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The Trumpeter of Krakow Paperback – April 1, 1992
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About the Author
Eric P. Kelly, a student of Slavic culture for most of his life, wrote The Trumpeter of Krakow while teaching and studying at the University of Krakow. During five years spent in Poland he traveled with an American relief unit among the Poles who were driven out of the Ukraine in 1920, directed a supply train at the time of the war with the Soviets, and studied and visited many places in the country he came to love so well. A newspaperman in his native Massachusetts in younger days, Mr. Kelly later wrote many magazine articles and several books for young people. He died in 1960.
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Top customer reviews
even though it is historical fiction, which is my favorite. The storyline didn't build up quickly, so I thought it was kind of slow-- and that's coming from a guy who LOVES historical fiction. It is not like other historical fiction books, which mostly focus on the characters and the action of the story. This book has a lot of descriptions, even of things that do not really matter much to the reader, which sometimes makes it confusing. For instance when the main characters, the Charnetskis, enter Krakow, the author describes practically everything-- he describes the churches, passersby, buildings--everything the characters see. Personally I think that all of the description slows down the story. However, I think
the reason the author chose to describe everything is because no one from our time has been to 15th Century Krakow, Poland, and we
don't know what it was like. In that way, the descriptions helped me feel like I was in Krakow during the story. But I still would've preferred a quick build to the plot rather than a lot of description. Overall, it was worth reading but not as exciting as I would have liked. (PS-- my mom disagrees...she thought it was GREAT!)
Then comes the exposition, but along around p. 40 the book provides a perfect villain in Bogdan, a half Tartar/half Cossack, and a prized crystal, the Great Tarnov Chystal. Historical background is provided with a substantial subplot involving an alchemist working in the lodgings above our heroes, Andrew Charnetski, his son Joseph, and his wife. Fights, intrigue, fires, treachery, black magic... there's a little of everything here. Mention is also made of The Philosopher's Stone (he first Harry Potter book was named after one and the same). Recommended, especially if you're Polish and are interested in your heritage and the beautiful city of Krakow. History buffs and historical fiction fans will also find rewards in this book.