Jono Hardjowirogo Releases New Fiction, NOTO OF JAVA II
For those not familiar with the history of Java, the original Muslim kingdom of Mataram which peaked with Sultan Agung during the early part of the 17th Century eventually degenerated because of sibling rivalries and petty jealousies; brothers pitted against brothers, uncles against nephews, to gain control of a kingdom which was rapidly weakening and quickly fell under the control of the colonial Dutch rule. It eventually split into two, then three, then four. Today, the remnants of those four kingdoms are still in evidence: the Kasunanan of Solo, Kasultanan of Jogya, Pura Mangkunegaran, and Pura Paku Alaman. Each descendant house to the day still claims legitimacy as the rightful heir to that long-ago kingdom, though no one pay too much attention to them, except for those who are involved.
NOTO of JAVA II, the second book in a series written by author Jono Hardjowirogo tells the continuing story of Noto who becomes a fast-rising military leader and is about to be married to Princess Yanti. The wedding of the century was supposed to make the tie between the two kingdoms much closer, yet it also makes the people of Solo realize just how well-off the people of Jogya truly are. They have their beloved sultan actually working for them, managing the province ably, while the sunan of Solo is basically powerless outside the palace wall. The people demanded that the two kingdoms be merged. The solution made Noto the crown prince of both kingdoms, a position that will eventually make him the king of the Kingdom of New Mataram.
However, Notos' struggle with Nyai Roro Kidul escalated. He needs to destroy some old, evil weapons in the armories. Most of these weapons are from the age of Sultan Agung. They had been used to kill thousands of his own people when they did not succeed in overthrowing the Dutch from Batavia. In the olden days, the Nyai Royo Kidul controlled everything. Sultan Agung and those before him, as well as some of his successors, often meditated in the caves facing the Southern Ocean to be with the Nyai. Only the more recent sultans did not meditate. He proceeded to destroy all the ill-gotten accursed weapons in the armories of Jogya and Solo. But his attempt to rid of superstitions from among the Javanese while not falling into the clasp of Muslim fundamentalism have forced him to thread a fine line guided by several of his elders.