Samarkand a historical novel wonderfully narrated by Amin Maalouf, inspired by the life of the great Persian philosopher Omar El Khayyam in the eleventh century. This novel leads us on the Silk Road, through the most pleasant cities of Asia. It is the adventure of a manuscript born in the 11th century, lost during the Mongol invasions and found six centuries later. It also represents a concrete encyclopedia of the history of Persia in the 11th and early 20th centuries. This book is full of real lessons about politics and Persia, and even with real and great historical figures (Omar El Khayyam, the great politician Nizam al-Mulk and the founder of the Assassins order Hassen Sabbah).
The novel is divided into two parts, the first takes place in the 11th century and tells the biography of Omar El Khayyam, and the drafting of his quatrains. El Khayyam was one of the most cultivated men of his time, and was still away from political conflicts, his life was still linked to the Assassins who destroy the political balance of the region. Then the second part of the novel equally exciting, it takes place in the early 1900s in search of the manuscript of Khayyam, where the author tells us the political evolution of Persia, but especially the evolution of the ideas of his people.
The Franco-Lebanese Amin Maalouf is very much liked by Algerian readers in the genre of novels. He met his first success of bookshop in 1986 with the novel "Léon African", then come the novels «Les Jardins de lumière» and «Samarkand» . He was awarded the "Maison de la Presse" prize in 1988. «Les Echelles du Levant» and «Le Rocher de Tanios» also know the author.