Jan van Aken (b. 1961) published in the literary magazines Optima and Nieuw Wereldtijdschrift, before having his real debut with the historical novel Het oog van de basilisk (The Eye of the Cockatrice) in 2000. He went on to write two more historical novels: De valse dageraad (The False Dawn, 2001) and De dwaas van Palmyra (The Fool of Palmyra, 2003). In 2005 he published Het fluwelen labyrint (The Velvet Labyrinth), set in the 1980s in Amsterdam.
Author Jan van Aken has been called the Dutch Umberto Eco because of his elegant, witty and complex historical novels. His Radiobooks story is set in the European Middle Ages: a time of Holy Wars, crusades and secret love affairs.Listen to this book