Escape From The Past: The Duke's Wrath
by Annette Oppenlander
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Pub Date 31 Jul 2015 | Archive Date 30 Mar 2017
John Hunt Publishing Ltd, Lodestone Books
When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that ee's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player; that ee's playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime; and that 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. "Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath" is a science fiction time travel action/adventure novel that will grip the reader's total attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for school and community library YA fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath" is also available in a Kindle edition ($0.99).
Nov 2, 2015: Historical Novel Society | https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/escape-from-the-past-the-dukes-wrath/
When 15-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson decides to try his hand at the master level of an unpublished video game, he isn’t prepared for the ultimate gaming experience: being transported into the actual past. This turns out to be medieval Germany, 1471, and Castle Hanstein, near the village of Rimbach, and the Klausenhof Inn, which still exists today in present-day Germany. Without any clues about the game’s rules, missions or even how to return to his time, Max uses his ingenuity, whatever he remembers from history lessons about the places and time, and friendships with a peasant boy, a healer, a beautiful servant girl, a lady in distress, knights, squires, and the lord of the castle to help him survive and pick his way through ordeals and hardships.
The historical details in the novel are on the mark and describe just enough to reveal the conditions of medieval life as a peasant, servant, craftsman, lord, lady, squire, and knight. Max stumbles through in time and masters the game, but matures and comes out a changed young man. Geared to a young adult audience, Escape from the Past is an entertaining and fast-paced read that guarantees to thrill any young reader’s/gamer’s wish to be a hero in a faraway time.
Email ben@jhpbooks for review copies of Book 2 and Book 3 (links to the books below)
Average rating from 11 members
A wonderful novel for historical fiction fans! Fast paced and full of detail.
I loved this book. I connected with the characters straight away and felt that I knew each one of them. I couldn't put it down, and was disappointed when I finished. I shall definitely be reading the next installment. I'm passionate about history and I get so excited when an author introduces me to new historical facts. Annette Oppenlander has done just that. She has taken a wonderful story from history, added her own fictional characters and has written a fantastic novel.
Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this book from the first page until the last . I was actually transported back in time and felt as though I was living every moment. If there was anything to criticize and this is really nit picking is that I wish the book had been longer. Congratulations on a fantastic book.
What a great idea.
Loved the descriptions of Medieval life.
This is a historical novel with time travel and draws upon modern knowledge all interwoven to create a wonderful adventure novel.
Max Anderson is a video game nerd. He gets hold of a new computer game created by his friend's father and suddenly finds himself transported to the Middle Ages. He has no option but to "play" along.
A computer game with a difference. An adventure that is all too real but all Max wants to do is go home.
I enjoyed reading this book, its quite an adventure but it has also been well researched which adds a lot of realism to the novel. It was interesting to see Max using his knowledge of the modern world and information he has gained from the TV programs to help him out of situations in the past. I also liked seeing how being stuck in the games builds Max's character and gives him an appreciation of what he has left behind.
I love historical novels and series. I always enjoy reading them, even when they have some flaws. The Duke's Warth 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. :P
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.
ツ The romance
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.