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The Trumpeter of Krakow Paperback – April 1, 1992
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The story of Joesph Charnetski-Kowalski, set in 1461, is fictional. Joseph's father, Pan Andrew Charnetski is the guardian of the Great Tarnov Crystal, which has been in his family's safekeeping for over 200 years. When Tarnov fell to the Tartars, the gem was entrusted to a Charnetski to hide until such time as its whereabouts became known, at which time it was to be given to the the King of Poland (Kazimir Jagiello in the story).
Pan Andrew, his wife, and son Joseph are driven from their farm in the Ukraine by Tartars who burned their home and destroyed their fields. Fleeing to the city for safety, they assume a new surname in Krakow and Andrew becomes the new church trumpeter. The family lives in a house with alchemist Nicholas Kreutz and his niece Elzbietka. The crystal, a stone of tremendous importance and power, is the object of pursuit by Bogdan the Terrible (Peter of the Button Face). When he discovers the Charnetskis' location and tries to steal the Crystal from them, one-third of Krakow burns to the ground.
Danger and intrigue follow the Charnetski family; readers of all ages will enjoy this story. That there is a basis in fact/history for the novel makes it even more fascinating. Treat yourself or a pre-teen/teenager to this award-winning book!
The father, Pan Andrew, takes up employment as a trumpeter at the church that is known for its trumpeter that plays at each hour. Joseph learns from his father how to play the heynal with the broken note. Some two hundred years prior, when the Tartars were invading Krakow, the trumpeter played this song in the tower, but was cut short by the arrow of a Tartar. To this day, in honor of this trumpeter, at each hour the same heynal is played and even cut short much as it was in the 13th century.
Joseph befriends an alchemist and his niece Elzbietka, who help them find a place to live in the city, on the floor just below theirs. As the story unfolds, the Charnetski's are sought out by the terrible Tartar bandit and unknowingly influenced by the world of alchemy.
"The Trumpeter of Krakow" is categorized as a children's book (ages 8-12), but the vocabulary level of the book would make me think otherwise. A motivated reader should not find this to be a problem. The story is entertaining, so I would not dismiss it simply because it is labeled a children's book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm starting to wonder if those early Newbery judges liked to torture kids?
This 1929 Newbery Award Winner was difficult for me to read, for a multitude of reasons. Read more
History Buffs will love this medieval fairy tale. Kelly's attempt to recreate archaic grammar and sentence structure made the reader feel at home in 1490s Krakow. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bob Covert
Beautifully written piece of Polish history. You can hear the trumpeter while on the city square in Krakow.Published 15 months ago by MrsM
I'm a fifth grade boy, and I read this book for school. I didn't like The Trumpeter of Krakow, by Eric P. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Allison Wright
Interesting mostly as an historical curiosity. It has an obvious link to conditions in Central Europe at the time it was written. Read morePublished 16 months ago by M. Schwarz
wonderful story; grandsons and Godson loved it. interesting to listen to them, so I will read it nowPublished 18 months ago by Shannon