I'm almost finished with the Kindle book The Dark Monk. I received it and its prequel The Hangman's Daughter from BzzAgent. It's a website where members are chosen for BzzCampaigns where they receive BzzKits containing free items to try and share. This particular BzzCampaign consisted of two totally free Kindle books! I finished The Hangman's Daughter, the first book, in two days and I'm almost done reading The Dark Monk. These two books are fast paced, historical thrillers that take place in 17th century Bavaria.
What I love about these books is how easy it is for me to relate to. My mom is from Bavaria, and I've visited cities that are mentioned in the book and been very close to Schongau, so it's very easy for me to visualize, but Mr. Pötzsch is a fantastic writer and Lee Chadeayne does a great translation and I think even somebody who has never been to Bavaria would be able to picture the setting. At the end of this post, I'll actually include some pictures of the area.
One detail from the first book I loved is the superstition about redheads. I'm a redhead and my grandparents were stunned when I was born. In Germany historically red hair has been a sign of a witch and that is a part of the story, as one character is a redhead and concerned that her hair will mark her as a witch.
It's also cool that the books were inspired by the author's genealogy. I love working on my own family tree and I've had story ideas based on stories I've found about my ancestors so that angle adds extra charm. Obviously it's purely fiction, but just knowing that genealogy was an inspiration made it that much neater to read.
Both books are easy reads. They fly by so fast. In this case, however, easy read doesn't mean a bad story at all. The story in both books is very engrossing and it was usually hard to put my Kindle down when it was time to go to sleep. One morning I almost missed a doctor appointment because I lost track of time!
Check out The Hangman's Daughter and The Dark Monk by Oliver Pötzsch and translated by Lee Chadeayne and sign up for BzzAgent if you haven't already. They've got new campaigns frequently so there's always something to do!
As promised, here are a couple pictures of Bavaria to help set the scene.
Landsberg, where Benedikta is from
a Bavarian village church, possibly similar to the church in The Dark Monk
an inside view of a Bavarian church, with a balcony on the right
Bavarian countryside and a village
the Lech river that is mentioned frequently. This view is in Landsberg
a Bavarian farm. This is very typical architecture through the region
a picture of girls dressed similar to the time The Dark Monk is set
boys reenacting the war that is mentioned frequently. This is similar dress to what the characters would have worn
Here's a video review of the Hangman's Daughter!