Paul Binding

Balkan Battle

The Siege

By

Canongate 322pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The Pasha commanding this novel’s eponymous siege of an Albanian citadel experiences, at the start of operations, nostalgia for his own Anatolia with its ‘peaceful plains’:

He had thought of it most when his army had entered the land of the Shqipetars (Albanians) and first seen its fearsome peaks … He’d never seen any like them before. They reminded him of ghastly nightmares unrelieved by waking up. The ground and the rocks seemed to be scrambling madly towards the sky in mockery of the laws of nature. Allah must have been very angry when he created this land.

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