New Book: ‘The Darker Shadow’ by R. P. Sevadjian

The Darker Shadow by R. P. Sevadjian
Publication date: Nov. 23, 2017
ISBN:Hardback 978-0-9931339-2-3
Paperback 978-0-9931339-3-0
215 pp.


Written for younger readers and those who do not know much of the recent history of the Armenian people, The Darker Shadow gives enough information to explain events during the Armenian Genocide, in the hope that it will spur readers on to find out more.

The cover of The Darker Shadow by R. P. Sevadjian (Cover: Yerani)

The Darker Shadow is a coming-of-age novel set in the Ottoman Empire during the first year of WWI. It tells the story of teenage twins, Bedros and Dzovinar, who live in Aintab with their uncle. The novel traces the events of autumn 1914 to summer 1915—the beginning of the systematic annihilation of the Armenian race in the Ottoman Empire. It tells the story of important episodes, such as the battle of Sarikamish, the fall of Zeitoun, and the defense of Van, among others.

The Darker Shadow is a work of fiction based on fact. All of the main characters in the story are fictional, with the exception of Dr. Clarence Ussher, who was a key eyewitness to the defense of Van and who wrote about it in detail in his memoirs.

The book is the sequel to In the Shadow of the Sultan, which was published in 2014. As with In the Shadow of the Sultan, The Darker Shadow tells of a long journey that Bedros and Dzovinar are compelled to undertake together with their uncle and his American friends. They travel over difficult terrain and through remote and devastated villages, and form a better understanding of the treatment of Armenians throughout the empire.

The books present a description of the traditions and customs of Armenian life, and also provide essential political and historical context for the Armenian Genocide.

Both books are available from Amazon and from

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1 Comment


    We were
    an island of faith
    risen in a sea of ominous
    pagan tempests threatening
    to swamp the very sound
    of our prayers of hope
    in a furious gale of
    fear and dread…

    We had
    made the leap
    to Light and Peace
    with the Grace of the
    only born Son’s descent
    on the sacred land of Eden
    and His disclosure to the Saint
    sent to Ararat dyed crimson
    with the blessed blood of
    the maidens martyred
    by an incensed king
    gone stark mad…

    We had revered
    Anahit the mother
    of all wisdom adored
    Mary the Mother of God
    we made the cruel journey
    bearing the heavy cross
    of double martyrdom
    at Avarayr and then
    at Deir-ez-Zor…

    * * *

    In the splendor
    of spring, the sun rose
    on the darkest day of our
    lives, shining on bare blood-
    soaked bayonets of men
    prodding old men and
    women and babes
    onto a long trek
    to demise…

    At sunrise
    We left behind
    ancestral homes
    a native soil we had
    tilled for many millennia
    orchards schools churches
    and burial grounds… forced to
    drag our worn out famished
    and broken bodies to a
    distant endless alien
    graveyard in the
    lifeless sands
    of the alien

    Parched inert
    where nothing grew
    and all things withered
    and died… by the time the
    end came bones outnumbered
    the stars and the crescent
    moon appeared in dark
    blood-red skies…

    Then the moans
    of anguish morphed
    into clarions’ call to a final
    battle for faith and Homeland
    and valiant sons and daughters
    of Urartu Nayiree and Ararat
    Van Moush and Bitlis rose
    as one and raised the
    rainbow colors of
    the Covenant…

    And I survived.

    —————- Tatul Sonentz
    April, 2009

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