The Letter For The King
by Tonke Dragt
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.
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.
He must trust no one.
He must keep his true identity secret.
Above all, he must never reveal what is in the letter…
This is a monster of a book. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this. Dread set in when I saw it was an almost 530 page medieval knight’s story. That combination just screams, long, slow, and boring. I read it anyways and was quite shocked at what I found.
Somehow, Dragt manages to make 530 pages of questing interesting and relatively fast paced. I had absolutely no idea it was possible to pack all kinds of action into that many pages of just travel, and I still don’t know how Dragt did it, but I was beyond impressed when I found that I was halfway through and still fascinated.
The plot while action filled, never seemed too dramatic or intense, and was surprisingly, rather simple. It worked really well for the story line and Dragt’s writing and style.
I don’t have much patience for most middle grade and younger seeming books, but I never once felt like I was reading a childish book when I read The Letter For The King. It was fantastically versatile and would be appealing to pretty much anyone with a love of adventure and the time to read all 530 pages.
The characters were endearing and possibly my favorite part of the story, although they seemed rather formal and reserved at times, but I believe most of that impression came from Dragt’s voice and style. All the relationships and people seemed almost sugary sweet with rather similar personalities, but that didn’t strike me until after reading it, and didn’t bother me at the time. The good and evil is very clear cut without a whole lot of gray area or guessing, but somehow that works with the style of the book too.
Last Thoughts: The Letter For The King is a fantastic yet classic adventure story that jumps off the page. Full of classic heros and villans, danger, friendship, and mystery, it is a tale that speaks to the imagination and appeals to all ages. Four and a half out of five stars.
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