Helena Kanderka is the granddaughter of four Slovak-American immigrants. She spent several years researching their roots for her first novel--Slovakland. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin--Madison. Three Euros from the sale of print copies of Slovakland will be donated to Slovaks who are currently housing Ukrainian refugees.
When it comes to the epic history of Central Europe, the Slovaks were involved in it all, yet little is known of their amazing story. Slovak immigrants rarely talked about the "old country." Textbooks skim or omit it.
The captivating history of the Slovaks is finally told here. It begins with a cunning jewel heist and escape from the Hunnic Avars in 791.
The characters then survive through the centuries as they become part of Great Moravia, Magyar-controlled Hungary, and finally the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire. The years connect them to Charlemagne, Crusaders and the Mongols. They survive plagues, famines, bloody battles, fires and cruel lords. We see them forced to work, fight, and change their religion. They learn to live by their wits and determination. Yes, they eventually rebel.
Despite the rape, plunder and gore, there are many light moments--the crazy priest, magnificent knights, the wonder of building a castle. And here the beautiful and mighty Slovak castles are settings for their own intriguing stories, not stand-ins for Game of Thrones or Braveheart.
Come journey through the ages and learn about these intriguing people and the Europe you never knew.