Dolce Belleza: Review

Sons of Chaos by Chris Jaymes, illustrated by Ale Aragon: a modern story of an old war that helped shape Western civilization.

Posted on August 3, 2019by Bellezza

I stayed up well past midnight reading this book. I was utterly entranced by the story, and the illustrations, while the sheer size gave me an almost cinematic experience.  The hardcover is 13.5 inches by 10.5 inches, and the full color illustrations pull you in as if you are watching a film.

Sons of Chaos tells the real-life history of the Greek War of Independence, set on the Mediterranean shores in 1821. Ali Pasha, known as the “Napoleon of The East”, was an Albanian who appointed himself the leader of Northern Greece. Even the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire feared him, for Ali Pasha cared more about destroying the Suliotes (a small number of Greeks who denounce their oppressor) than supporting the Ottoman Empire.

Struggling against his evil power is Kitsos Botsaris, leader of the Suliotes. Kitsos Botsaris’ son, Marcos, becomes the hero of the story. Born into chaos, Marcos must learn to become a warrior, even though as a child he hid in the shadows as he watched the killing all around him.

Imprisoned in the dungeon of the Pasha, Marcos falls in love with Eleni, who was intended to marry Ali Pasha’s son, Muhhktar. They are both there against their will, similar in feeling the same pain if not the same circumstances.

The story is one of drama and intrigue, lies, manipulation and violence. In some ways it resembles The Game of Thrones, but the events in this book really happened. It is fascinating.

Sons of Chaos was written by Chris Jaymes (@chrisjaymes), a multiple award-winning American writer, director, producer, actor, and musician. It was illustrated by Ale Aragon (@ale_aragon_), a comic artist from Argentina. Together they have done a magnificent job of bringing a piece of history that helped shaped Western civilization to immediate attention.

This epic graphic novel of the Greek people fighting for their independence brings into focus a widely unknown portion of world history for modern readers.

The Greek War for Independence was a conflict that quietly influenced the entire world and participants ranged from the London Stock Exchange to celebrities such as Lord Byron. Average impassioned Americans also were willing to transport themselves across the Atlantic to fight alongside the Greeks. This conflict was the pinnacle of what we now know as the Romantic Period and yet, it’s a war that few know ever existed outside of the Greek and Turkish cultures; a war that stimulated the fall of the Ottoman Empire and shaped what we now know as the Western World, and in a sense is being fought today under a different heading amongst the political leaders of the Eastern and Western worlds.

The son of a Greek leader, Marcos Botsaris, was taken prisoner as a child and raised within the dungeons of an Ottoman Pasha. Ten years later, it’s 1821 and he heads back to Greece intent on leading his people in revolution.

~Penguin Random House