Book of the Night by Oliver Pötzsch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An interesting mixture of swashbuckling adventure, warfare inspired by both territorial ambition and religious fervour, and magic come together in this book set in the turmoil of the Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe. There is just a hint of druid history present as well for those who find such things intriguing.
The battle that begins in this book focusses on a young boy-man, his younger sister, and a group of friends that he encounters in the journey across the German Reich that is the background for the narrative. Almost by definition, this opening gambit in a much larger narrative arc sees us introduced to the major characters in some detail, including their back story, all of which enables the reader to prepare for the larger journey that is about to begin. The little group of heroes eventually triumph, as you might expect, but the scene is set for future adventures where they will face the power of evil as personified in their nemesis.
This book was originally written in German and translated into English. As with many translation efforts, the novel suffers a little (and only a little) from the translation exercise, and it took me some pages to get the hang of the way in which the prose is put together in English. Once the eye and brain have adjusted, however, the story jumps off the page ready to be enjoyed.
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