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The Dark Monk (US Edition) (A Hangman's Daughter Tale Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 514 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The mysteries themselves were pretty interesting, and the only regret I'm having is my wondering if the town's clerk (the real ruler) is going to be the primary antagonist at some point. But I'll always have to wonder.
This one hits the ground running right out of the gate when a local priest is found murdered. Simon is summoned to the scene in order to help the portly old man but by the time he gets there too late but the priest left a clue. Simon thinks there's a bigger mystery than the murder of the priest and ends up enlisting the help of Jakob the hangman. What follows is a whirlwind mystery rich in ancient societies, historical detail, misplaced intentions, murders, subplots, well drafted characters and great dialogue.
Magdalena takes a more prominent role in this second effort. While the first one was called The Hangman's Daughter it was mostly about her father, Jakob Kusil. While he's still featured prominently, many of the subplots and the main plot feature Jakob's daughter much more than the first book. Still, it seems that Simon is more the feature of this book than the Kusils but they're all intimately tied together.
One of the aspects I liked about this one especially were some of the insights we get into Jakob's past from when he was a mercenary, before he became the town hangman. With tantalizing little flashbacks, the author reveals a little bit more about what makes Jakob Kusil tick. In addition, both Magdalena and Simon are shown to be coming into their own. Magdalena remains a strong woman who's shunned in a man's world simply for who fathered her and Simon is ever at odds with his old fashioned and stubborn doctor father. The three get into tight spots both singularly and as a collective and they use their brains and natural talents to address the problems. This leads to some great character moments and some very well written action sequences.
Potzsch plants bread crumbs throughout and is very deft at revealing clues without calling showing his hand until he wants to. The plot and all the interwoven subplots are razor sharp and paced very well. There are no slow spots in this novel and each scene is all part of the bigger tale. Just about every character in this book, even the minor players, are integral to the overall picture.
It's difficult to summarize the plot any more without giving too much away so I won't ;) Just know that if you liked the first one you should like this one equally as much and for anybody that may happen upon this review who hasn't read either one yet, I can't recommend the series highly enough. A great historical mystery with characters that are anything BUT cookie cutter and are interesting and fun to read every time they show up on a page.
Great stuff. Also comes with a preview of his next novel, The Beggar King which is just enough to whet the appetite for the next in the series!
"The Dark Monk" is the second in the series and the main protagonists are the same three characters we met in the first novel : Jakob Kuisl, the hangman; Simon Fronwieser ; Magdalena Kuisl, Jakob's beautiful daughter (who is always getting in trouble). Other characters move around them, but these are the main three. In this book, Simon and Magdalena tangle with obsessed Priests and Templar lore, and, as always, there is a dramatic finish. Sometimes things go a bit over the top but some poetic license is certainly acceptable! These would be great vehicles for television, and I believe Mr. Pötzsch does indeed write for television and films, as does our own George R.R.Martin. This leads me to another point about these books: it was able to pull me away from " Song of Ice and Fire" read and re-reads for a while, anyway! Quite a feat in itself !
My only quibble is the translations. The translations of both "The Hangman's Daughter"(the first novel) and "The Dark Monk" are stilted and awkward and I would love to see better translations of these fine, fun novels.
I look forward to reading the next installment.
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