A Historical Book about the Mystical Realms of Transylvania on Sale

Explore the mystical realms of Transylvania, a land steeped in rich mythology and turbulent history through an “exceptional”, “magical”, “fantastic” book: DREAMLAND. As I traversed its enchanting landscapes, the echoes of an ancient past and the haunting remnants of myths and legends unfolded before me.
On SALE for 99c between 22 – 25 November 2023, US only.

"From mountain slopes covered in oaks,
Such stoic guards of spirits free,
A legend floats like falling leaves
Rustle in autumn. Bygone springs." (Dreamland)

My journeys took me beyond the well-known tourist destinations of Sighișoara and Sibiu, to the mountain-top castles of Slimninc, Bran and haunted Banffy, as well as the magical and historical mountain-pass at Râșnov and legendary Retezat Mountain. I heard the wind sigh the secrets of the monks at Cârța and I also heard the blessed sound of a shepherd’s flute. I met extraordinary people from remote Transylvanian villages and ate legendary potato bread.

In mystical Transylvania, rustic Banat, quaint Crișana, and timeless Maramureș, villagers still dance with hay-scythes, telling stories of harvest magic, legendary shepherding, mountaintop fairies and giants, and carve ancient symbols in wooden gates and blessed bread . Enchanting horse-drawn carts paint whimsical trails that lead to clusters of colorful villages that sprouted in the meadow like fairy houses, guided by unseen sprites. Roads once stomped by Romans and Dacians were later walked upon by local warriors, while today are known by the wind and the bears.

"Once there lived a man who looked like any other from his tribe.
Once there lived a man who was not skilled at hunting, or fishing, or building a fire."(Dreamland)

From the protective red tassels on the harnesses of draft horses to the plethora of crucifixes lining the path. From the savory delights of golden polenta, mămăligă, paired with sheep cheese and cream, to the finger-licking dumplings with plums or sweet and sticky kürtskalács, and fiery plum brandy, local palinca, I savored a rich and unforgettable taste of life on the Transylvanian plateau.

Because of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Transylvania is synonymous with vampires and werewolves. The novel, which was published in 1897, piqued readers’ interest and spawned an elaborate vampire mythology. This legend spawned a thriving “vampire tourism” industry in Romania, connecting the fifteenth-century prince Vlad to the legendary Count Dracula. The fact that Vlad was given the nickname Drăculea (son of Dracul) by the chivalry Order of the Dragon fueled the myth.

"My heart is open as the valleys ahead. As I stroll along the mountain path my foot awakens the echo that's been sleeping."
Dreamland Transylvania book quote

The words dragon and “drac”/ Drăculea are near homophones in old Romanian, adding to Vlad’s sinister reputation. While atrocities were committed as Wallachia’s prince, he also led a valiant defense against Turkish invaders, far from the blood-sucking creature depicted in folklore.

Troiţe, or crucifixes, dot the Transylvanian landscape, warding off not only the devil’s influence but also ancient forces lurking in the woods. Crossroads had a foreboding and sinister reputation in the winding tapestry of history, whispered about in hushed tones by those who navigated the byzantine trails of ancient routes. Tales of spectral encounters and strange occurrences clung to these points like shadows, weaving a collective belief in the supernatural into the air. Locals believed that crossroads were realms where the veil between the tangible and the ethereal was thinnest, inviting otherworldly forces to cast their influence on unsuspecting travelers, as are different nights throughout the year.

"Until it perishes under Saint Michael's lance, a Dragon cannot die. It sleeps. Like Dracula."
Dreamland

Bears and wolves still visit human settlements, and snow can fall for up to six months of the year. Survival in this harsh environment requires an understanding of the delicate balance that exists between humanity and wild nature. Animal mask rituals are performed in isolated villages, echoing the practices of Transylvania’s ancient ancestors, the Dacians.

The forest provided refuge during centuries of unrest, allowing Transylvania to survive and maintain its autonomy and strong identity despite invasions by Tartars, Magyars, and Turks.

The plateau’s people found solace in the forest, as stories from “Dreamland” and “Transylvania’s History A to Z” depict, weaving a resilient tapestry of their cultural heritage.

This Black Friday there will be a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion where you can SAVE 67% on two of my eBooks: DREAMLAND and JOYFUL TROUBLE – US Only.

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