Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa
This dramatic and bloody adventure is based on the true story of Kritsa’s most famous daughter, Rodanthe who lived in early 1800s during cruel Ottoman oppression.
Kidnapped on the orders of a local ruler who wanted her as a wife, Rodanthe tricked him to escape to the mountains, dressed as a young man. Here she joined rebels as Spanomanolis, Beardless Manolis, where she drew on her wits, rare education and overwhelming need for revenge to maintain her disguise through many adventures and battles.
Remembered in Kritsa to this day, the amazing Rodanthe is now known by the honorific title, Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa.
About the author.
British Yvonne Payne has lived in Kritsa, a village on the Greek island of Crete since 2001. During this time she has enjoyed exploring the countryside, mountains, myths, legends, eaten the best of Cretan foods, and even ridden a donkey.
All good experience and research for her first novel, Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa. @KritsaYvonne
This is a very good read. “Kritsotopoula” paints a vivid picture of a little known period of Cretan history. The reader is thrown straight into the action, with much of the story told in flashback. Unusually for a first-time author, this does not confuse but adds to the interest. Characters are well defined and well differentiated and, within a very short time, the reader becomes engrossed in their lives. From about page two, we want to know what has happened to bring the heroine to this point and what will happen to her in the future.
A couple of minor niggles are not enough to detract from the five-star rating, but are worth mentioning. Although historically accurate, I feel that the title was ill-advised. It doesn’t slip off the tongue readily, which could cause problems with marketing. Secondly, on occasions, the language of some of the characters doesn’t ring quite true, as if it is the author speaking rather than Cretan villagers. I did not, however, find this interrupted the flow of the story to a great extent. Finally, if the book reaches a second edition (which I hope), a brief glossary of some of the Greek and Turkish terms would be helpful.
In spite of these quibbles, I can thoroughly recommend this book both as an exciting story and for its historical interest. Historical fiction at its best.