The Central Theme of the novel is the controversy about the choice of religion by the Khazar Khaganate. This real historical event took place at the end of VIII – the beginning of the IX century.
In his work, Milorad Pavic considers the possibility of choosing
a religion for the Khazars between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Each version of the selection is dedicated to the book (red, green, and yellow, respectively). The dictionary is a nonlinear text, which combines the times, the characters, and their stories.
Most of the characters and events in the book are fictional, as is the culture attributed to the Khazars. The author creates a new mythology, intertwining historical facts with fiction, enriching the novel with a layer of meanings, concepts, legends, and interpretations.