The Falconer's Apprentice

Description

The Falconer's Apprentice tells the tale of an adventuresome 15-year old orphan, who embarks on a precipitous flight across Europe to rescue the falcon Adela.  A crotchety falconer, a secretive trader and his feisty daughter, a mysterious hermit, a young king in prison, an aging emperor, and an irascible Arab physician are among the principal characters in this action/adventure novel, set in the 13th century. Written for readers age twelve and above, this coming-of-age story conveys life in medieval Europe, with bedbugs next to silver chalices, food ranging from the moldy to the sublime, and intellectual sophistication side by side with rank superstitions.  Original poetry by King Enzio, imprisoned in Bologna, and writings about falconry by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen are incorporated into the novel.  The eight parts of the novel reflect the eight octagonal towers of the Castel del Monte, a critical turning point in the protagonist's life.

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About the Author

Author Name : Malve von Hassell

     Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator and holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has self-published a children's picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Mill City Press, 2012) and her translation and annotation of a German children's classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott's Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). The Falconer's Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults. There are two forthcoming historical fiction novels, one set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), and one set in Germany in 1645 and 1945, The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2020). Currently, she is working on a biographical work about a woman coming of age in Nazi Germany.

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He rode an old McClellan that had seen better days

But he sat up there like a king who controlled all he surveyed

His mount a buckskin mare as pretty as you’ve seen

With legs meant for working and eyes bright and clean

Behind him trailed a mule, a fine example of the breed

A pack piled high with goods but no halter or a lead

 

I asked him where he’s headed and where he might have been

The reason for his travel and what he might have seen

“I’ve seen the greatest country that God ever made

Sometimes mountain vistas, sometimes a grassy plain.

I’ve seen family members who make me feel ashamed

And many fellow workers who lie their way to fame

 

I’ve seen herds of caribou clicking cross the plain

Massive Mountain Grizzlies, great horses wild and tame.

I’ve seen massive progress ended by greedy fools

Or by those who need control and impose silly rules

And others stopping growth by thinking with their heart

When simple logic tells ‘em the horse is behind the cart.

 

We all get our little chance but others need a turn

The younger need some room to grow to build to learn

When I’ve done my time, my life here is thru

I don’t want my final vision to be only gloom and fools.

I’ll be free of all that as will the mule and mare

We’ve trod the greatest land, together scenery shared

 

It all makes my former life shallow and pale

And now where I travel nothing is ever stale

I’ve had my days of wealth measured in dollars and cents

With days, weeks and years surrounded by wall and fence

But now I have much more, a far greater treasure

Surrounded by natures wonders, beauty that can’t be measured

 

 

Any measure of success may not be right for all

The test that has some rise up will make others fall

I hope the path I travel and the message that I preach

Will be heard and understood by people that I meet

No one has the right to say that my view is wrong

Nor do I have the right to condemn another’s song

 

But enjoy the journey and help your fellow man

Have a laugh and learn, and make a proper stand

For something you believe, give it a proper fight

And if you should lose and you know you might

Within your heart you’ll know you did your very best

And did what you thought right when put to the test.

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