“Gripping and persuasive. . . . About the forces now raging in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union, Mr. Szczypiorski seems to have shown uncanny prescience.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Haunting, direct, and technically masterful.” –New York Newsday
“The novel’s philosophical sophistication and historical verisimilitude makes it far greater than mere allegory.” –Boston Sunday Globe
“[Szczypiorski’s] breadth of experience, and of suffering, is distilled into this remarkable book which, although it is allegorical in form and brimming with abstract ideas, pulsates with a very human vitality.” –Sunday Telegraph (London)
“A thought-provoking meditation on the human tendency to find meaning in suffering by blaming others and to pervert ideals to base means. . . . Simply, elegantly, and yet with great power, Szczypiorski lays out the dangers of a worldview clearly reminiscent of Eastern Europe before the fall of communism.” –Library Journal
“[Szczypiorski’s] resonant story is a timely meditation on crimes committed in the name of religion and on the misplaced faith the ruled place in their rulers.
The translation preserves the pungent medieval atmosphere, evoking a mindset that, the author implies, is very much alive today.” –Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating and well-written parable about the horrors of totalitarianism and the combination of hysteria and indifference that allow it to metastasize.” –Booklist