Written by Tonke Dragt
Translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson
528 pages – ages 12+
Published by David Fickling Books on August 25th, 2015
(Originally published in Dutch in 1962)
Synopsis- From The Publisher: “Sixteen-year-old Tiuri must spend hours locked in a chapel in silent contemplation if he is to be knighted the next day. But as he waits by the light of a flickering candle, he hears a knock at the door and a voice desperately asking for help.
A secret letter must be delivered to King Unauwen across the Great Mountains–a letter upon which the fate of the entire kingdom depends. Tiuri has a vital role to play, one that might cost him his knighthood. He must trust no one. He must keep his true identity secret. Above all, he must never reveal what is in the letter . . .
Tiuri’s journey will take him through dark, menacing forests, across treacherous rivers, to sinister castles and strange cities. He will encounter evil enemies who would kill to get the letter, but also the best of friends in the most unexpected places.”
What I Thought- I love books with a medieval setting like this. When done correctly, they can really insert you into the story line. Ms. Dragt does a great job of creating a realistic world with a code of chivalry. There are pretty neat black-and-white sketches for the different sections of the book. I really enjoyed the story. Tiuri is a marvelous character who you connected with. He is *this* close to becoming a knight, but, by doing the right thing, may lose his entire chance to become a doer of good, full-time. You feel for him, as he is conflicted by this question of character. Ms. Dragt is a masterful author, and Ms. Watkinson did a great job translating it into English. I really recommend this book to everyone who likes a good coming-of-age book!