The Duke’s Wrath
Escape from the Past #1
Published July 31, 2015
When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he’s sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn’t realize that 1) He’s been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game’s rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever.
Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets’ nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love historical novels and series. I always enjoy reading them, even when they have some flaws. The Duke’s Wrath is no different in that regard. However, it is the first historical novel written for young adults that I’ve read so far. Annette Oppenlander did a good job combining the historical elements with the young adult genre.
As the blurb states, the novel is set in Germany. It starts with Max living his normal teenage life in present Germany, and he ends up being transported in Medieval Germany, late 1400s, same city. His best friend’s dad created a video game that takes the player back in time.
The novel follows Max adventure and how he deals with being a XXI century teenager living in Medieval times. The story is told from his perspective alone, in the first person.
It is a fast-paced and grabbing read. I read it really fast. The novel is full of funny moments, as well as sad ones. There are also some battles and conflicts, which were really well written.
The novel offers plenty of historical details about Medieval Germany, as well as descriptions of buildings and surroundings. It was really easy to imagine the setting and the times. However, there are some modern prejudices regarding the Medieval Times, but they don’t take away from the story, only the history geeks like me would spot them. 😉
The main character is Max. Finally, a series from a boy’s perspective – they’re quite rare in young adult novels.
Max is a lovely boy and a nice lad. He’s kind hearted, warm, and a little bit naive. His voice is clear and is quite obvious he is a guy, not a gal. (Some novels with a guy as the main character still read like a girl’s speaking. )
There are other incredible characters. Max’s new best friend (Bero), his love interested (Juliana), his new Lord (Werner). The villains are also quite intriguing and entertaining.
In general, the characterization is really well. The character’s voices are unique and distinct. Likewise, they are also interesting characters to read about.
There is romance in this novel. I would say it’s one of the main sub-plot. Max tries his best to save his gal, Juliana, as well as wooing her. There are some sweet, nice moments between these two, but nothing too exaggerated.
In general, I liked the romance. It fits well with the whole story. However, if you expect this novel to be your typical YA romance story, then you’ll be a little bit disappointed. Maybe the adventures will make it up to it. 😛
A really good novel. I liked it a lot. I will continue to read the series. I really want to know what happens to Max and with the video game.
What I liked:
ツ Twists and turns. In other words, adventures.
ツNice, entertaining characters.
ツA great story.
ツEasy to read.
ツHistorical elements were not slowing down the plot.
What I didn’t like:
☹ The modern prejudices regarding the Medieval Times
Yes, I recommend this book to everyone. It can be easily read even by people who are finding it hard to get into a historical novel. It’s not too stuffy, and it’s well balanced.
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