This is like a trip back to childhood. A knight’s tale of a trip across the land to deliver a letter to the King, being chased by the dangerous Red Knights, keeping a secret that no one must know and knowing who to trust along the way. Tiuri is a soon-to-be knight who is to be knighted the next morning but fate doesn’t have that in store for him. He is sent on a quest by a mysterious old man who asks him to deliver the letter to another knight whom he finds dying and is then sent on a further quest to complete the dead knight’s journey.
This is absolutely what you expect from a children’s knight tale. There is betrayal, sword fights, dangerous hikes, mysterious strangers and ultimately the battle against the good and the bad. It was originally written in Dutch and was translated a couple of years ago into English. It is an enchanting read and indulgent to the point where you know that everything is going to end up OK, yet still go along for the journey as it is so much fun.
I loved the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, I feel like they really added a bit of excitement to the progress of the book. A lot of things happen and you do end up wondering what more trouble could possibly pursue them through their quest? Answer: loads more. I really enjoyed the imagery that the author gave as well, not just through the illustrations but through the words. It was lovely to be travelling with Tiuri and to experience new things through his eyes.
I also really loved the different characters that come along. Both the good and the bad, it made me really happy to read about all the different people that they meet and who they make friends with. It is even nicer when you look back and count the amount of friends he has made along the way.
It was an enchanting read. It took me a while to get into it as it is very much a children’s adventure book (although written in a style as though for adults) so I was at first eager for the things to happen all at once and for the adventure to truly begin. But of course, the adventure creeps up on you as it does the main character. A slow and relaxed read, no point rushing through this one. But it makes you want to drag it out and savour it more. It is a charming, enchanting and heart-warming read. Not many shockers so if you are after that kind of thing, you may want to look elsewhere but this is a book where you get what you pay for. And what could possibly be wrong with that?
The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt