"The Carpathian Mountains—legendary land of Gothic castles, eerie accents, and the depredations of vampires and werewolves.
But what are the Carpathian Mountains really like? Do Western readers know what really lurks in the dense forests blanketing
the steep mountain slopes? (The most significant populations of wild animals remaining in Europe west of Russia.) Do they know
what survives in the scenic valleys and on the lofty meadows? (The “old life” of rural Europe.) Do they know what diverse forms
the craggy ridges have given to the many cultures and nations of Central and Eastern Europe, and to human imaginations the
world over? (Too varied to summarize on a cover.) Do they know how it feels to explore the landscape’s challenging contours?
(Invigorating, rewarding, exasperating, enlightening...) Enter Into the Carpathians to discover a beautiful and enchanting world of
adventure, history, mystery, and more!"
A compelling chronicle of a hiking and wildlife research expedition along the length of the Carpathian and Sudeten Mountains,
from Romania to Poland, some 800 miles as the crow flies. On the trail of wolves, we are led deep into the enchanting forests, misty hills,
and intriguing history of this fabled landscape, where encounters with wolves, bears, and lynx; werewolves, vampires, and witches;
lumberjacks, shepherds, and outlaws; poets, tyrants, and saints; deities, demons, and sirens; and such imposing
historical figures as Attila of the Hunnic Empire, Volodymyr the Great of Kievan Rus, Vlad the Impaler of Transylvania,
Marcus Aurelius of the Roman Empire, Prince Svatopluk of Great Moravia, Stephen the First of the Kingdom of Hungary,
Bolesław the Brave of the Kingdom of Poland, and Jan Sobieski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth provide broad insight into the natural,
historical, and mythological forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, the cultures, nations, and psyches along
the way. Dozens of beautiful color photographs also emblaze this memorable trek.
Alan E. Sparks is the award-winning author of Dreaming of Wolves and
Into the Carpathians, and has written articles about wolves for
International Wolf Magazine
and other publications. As a teacher of English as a second language, commercial actor, and web designer — and as an avid walker,
hiker, backcountry skier, animal tracker, and student of history and culture — he has lived, worked, and trekked extensively in
the Carpathian Mountain region of Central and Eastern Europe.