The letter for the king

Tonke Dragt

Book - 2015

On the night of his final vigil before being knighted, Tiuri answers a request to deliver an urgent letter to a distant kingdom across the Great Mountains--a journey that will threaten his life and teach him the true meaning of what it is to be a knight.

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Subjects
Genres
Adventure fiction
Action and adventure fiction
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York : David Fickling Books/Scholastic Inc 2015.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Dutch
Item Description
"First published in the United Kingdom in 2013 by Pushkin Press."--Title page verso.
Originally published as: De Brief voor de koning, in 1962.
Physical Description
517 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780545819787
0545819784
9781782690818
1782690816
Main Author
Tonke Dragt (author)
Other Authors
Laura Watkinson (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Originally published in Dutch in 1962, this internationally celebrated courtly fantasy wasn't translated into English until 2013 and is finally making its U.S. debut. Before 16-year-old Tiuri can be knighted by King Dagonaut, he is to spend the night in silent, solitary contemplation in the chapel. However, when he hears a plea for help outside the window, he answers—what true knight would not? Tasked by a stranger to deliver an important letter to faraway King Unawen, Tiuri sets off alone on a stolen horse, with instructions to keep his mission secret. Soon pursued by enemies both dangerous and sly, Tiuri's journey spans forests, rivers, and mountains and is aided by unexpected allies. Although some modern readers may find this episodic tale slow or old-fashioned, others will be enchanted by its timeless sense of wonder and adventure. This hero's journey evokes a legend in the making, and Tiuri embodies the classic knightly ideals of honor, valor, and chivalry. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Following its 2013 release in the U.K., which marked its first English translation, this 1962 Dutch children's classic now hits American shelves, allowing a wider audience to enjoy this old-fashioned tale of knights, quests, and derring-do. Sixteen-year-old Tiuri is on the brink of achieving knighthood when he answers a call for help that launches him on an journey to deliver a letter of vital importance to a neighboring kingdom. His trek through the wilderness is long and hazardous, filled with allies and enemies—from the justice-seeking Gray Knights to the ominous Red Riders—and perils at every turn. There's a timeless charm to Tiuri's quest, a mixture of innocence and death-defying adventure, invoking chivalric ideals and a sense of refinement. Dragt conjures up elements of Tolkien and the Arthurian mythos, combining the traditional hero's journey with an episodic structure, as though the novel was made for serial storytelling, or to be read aloud. Though some modern readers might find the story tame or slow-paced compared to more recent offerings, the rich language, lush descriptions, and sense of wonder allow it to hold its own against any competitor. Ages 12–up. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Originally published in Amsterdam in 1962, this work took Europe by storm winning several awards and translated in 16 languages. It is the story of a young man on the verge of becoming a knight. While spending his vigil with four other young men, a sudden knock at the chapel door reveals an elderly man who gives him a letter and begs him to deliver it to the Black Knight with the White Shield. Though he knows it may cost him his knighthood, Tiuri abandons his vigil and takes up the quest only to find the knight lying in a forest withterrible wounds. With his dying breath, the knight implores Tiuri to deliver the letter to King Unauwen. With enemies of the king on his trail, the teen must find the courage to complete his task and the faith that those who appear to be allies will not prove to be false. In spite of an excessive number of pages devoted to setting up the plot and describing the dangers involved in the quest, the story clips right along providing readers with plenty of cliff-hangers (literally). While this is an interesting adventure story, it's a little difficult to understand how this could have been such a mega-hit in the 60s. Still, the characters are appealing and the action will keep readers engaged. VERDICT An additional purchase where adventure fantasies are popular.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK [Page 102]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

On the night of his final vigil before being knighted, Tiuri agrees to deliver an urgent letter to a distant kingdom across the Great Mountains--a journey that will threaten his life and teach him the true meaning of what it is to be a knight.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

On the night of his final vigil before being knighted, Tiuri responds to a request to deliver an urgent letter to a distant kingdom across the Great Mountains—a journey that will threaten his life and teach him the true meaning of what it is to be a knight, in a U.S. release of an award-winning story first published in 1962. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

On the night of his final vigil before being knighted, Tiuri answers a request to deliver an urgent letter to a distant kingdom across the Great Mountains--a journey that will threaten his life and teach him the true meaning of what it is to be a knight.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

The thrilling story of one boy's battle against evil set in an enchanted world of chivalry, courage, and true friendship