Blue Times

by Nur İÇÖZÜ

Radikal Newspaper Book Supplement

December 12, 2003

“Children love mysterious journeys. With the author of “Blue Times” Mavisel Yener’s guidance, these journeys become callings…”



The Blue Applewas the first Mavisel Yener book I’ve ever read. If I recall correctly, dear Aytül Akal recommended it to me saying “Read and see what a good author is stepping into the children’s literature scene”. The Blue Applewas a tiny novella about a mysterious adventure a family that get lost in Insuyu Cave have. But her creepy lines were not solely employed as an element of excitement. The author had succeeded in looking through and questioning life from a child’s point of view. Yener, who grabbed and dragged her readers into a mysterious adventure, resumed this custom in her following books. Her novel On the Trail of Lost Sounds of Mustafa Kemalthat won her the first place in the novel category of Bu Publishing’s competition in 2002 was about a tree bearing witness to history.


Awarded with TUDEM’s 2003 Children’s Novel Award, Blue Timesis a fiction befitting to Yener for sure. While traveling back to thousands of years ago in the mysterious depths of history, she also managed to talk about today’s youth and their joys as well. Also by raising the issue of an archeological murder that people have been struggling to prevent in Pergamum she does not steer away from today’s events.

The text revolves around a legend that oozes out the dusty pages of an old tale book and penetrates Birce’s daily life comes true step by step.


Birce and her friends win a trip to Allianoi excavation site for a week in summer as a result of a writing contest. During this week, they get to learn the technicalities, features, challenges and the pleasures of archeology firsthand… It was not hard for Yener, who started off with this setup, to draw the reader’s attention to our country’s rich archeological resources. But the best part is how the legend the Full Moon Storyteller tells in the old book comes true one by one.


While explaining scientific facts, Yener also came up with some delicate ideas. Who would have thought that the world’s fate was between the two fingers of a nymph from the ancient magical water town of Allianoi? Starting off with an old piece of map found in the middle of France, some people come all the way to Pergamum and dive to underwater tunnels looking for what kind of a treasure? What do they find, what do they hope to change?


Mysterious events in the novel intertwined to each other sweep the reader off his/her feet as they read along. Even more, the author proves that an adventure novel can also have an amazingly descriptive narrative. Here are some examples:


“Travelling in the heart of Paris, the river Seine, a witness to history, persistent despite of her centuries-long fatigue, was flowing in the bosom of the city with the enthusiasm of a young river that had just left its source.” Which youngster doesn’t dream of becoming an archeologist while reading these lines? “Bülent saw the sunlight inside the sculpture’s dark hole-like eye pits. What can be more exciting than seeing a lost glance encountering the blue sky?”


Blue Times is a great novel with its brilliant narrative and gripping setting. I get the feeling of a sequel’s underway from the unanswered questions -like if the old story book is related to the manuscripts from Paris, where and how did the Storyteller of the Full Moon come from? I cannot wait to see what other beauties will surface from Mavisel Yener’s deep blue world.

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