Few of you maybe know, but 2018 was the year when Romania turned 100 years as a country, 100 years since the great union in 1918, when the provinces of Basarabia, Bucovina, Transilvania, Banat, Crișana, Maramureș and Sătmar got united to the Kingdom of Romania, eventually forming the great Romania.
Taking into acount the above, I want to tell you about this book I read. It was written by Silviu Radu, a patriot, a man who decided to cherish Romania with it. It is part of a trilogy called “Codex Aureus“, this volume being called “Code Name“.
Codex Aureus is a manuscript, a illuminated Gospel Book written in Latin between 778 and 820. It is a very valuable document. So valuable that it cannot have an equivalent in money. Actually, it was used many times as a guarantee for country loans even in the communist period. And, as you can imagine, there are lots of interests standing for this document. Everybody wants to have it.
Going back to the book, the author tried (and my opinion is that it was a great success) to create a story that revolves around the manuscript, a fictional one, that is more or less based on the events in Romania. Although the author mentions at the start that any similarities with real characters, alive or not, is pure coincidence, I could not help but notice how every single character is somehow the corresponding of a real one. Other names were used, but at the same time similar with their correspondent.
While you read, you can see how various characters try to get the manuscript no matter the cost. There is a continuous fight between Vatican and Romanian leaders, for having the manuscript. On one side there is the Holly Chair that is after the manuscript for having more power and influence. They are willing to blackmail, steal and even kill for it. Specialised criminals are hired for doing the dirty job and fulfil the plan clean and neat. There is only personal interest, no care for the other, masked under a false faith for acting in the name of God.
On the other side, in Romania, the manuscript is valuable for presidential campaigns, influence, pride etc, But people are ready to sell it for personal interests, like money, fame, help etc.
As I said, there are many characters for which you can find a correspondent in real life, like Tofan Badescu (ex President Traian Basescu), Elena Tundrea (Elena Udrea – ex politician) or Victor Ronta (Victor Ponta – ex Prime Minister of Romania). Although the events are fictional, you feel like they could be real. The author imagined what the strings involved in the Romanian Government would be, but you cannot stop but wondering if somehow they transpose to reality also. I mean, a document this valuable can cause many reactions everywhere. Valuable interests can make people really go crazy. Writing this book, the author proved great deal of knowledge of Romania, the government, institutions, religion etc. Various important events were remembered like the death of Pope John the IInd, the election of a new pope, but, the most important, the fire from Colectiv club in Bucharest that took place on the 30th of November 2015, the one which killed 64 people and almost kneed the entire Romania. He touched sensitive subjects and made controversial affirmations. And he did it so well that you just start wondering how much of it is fiction and how much of it is reality.
This story starts its course in 1964, and spreads as far as 2016. That is such a long time, normally you would think that one would give up the obsession for something. I mean there are yet 52 years. But actually no. People are persevering. People follow their purpose relentlessly, smashing anyone who gets in their way.
This book has so many things in it, hidden mysteries, intrigue, suspense and complexity. Honestly I can’t say that there is something I don’t like about it. What I can do say is that it cannot be read by anyone. What I mean is that is easy to read and understand, but if you don’t like political insights and interests, you might get bored. So make sure you know the subject well before deciding to go through reading.
The book is valuable for me because it has a strong connection with Romania, the country where I was born and where I currently live. Because it tells some hard truths in it that few are able to write, but especially publish. I admire Silviu Radu for his initiative, courage and knowledge to create it.
Next volume from the trilogy is called The three parchments. I will be back with the review for it as soon as I finish reading.
Till then, I wish you happy reading.
© Gabriela Radulescu, January 12, 2019