Tuesday, October 9, 2012

'The Hangman's Daughter' by Oliver Pötzsch

'The Hangman's Daughter' by Oliver Pötzsch takes the prize for the best book I've read in a long, long time, and to be honest that surprised me. Not only was this an historical fiction, a genre that I'm not terribly invested (or interested) in, but it was originally written in German and brought over for my reading pleasure in a rather excellently executed English translation.

In what I understand is the first of many in this series*, we find Kuisl, a hangman born from a line of hangmen, his beautiful, brilliant, but cursed, daughter Magdalena, and Simon, a fancy-pants city type whose trained at the university (but never graduated) to be a doctor (like his father) but instead of making a proper name for himself has the misfortune of respecting the Hangman, and loving his daughter. Watching the interplay of these three main characters against the hugely gratifying story that includes but is not limited to a murder, a witch hunt, a political scandal and the impeding doom of the local rulers visit is nothing short of fabulous. 

If you like a good mystery, a good love story or just a good all-star novel, this one is for you. If you need vampires or some young-adult fancy to your fiction... well... I know a good vampire series that's worth your time.

*I can honestly say this is probably the first series I've gotten truly excited about in a long time - and probably the first time I've gotten excited about one that didn't really leave my head spinning over some crazy cliff-hanger. I actually want to read it because I've seriously enjoyed the Hardy-boy-esk nature of the books. This one is good folks - read it.

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