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Taina Cavalerilor: A Historical Novel by Ioan Dan
Taina Cavalerilor (The Secret of the Knights) is a historical novel by Romanian author Ioan Dan, published in 1976. It is the fourth and final volume of his Seria Cavalerilor (The Knights Series), which follows the life and deeds of Michael the Brave, the prince of Wallachia who unified the Romanian principalities in 1600.
The novel is set in the turbulent 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth competed for influence and territory in Eastern Europe. Michael the Brave, a vassal of the Ottomans, rebels against their domination and allies himself with the Habsburgs and the Transylvanian nobility. He defeats the Ottoman army at CÄlugÄreni and conquers Transylvania and Moldavia, creating a short-lived union of the three Romanian lands. However, he faces betrayal and opposition from his former allies, who fear his growing power and ambition. He is eventually assassinated by General Basta, a Habsburg commander.
The novel combines historical facts with fictional elements, creating a vivid and captivating story of adventure, intrigue, romance and war. The main characters are four loyal captains of Michael the Brave: Cae Indru, ChirilÄ Zece CuÈite (Chirila Ten Knives), Ducu cel Iute (Ducu the Swift) and Costache CaravanÄ (Costache Caravan). They are compared by readers to the musketeers of Alexandre Dumas. They fight with sword, mace, cunning and humor against the enemies of their prince and their nation. They also have their own love stories, involving noble ladies, gypsy girls or Turkish princesses.
The novel is considered a classic of Romanian literature and one of the best examples of historical fiction in the country. It has been praised for its lively style, rich language, historical accuracy and patriotic spirit. It has also been adapted into a movie in 1987, directed by Gheorghe Vitanidis and starring Ion Caramitru as Michael the Brave.
Taina Cavalerilor can be downloaded as a PDF file from this link. It is part of a collection of Ioan Dan's works that are available for free on the Internet Archive. The other volumes of The Knights Series are also there: Curierul secret (The Secret Courier), Cavalerii ordinului Basarab (The Knights of the Basarab Order) and Coroana de foc (The Crown of Fire).
The author of Taina Cavalerilor, Ioan Dan, was born in 1922 in Deva, a city in Transylvania. He attended the Normal School in Sighet and FocÈani, and later graduated from the High School no. 39 in Bucharest in 1968. He had various jobs, such as newspaper seller, quarry worker, dairy clerk, rice mill worker, amateur writer, typographer technician and artisan cooperative manager. He became a professional writer in the late 1960s, after publishing his first novel Regele sportivilor (The King of Athletes) in 1938.
Ioan Dan was a member of the Writers' Union of Romania since 1978. He emigrated to Germany in 1984, and then to the United States in 1986, where he settled near Los Angeles, California. He died there in 2003. He left behind a rich literary legacy, consisting of historical novels, short stories, memoirs and humoristic sketches. His works are appreciated for their historical accuracy, patriotic spirit, lively style and rich language.
Taina Cavalerilor is one of his most popular and acclaimed novels, along with the other volumes of The Knights Series. The series has been translated into Russian and adapted into a movie. It is considered a masterpiece of Romanian historical fiction and a source of inspiration for many readers who admire the heroism and wisdom of Michael the Brave and his loyal knights. 061ffe29dd