Note: this giveaway is now closed. I was ready to drop my measuring cups and mixing bowls, and head for the hills for an adventure in the mountains while reading ‘The Letter for the King’.
It’s a gripping but easy read. I love reading a variety of novels and stories, but sometimes when I’m chasing a deadline or in the middle of recipe testing, I really need something that isn’t too much of a challenge. And even though Tonke Dragt’s ‘The Letter for the King’ is aimed at young adults, it really is a fascinating read for adults of any age.
Whilst I’m not usually a huge fantasy fan (am yet to jump on board the ‘Game of Thrones’ books), I really loved reading a different genre. And it was a thrilling to escape to the treacherous terrain of the Great Mountains, as I joined sixteen-year-old Tiuri on his quest (to deliver a secret letter the King).
A few chapters in, and you’ll be quickly gunning for Tiuri. As the book’s main character, he maintains a strong sense of integrity, despite the hardships he goes through. I found it an inspiring read, and loved anticipating who he was going encounter next on his journey.
First published in Dutch in 1962, ‘The Letter for the King’ (De brief voor de Koning) is now considered an international favourite, and I’m actually quite surprised that I’ve only just heard of it now. Over the years it has been translated into many languages, and luckily there’s now an English translation. Dutch author Tonke Dragt has a truly fascinating story. As a young girl, she grew up in Dutch Indonesia, and her far-from-ordinary childhood included three years in a Japanese occupied prisoner-of-war camp (during this period of her life Tonke wrote her first book).
I was first drawn to the beautifully illustrated cover (who said that we don’t judge books by their covers!). And I was interested to learn that Tonke illustrates most of her own books – including the gorgeous sketches on the cover and dotted throughout ‘The Letter for the King’. I particularly loved the detailed map inside the front cover – it really sets the tone for the adventures to come. I’ve nearly finished the illustrations for my own book, and I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from other authors who illustrate their own books (novels such as this one, or children’s picture books).
GIVEAWAY: I’ve got a special limited edition copy of ‘The Letter for the King’ to giveaway, thanks to Pushkin Children’s Press and Riot Communications. For your chance to win, leave a comment here on my blog (bonus points if you spread the word via your own blog, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook – include the hashtag #LetterForTheKing). I’ll be drawing a winner on Tuesday July 22, so you have until Monday July 21 to enter. Good luck!
Fine print: this giveaway is open to readers based in the UK (or you’re most welcome to enter from other destinations, if you have a friend/family member based in the UK who can receive the prize at their address). Any queries, send me an email.