Ismail Kadare’s The Siege dramatizes a relentless fictional assault on a Christian fortress in the Albanian mountains by the Ottoman Army in the fifteenth century. As the bloody and psychologically crushing struggle for control over the citadel unfolds, Kadare’s newest work opens a window onto the eternal clash between religions and empires as well as the exhilaration, despair, and immediacy of the battlefield.
Kadare is a hugely respected novelist and a hero to his people, as well as an outspoken critic of all forms of totalitarianism. The Siege is a “powerfully atmospheric . . . and vividly rendered” (The Telegraph) novel of considerable cumulative power and resonance for our own times.