At the university, my sentiments for the events from the First and the Second Bulgarian Kingdom developed into a partiality for the cultural succession of the Antiquity and the Middle Ages in our lands. Therefore, I was tracking out with extreme interest the scientific publications on the history of the Thracians and the early history of the Bulgarians. Reading the studies of professor Alexander Foll, professor Ivan Marzov, senior research associate professor Dimitar Ovcharov, PhD, Vidka Nikolova, PhD, Tsvetan Stepanov, PhD, Veselina Vachkova, PhD, brought me extreme pleasure through the years. Their scientific conclusions are significant to my attempt to re-create in fiction khan Omortag’s times.
The historical sources from the time of khan Krum and khan Omortag’s reign give no information about the women in the rulers’ families. It is my conviction that the lack of information does not come to show that the Bulgarian princesses were denied political power. The history of many ancient societies is a proof that women have played an important behind-the-scene part not only in the ruler’s private life, but in the county’s life as well. My opinion is that the situation in Danube Bulgaria was a vivid example of the above.
No books depicting this specific period of our past in fiction have been published in Bulgaria so far.The name of the female protagonist – Aspata – is fictitious. There is no evidence for its existence so far. The historical events, in which I entangle Aspata’s destiny, however, are real; as real as the fact that khan Omortag was the third great ruler in Europe, an equal to the ruler of The Byzantine Empire and the Emperor of the Franks.
The protagonist in the novel is the Bulgarian princess Aspata – a trustworthy advisor of the khan in his governing of the country.
The book will take you to the remote ninth century, in the capital of Bulgaria at the Danube – Pliska, near the Great Sanctuary of Tangra, at the foot of the Madara horseman, as well as to the ancient city of Perperikon, so that you can experience the way of life of a country, which even the Great Byzantine Empire considered an equal.
I kept writing this book with the strongest conviction that it was worth sharing my pride with the reader – that we, the Bulgarians, are the descendants of glorious ancestors.
I was also writing with the hope that the story I have created would bestow people with beauty and love!
“Doctor Ivan Bogorov”
The Author of the cover of my book is the young and very talented painter Kapka Kuneva.
Even as a student at the Arts School “Acad. I. Petrov”, she was the winner of an annual exhibition, dedicated to the school patron. Throughout her study at the National Painters’ Academy, she presented several one-man-shows and took part into several joint exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. At the “Open Society” contest for a thesis she was awarded for her book “How the Dragon Kosyo learnt to Fly Again”.
She is also a winner of a prize for a group project from the Baumit contest "Colour in Architecture". Kapka Kuneva is a member of the Bulgarian Painters Association and an assistant-lecturer at the “Book and Printing” department at NPA. She has been working as an illustrator and graphical designer.
In 2005 was published the newest research of Mr. Stepanov, PhD - “THE BULGARIANS AND THE STEPPE EMPIRE IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES. THE PROBLEM OF OTHERness.”
My profound study on the early Bulgarian history would have been extremely difficult without knowing Mr. Tsvetan Stepanov’s (PhD) research.
Mr. Stepanov teaches “Cultural Studies” at “Si. Climent Ohridski” Sofia University. The main spheres of his scientific interests are: The Bulgarian and The Byzantine history and culture, “the steppe Empire” in the Early Middle Ages, power, ideology, the issues of sacredness and mentality.
He has publications in Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, the USA, Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine and Hungary.
Some of the more significant researches of his are:
POWER AND AUTHORITY IN THE EARLY MIDLE AGES IN BULGARIA /VІІ-MID-ІХ/
THE BULGARIANS OF THE MIDDLE AGES: NEW FACTS, INTERPRETATIONS, HYPOTHESES. A COLLECTION. Sofia, 2000
IN THE WORLD OF THE BULGARIANS FROM THE MIDDLE AGES: BETWEEN THE REAL AND THE IMAGINARY. 8 ESSAYS
THE BULGARIANS FROM THE ANCIENT TIMES TILL THE SECOND HALF OF VІІ CENTURY:
A history of the Bulgarians from the Antiquity till the end of ХVІ century.