Published in 1855 and considered Greece's first realistic social novel, Thanos Vlekas is a witty and ambitious portrayal of the problems facing the newly established Greek state after its War of Independence. The story of two opposing brothers, it addresses the brigandage, corruption, and bureaucratic bumbling that plagued the newly established Greek state.
Thanos is a young farmer struggling to improve himself despite the derision of his mother, who considers him incapable of bearing arms for his country. She prefers instead her more "heroic" son, the brave and ambitious brigand Tassos, whose courage and resistance to authority embodying the virtues that helped Greece drive out the Turks. While Thanos works his land, his ruthless brother uses the political machinery and wealth gained from robbery and murder to replace the old Ottoman landowners and subjugate the villagers.