulgaria, in a parable about storytelling, sainthood and myth-making

What Are People Saying?

A novel that’s exciting, touching and historically fascinating for all, mixed with greater depths for those who want to delve further.

— Book Bag

A powerful literary novel.

— The Sunday Telegraph

A well-written, lyrical tale.

— The Bookseller

Do not mistake this for a mere retelling. This is masterful storytelling."

—  Historical Novel Review

Fine, unusual and deeply compelling.

— Jean Morris, Tasting Rhubarb

It’s just a good novel, a very good read, and a highly memorable tale told simply.

— Vulpes Libris

This is a book that is memorable for all the right reasons. The story is gripping and highly original, and it is beautifully written.

—  Louis de Bernières