THE BEGGAR KING

10 Sep
First published in 2010 by Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH as Die Henkerstochter und der Konig der Bettler Translated from German by Lee Chadeayne First Mariner Books edition 2013 a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Historical fiction - soft cover 454 pages including the Prologue and Traveler’s Guide to Regensburg (“If you’re the type of person who insists on reading the last pages first, consider yourself warned …..” as there are spoilers in the Traveler’s Guide).

First published in 2010 by Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH as Die Henkerstochter und der Konig der Bettler
Translated from German by Lee Chadeayne
First Mariner Books edition 2013 a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
Historical fiction – soft cover 454 pages including the Prologue and Traveler’s Guide to Regensburg (“If you’re the type of person who insists on reading the last pages first, consider yourself warned …..” as there are spoilers in the Traveler’s Guide).

This is the third installment of The Hangman’s Daughter series. My reviews for the first two books can be found through this post.

The heart-pounding journey begins when Jakob Kuisl, the hangman of Schongau, travels to Regensburg to discover his sister and her husband, the local bathhouse proprietors, swimming in a pool of their own blood with their throats slashed. Jakob is accused and arrested on the scene. Locked in a dungeon, he waits for his only hope of salvation: the Regensburg’s executioner. The one who is to administer Jakob’s nightmare of torture.

With the ground work in place and unaware of what lies-in-wait, the hangman’s daughter and her lover arrive in Regensburg, only to hear of the monstrous plot to torture and execute her father. Whom do they trust to help them when all is not as it seems? And why is her father being framed?

All the Hangman stories are based on real people and real places with, of course, a peppering of fiction. With The Beggar King, we find ourselves in the 17th century along-side dark characters: beggars; prostitutes; a playboy; and a beer-brewing monk.

When the telling was over, and the tour of Regensburg (via the Traveler’s Guide) had ended, I went back to the beginning to reread the Prologue where everything became crystal. When you read this series, and you will, it will be impossible not to commingle your lives with those who live within the pages; it will be impossible for you to be an outsider. Oh, and by the way? You will feel the pain.

Oliver Potzsch is a master manipulator of words, and delivers a one-two punch knock-out in the first round. In addition to this series, he’s also written a brilliant historical stand-alone about King Ludwig, II of Bavaria, reviewed here.

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2 Responses to “THE BEGGAR KING”

  1. Elan Mudrow September 10, 2014 at 8:59 p09 #

    Nice review, well written.
    check out:
    litrotavator.com

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. THE POISONED PILGRIM | WORDMAN - September 26, 2014

    […] in Germany in 2008. It was translated into English in 2010, followed by its sequels: The Dark Monk; The Beggar King; and, thusly The Poisoned Pilgrim. All these stories are set in Germany during the 1600s, giving us […]

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