jessesisken.com

The Minoan Gold Trilogy

A Personal Note

My addiction to Crete, its people and its incredible history, began with a brief visit in 2000. I have yet to recover. For at least the last 3,600 years, that now peaceful and seductive island in the eastern Mediterranean has repeatedly suffered the ravages of invasions and exploitation, earthquakes and revolutions and, some think, at least one major, destructive tsunami.

The archaeological and historical records provide ample evidence for most of those events, but leave the struggles of the people who lived (or didn’t live) through them to one’s wonder and imagination. By the end of 2003, the stories of the Minoan Gold Trilogy began to shape themselves in my mind and beg for outlet to the printed page. As described below, these fictional tales, set in widely separated eras, have in common, among other things, a gold pouring vessel (a rhyton) in the shape of a bull that elicits the nobler and baser instincts of those seduced by its jeweled and sparkling eyes.

These novels chronicle struggle, love and heroism during three of the many devastations that racked that island from the Bronze Age to modern times

Cavanila’s Choices

This story is set in the 17th century B.C. on what are now the Greek islands of Santorini (Thera) and Crete. It is about a young priestess who defies both her king and her father, contends with a murderous high priestess and even battles her lover to help her people survive the effects of one of greatest volcanic explosions in history of man. It is also a story of how inept leadership, greed, bigotry and the quest for power exacerbated the effects of that massive natural disaster and helped destroy one of the great civilizations of the ancient world. (under revision)

A Torturous Refuge

In the 12th century B.C., sea raiders attack a town on the north coast of Crete in pursuit of it most valuable commodities, its women and children. Survivors, under the leadership of Robic, a young priest take refuge on a defensible mountain top now known as Karfi. There, they found a community that survives and grows for 150 years. While there, an earthquake opens a fissure in which they find a golden bull, an icon they knew of only in legend. The characters in this multigenerational novel, the last remnants of the Minoan civilization, struggle to endure cruel winters, starvation, disease and social disorder. In the end, their colony collapses under circumstances they could not have foreseen. (in progress)

Retribution

From his hiding place, a young boy sees his father, a partisan leader in western Crete, die in a firefight with a German patrol in 1941. He also watches as the officer in charge kills his own soldiers to gain possession of a golden bull they find in his father’s hut. Those images smolder in his mind through decades of poverty and political upheaval until he can at last fulfill his life’s mission: to avenge his father. (in progress)