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Eclipse of the Crescent Moon

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,163 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Géza Gárdonyi set his Hungarian children's classic in the 16th century during the 150-year Ottoman occupation. Besides the tales of several battles, the novel details the 1552 Siege of Eger, during which Captain István Dobó's 2,000 Hungarian men, women and children inside the county's castle, defeated a Turkish force of 80,000 men. The Hungarian title, Egri csillagok> ( ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published December 1991 by Corvina (first published 1899)
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I own both Hungarian and English copies (both from Hungary) But it appears you can buy it used on Amazon with…more

I own both Hungarian and English copies (both from Hungary) But it appears you can buy it used on Amazon with the link above. I haven't read the English version yet, (just started the Hungarian one) so I can't comment on the accuracy of the translation yet.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 18, 2013 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, hungary
I chose this because I don't know much about Hungarian history and wanted to learn more. This book was a good teacher. Written over a hundred years ago, this has long been a classic in Hungary. It tells of the 1552 Siege of Eger Fortress, the gateway to Upper Hungary, against the Turks through the story of Gergely [Gregory, in English] Bornemissza. He is the hero and in charge of cannons and explosives at Eger Fortress. The story takes us through his childhood, marriage with his childhood sweeth ...more
Bernie Gourley
Feb 15, 2013 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it
This book is the English translation of a volume originally written in Hungarian and titled Egri Csillagok, i.e. "Stars of Eger."

Historical fiction works best when the event it's built around requires no fictitious embellishment to fascinate the reader. Eclipse of the Crescent Moon takes place during the 1552 siege of Eger. During this siege, 2,000 Hungarians held off at least 40,000 Turkish invaders for over one month. The Turks retreated despite having had superior armaments as well as a massi
Apr 22, 2009 Doris rated it it was amazing
This, along with The Hobbit, was one of the most formative books of my childhood. I think I must have read it 5-6 times between the ages of 13 and 17. There were parts in this story that echoed strongly with me and my identity even though I'm not Hungarian, not Turkish, not genetically tied to any of teh Balkan nations (that I know of).

And I'm not a boy.
Aug 10, 2009 Katinka rated it really liked it
I am an Hungarian girl (though living in the Netherlands), and so my mother encouraged me to read some hungarian literature.
Eclipse of the Crescent Moon was a very good book, i finished it in a matter of days. It's a shame this book is not internationally famous, because i strongly recommend it to everyone! seriously, read this book, you'll love it!
Obed M. Parlapiano
Feb 22, 2016 Obed M. Parlapiano rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, history
Once upon a time, I met a girl that was to become my partner in life and in parenthood. She's Hungarian and was brought up in a city called Eger.

Now you can imagine why I read this book.

I visited the Eger fortress way before finishing this book, which is kind of a shame as she recommended me to read it before visiting it so I could picture everything better and the meaning of it all. It was pretty cool though.

The book itself is a bit strange, maybe because my expectations of it were "Ok, this b
Lee Manning
Jun 01, 2011 Lee Manning rated it liked it
This was recommended to me while touring the castle at Eger, in Hungary. It is a fictionalized history of the 1552 attempt by the invading Turks to capture this fortress and the town it protected. The heroism of the defenders of Eger is legendary in Hungary, as about 2,000 of them held out agains a seige by a superior Turkish Army of over 20,000 for 39 days, at the end of which the Turks withdrew, their only defeat in their decades-long invasion of Hungary in that century.

The writing is not the
Mary Etta
Aug 04, 2015 Mary Etta rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this classic Hungarian historical fiction of the 1552 siege of Eger Castle, Hungary. My grandson is currently living in Eger in his LDS missionary service and I wanted to learn more of the heritage of the Hungarian people. The main characters of the book are well developed following them from childhood to the Turkish assault. I appreciate knowing a bit of Hungarian history in this way. Amazingly resourceful warriors dedicated to the survival of Hungary. I thought of news ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by my son Erik who was living in Eger, Hungary - the city where this takes place. It tells the tale of the siege of Eger by the Turks in 1552. The early part of the book gives the background to these events. It reads as a great adventure story, though a bit slow in the middle. I learned a lot of Hungarian history and geography. It was even more interesting to be interrupted in my reading to focus on reading current newspaper accounts of the migrant crisis in Europe as i ...more
Nov 26, 2013 cloudyskye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Just finished this, and oh, the feelings. I'm not a big flag waver, but this story makes me proud to be half Hungarian. I want to be as brave as the defenders of the fortress of Eger, vastly outnumbered but dauntless (!), standing up against the enemy who comes to kill, steal, and destroy, namely, the Turkish army. I want to be as calm and unswerving as their commander István Dobó, as resourceful as our hero Gergely. Come to think of it, their spirit reminds me a lot of Leon Uris's Exodus. Also ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Krisz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magyarul, ebook
A MEK-ről töltöttem le a könyvet egy egri családi hétvége alkalmából. Gyerekkoromban persze olvastam, de az nem tegnap volt. Érdeklődéssel olvastam újra. Gárdonyi fantasztikusan ír, nem vét hibát, a csata leírása közben (utolsó könyv) meg kábé mosdóba sem bírtam imenni, annyira izgalmas volt.
Sajnálom, hogy a hatodikos lányomnak ez kötelező olvasmány, mert nem neki való. Nekem való. Ma, meg mondjuk úgy tíz évvel ezelőtt.
Roberto Martínez
Jan 30, 2013 Roberto Martínez rated it really liked it
Shelves: clásicos
Since my girlfriend is from Hungary I was bound to read this book, a gift from her father. I'm not that keen on epic narrative, war stories don't usually appeal me and I'm not usually teased by nationalist chants, I have to admit that I enjoyed almost every single chapter of this novel. It contains all you can expect from a good adventure novel. In fact, it remind me of Dumas several times.
Geza Gardonyi's historical novel "Eclipse of the Crescent Moon" is thoroughly entertaining. It's action packed and sprinkled with a bit of romance, intrigue, and plenty of fighting between Hungarians and Turks.

Gardonyi takes the real-life seige of Eger Castle and romanticizes the life of one of the Hungarian leaders who defended the fort -- Gergeley Bornemizzsa, a Hungarian who made grenades that were partly responsible for driving the Turks away from the fort after a month-long seige. Gardonyi'
Jul 24, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it
Incredible graphic detail of the 1552 seige of Eger. After having visited Eger on several occasions and toured the castle remains, this novel gave me a great appreciation for the brave Hungarians who have defended the city.

Geza Gardonyi tells a good story leading up to the battle - he follows the plight of one soldier from his youth while inter-weaving several other characters. A childhood sweetheart, gypsy, adopted father, army commander, and enemy Turk all repeatedly cross paths. At first thin
Sep 11, 2011 Kmfurr rated it really liked it
A Hungarian friend from Eger pointed me to this story, partly set in her hometown. This is a young-adult historical novel recounting Hungary's siege of Eger -- essentially, Hungary's Alamo (or perhaps more like the Siege of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers). This book was published in 1899 and covers events around 1550, when the Turks have occupied most of Hungary and are advancing on the old fortress in Eger, outnumbering the defenders 50 to one.

It's quite a page turner with a l
Dec 01, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This novel is considered a classic of nineteenth-century Hungarian literature. It is a work of historical fiction which is required reading for schoolchildren and students, by the title -- literally translated -- "The Stars of Eger." Gerdonyi's protagonist is a young boy who is adopted by the nobleman, Balint Torok, a mid-sixteenth century leader of the Christian Hungarian forces as they battle Muslim Turks. This narrative, exquisitely written, follows the child in a chronicle of the Ottoman war ...more
Ene Sepp
Jan 02, 2015 Ene Sepp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Huvitav sissevaade Ungari võitlusesse vabaduse eest, sellesse kuidas käputäis vapraid mehi suudavad panna vastu tervele armeele. Muidugi oli väga meeldiv ka ülesehitus, mis jälgis peategelase elu alates tema poisikesepõlvest. Üldiselt oli terve lugu huvitav, kuigi vahepeal oli keeruline nimede tõttu lugu järgida, aga kui need keerulised nimed viimaks meelde jäi, sai keskenduda puhtalt lugemisenaudingule. Ma hoidsin ennast ka selle eest, et lahingu saatus enne raamatuga lõpule jõudmist välja uuri ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Aerien rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Őszinte leszek. Nem olvastam el. Mindig csak az első 20-30 oldalig jutottam. Miközben körülöttem mindenki imádta, én viszolyogtam tőle. Egyszerűen nekem túl történelmis volt. :D Nem kötött le. Habár a film nagyon is cselekményes ebből adódóan a könyv is biztos az, de én képtelen voltam elolvasni. Sort kéne azért egyszer kerítenem rá, hisz a film nagyon tetszik, de nem tudom mikor fogom megejteni ezt a találkozást. Sajnálom, tényleg, mert biztosan jó könyv. Csak anno gyerekként nem érdekelt a tör ...more
Mar 09, 2016 Prenex rated it it was amazing
I think the book is great but I miss the Hungarian title's meaning on the english cover. I like "Egri Csillagok" much more than "Eclipse of the Crescent Moon" as the battle is more about the "Stars of Eger" - which the Hungarian title means. ;-)

I think the choice of the english name can hurt some people which is sad too. Other than these I enjoyed the book a lot and of course read it in Hungarian ;-)
Apr 03, 2014 Attila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, historical, classics
While virtually unknown abroad, this is a very popular book in Hungarian literature. A work of historical fiction presenting the Hungarians' resistance against Ottoman occupation in the 16th century. Told through the eyes of Gergely who is a young boy at the beginning of the book, an adventurer later, and a valiant soldier towards the end. A really fantastic book, full of action, heroic adventures, and even a thread of romance.
My parents served their mission in Hungary and half of it was spent in Eger. This book is about the Eger fortress defending against the Turks to hold off the Turkish invasion. I thought it was really interesting...probably because I've been there. I wish I would have read this before I went. The last half of the book is mostly battle, but the heroes win.
Tim Petersik
Jan 08, 2013 Tim Petersik rated it it was amazing
Great book if you can get it. It's really written for adolescent boys, but the siege of Eger is an actual historical event (I visited the castle in the 90's) and the re-telling here is plausible. A small group of Hungarian soldiers and women hold off the onslaught of far more numerous warriors of Turks. The creativity shown by their leader, Istvan Dobo, is inspiring. Nice adventure tale.
Kitti Majzik
Feb 25, 2013 Kitti Majzik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an original hungarian story about love, war, suffering, misguise and so on. You can find everything that you like in history, the romance, the adventure. The story is about the castle and the battle of Eger in the middle ages and two young Gergely and Eva. It is true that the first 100 pages is not so exciting but after you can't take it down.
Joan  (Opfietse)
Een spannende historische roman met veel humor geschreven. Het boek gaat over de Turkse bezetting van Hongarije. Ongeveer de helft van dit boek beslaat de belegering van Eger door de Turken en de verdediging van de burcht in Eger door de Hongaren in 1552. Dat ging gepaard met veel bloederig strijdgewoel.
Jill Poulsen
Jul 23, 2016 Jill Poulsen rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a classic siege story with graphic descriptions of typical injuries and inventive death machines, this is your book. In all honesty though, I really did enjoy it and found it fascinating. There was romance, intrigue, and history. Definitely worth a read.
Attila Benő
This was a required reading in elementary school about the bravery of the defending soldiers and the horrific actions of the big bad enemy. I like the author, and I probably would like this story, if I would read it now, but in school, it just did not resonate with me.
David Koblos
A great Hungarian epic about the age of the Turkish occupation, culminating in the battle for the castle of Eger. It might not be the best book about this era, but it is certainly the most famous one.
Dec 08, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hungary
I bought this in Hungary. It is must reading for every Hungarian child. It is a tale of the siege of Eger. The Hungarians stopped the Turks only once, at Eger. Geza Gardonyi the author is a hero of the Hungarian language and culture.
Magdolna Kilian
Jan 02, 2015 Magdolna Kilian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like historical novels and this was as well exciting and good to read.
This was as well a book to read in the school.
Ashley Owens
Sep 17, 2012 Ashley Owens rated it liked it
An exchange student from Hungary gave me this book that details the history of her hometown, Eger. I loved having that connection as I read it, and enjoyed reading a different genre than I'm used to.
Julianna Kuti
Oct 12, 2007 Julianna Kuti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was one of my lovely books, I have read it in my school years and it was one of my dreams to see the really scenes of the books in Eger.
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Géza Gárdonyi, born Géza Ziegler (August 3, 1863 – October 30, 1922) was a Hungarian writer and journalist. Although he wrote a range of works, he had his greatest success as a historical novelist, particularly with Eclipse of the Crescent Moon and Slave of the Huns.

Gárdonyi was born in Agárdpuszta, Kingdom of Hungary, the son of a machinist on the estate of an aristocrat in Western Hungary. He gr
More about Géza Gárdonyi...

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