The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
This classic quest novel, published in 16 languages and considered a children's classic, is now available in English for the first time.
The rule-book says a young man who is to be knighted by King Dagonaut must pass the eve of the grand ceremony in silent vigil.
However, Young Tiuri, son of famous Tiuri the Valiant, breaks the rules - he opens the door to a stranger, who begs him to deliver a secret letter to the Black Knight with the White Shield. The letter is destined for the ruler of the neighbouring realm, King Unauwen, and concerns a matter of paramount importance.
Tiuri accepts this dangerous mission, but when he arrives at the appointed place deep in the forest, he finds the Knight dying, murdered by the vicious Red Riders. As he races to deliver the letter to King Unauwen in the Knight's stead, Tiuri is pursued by the Red Riders, who threaten his life, but he is determined to fulfil his promise: the Black Knight must not have died in vain.
Author Tonke Dragt delivers a thrilling tale of good versus evil, set in an enchanting but realistic medieval world that gently champions determination, decency, kindness and courage.
Every chapter leaves you - whether adult or child - wanting more. An elegantly written page-turner, it also features illustrations by the author.
The critics say:
"One ought to have written a warning on it: 'Watch out: whoever reads this book will forget everything that's happening around them!' From the first sentence, the pages turn into a cinema screen, and no director could have created more beautiful or gripping images." Die Zeit
About the author
Tonke Dragt was born in Jakarta in 1930 and spent most of her childhood in Indonesia.
When she was 12, she was interned in a camp run by the Japanese occupiers, where she wrote her very first book using begged and borrowed paper.
Her family moved to the Netherlands after the war, and after studying at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Dragt became an art teacher.
She published her first book in 1961, followed a year later by The Letter for the King, which won the Children's Book of the Year award and has been translated into 16 languages.
Last updated: 12 months ago