In 1821, in the geographically small but culturally and historically rich country of Greece, a revolution began to overturn four terrible centuries of slavery the Greeks had endured under the Ottoman Turks. Harry Mark Petrakis’s historical novel "The Hour of the Bell" recalls the first year of the revolt. Petrakis provides a panoramic view of the conflict through the stories of a variety of characters, including a village priest grief-stricken over the killing of his Turkish neighbors; a guerrilla captain leading a band of wild mountain fighters against the Turkish garrisons; the wife of Prince Petrobey of the Mani, embittered by the fighting that takes the lives of her sons; a sea captain commanding the smaller Greek brigs in brilliant forays against the larger Turkish frigates; and a scribe to the legendary General Kolokotronis. Each character provides a defining perspective on the small but fierce conflict that altered the course of European history.
"The Hour of the Bell" is a prequel to Petrakis's 2010 novel "The Shepherds of Shadows."