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Urchin King: Historical Fantasy Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Length: 232 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $0.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katharina Gerlach was born in Germany in 1968. She and her three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as her guide, the tomboy learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods. She didn’t stop at reading. During her training as a landscape gardener, she wrote her first novel, a manuscript full of a beginner’s mistakes. Fortunately, she found books on Creative Writing and soon her stories improved. For a while, reality interfered with her writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science she returned to her vocation. She enjoys to write Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Historical Novels for all age groups. At present, she is writing at her next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children, and a dog.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3053 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Independent Bookworm; English Edition edition (October 3, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 3, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SCR7TC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Katharina Gerlach was born in Germany in 1968. She and her three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as her guide, the tomboy learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods.

She didn't stop at reading. During her training as a landscape gardener, she wrote her first novel, a manuscript full of a beginner's mistakes. Fortunately, she found books on Creative Writing and soon her stories improved. For a while, reality interfered with her writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science she returned to her vocation. She likes to write Fantasy, Science Fiction and Historical Novels for all age groups.

At present, she is writing at her next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children and a dog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Author Katharina Gerlach has a knack for making you feel like you're inside the story. Authentic medieval historical details add to the visceral effect. In the beginning of Urchin King, a street urchin main character named Paul had difficulty finding enough food to eat. One of his friends was in worse shape with injuries, so it was a relief when Paul was a jerked out of that situation. An ancient law gave him the chance to decide between life and death for a twin he'd never known. Life for the twin meant deception for Paul. He chooses to take the place of his royal brother (that's where any resemblance to Prince and the Pauper ends) in order to save his brother and help his friends.

When Paul made new friends inside the castle, I was worried he might forget the old ones. He didn't. Let's just say things didn't go smoothly when he tried to look and act princely. Events and people prevented his efforts to help his friends until the kingdom was threatened. But even with the help of friends old and new, plus assistance from (magical spoilers), it was touch and go. A lot of go--escapes, chases, and journeys--couldn't prevent all-out war between kingdoms unless Paul found a way to stop an ambitious magical enemy from achieving his goals.

At first I thought Urchin King was more of a magical realism book, not my favorite genre, so I was happy when that devious magical adversary appeared. Although Katharina (Cat) foreshadowed some of the events, she kept me guessing on most. And just when Paul thought he could prevent one disaster, a worse one happened. Powerful evil stepped in. And that's about as much as I can reveal without more spoilers, except to say the author kept me turning the pages and surprising me until the end. I did guess one event.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paul is a street kid, an urchin who mostly lives with other orphans on the cold, hungry streets of a medieval-style fantasy kingdom. His surrogate mother, forced to cast him out by her rich but heartless employer, loves him but can no longer help him without losing her own home and job. The kingdom has a rule that says the second-born twin must be killed at birth, so Paul is unaware that he is, himself, a second-born twin, and that his (much plumper and more richly dressed) identical brother is the heir to the throne. The trouble is that the crown prince isn't king material. He's a lovely boy, but very slow to learn, with no hope of becoming a commanding presence or a wise ruler.

So, someone who knows the secret pulls a few strings, (you'll get this joke later), and Paul finds himself installed in the palace as his brother, the crown prince! As much as Paul yearns for the love of his real parents, he also misses his urchin "family" and his surrogate mother. And when the King, who isn't in on the trick, puts the street urchin on a horse for a hunting party--well, Paul worries mightily about being found out and killed for real!

Then there is the enemy kingdom and their sneaky plan.

At no time did this story become tedious or uninteresting. I felt so bad for Paul when he was hungry and lost, then so worried when he was a prisoner in the castle!

You should read this for yourself, because my fingers are getting tired.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paul, the quintessential street urchin, has spent the last nine years of his life barely eking out an existence in the back alleys and public squares of the town of Wynburgh -- completely unaware of his secret heritage. All of this changes when he's roped into an elaborate scheme that has him taking the place of the sweet, yet mentally challenged heir to the throne. Placed squarely in the path of a conniving wizard and an evil necromancer, Paul has to use all of his street smarts to outwit them and save the members of the royal family he has come to love.

Author Katharina Gerlach successfully combines an easy to read writing style with some first-rate storytelling in this appealing fantasy novel for young adults. Even though the set up, at first, seems to be similar to Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper," the similarity ends once you get past the "pair of princes who `coincidentally' resemble each other." "Urchin King" is a completely original story that stands on its own and is a lot of fun. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In the mythical medieval kingdom of Xawia, two newborn princes were separated at birth. But the law of the land, death to the second born of twins, was subverted and the younger twin hidden away, like the baby Moses. Years later he is found and now he must save his new-found, but damaged, brother by secretly replacing him as crown prince. You can't help but remember The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain when you read this book, but this story offers its own charming uniqueness in plot and characters, and I found myself wholly absorbed. The Urchin King is a wonderfully crafted book in which the prose and all elements of structure very quickly become invisible and the story seems to tell itself.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a wonderful story written by a lovely writer, it is much more woth than the price I paid, the story is original with hints of Prince and The Pauper, the descriptions and surrounds, emotions of the characters are so real, and the author takes you into the book by using senses, smell, touch, sight and taste, it is wonderfully 3 dimensional when it is easy for an author to lapse into 2D mode Gerlach maintains a lively vibrant atmosphere throughout.
The characters interact well and their emotions are all too real.
Well done
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