The novel encompasses the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Nikos, a young man, the son of a rich merchant who has eloped with the daughter of his business partner, leaves his Zagoria village in the Epirus region of north-west Greece in search of a better fate. His fascinating journey takes him first to Mytilene and then to Smyrna. In this cosmopolitan crossroads, a melting-pot of nationalities, cultures and beliefs, Nikos, who has now become Nikos – Efendi, makes a name for himself and becomes an influential member of society thanks to his wealth, acquaintances and family ties. In a world that is undergoing great changes, where new ideas are brewing, where new questions require new answers, our hero relentlessly continues his passionate quest: the fulfillment of his dreams. Those closest to him, whether in friendship, love, or thirst for power, narrate their common adventures against a background marked by the turbulent history of our modern times.
This novel, an amazing panorama of Greece and the Balkans at the tail-end of one century and the first years of the next, is undoubtedly one of the greatest best-sellers in modern Greek literature.