The Falconer’s Apprentice

Malve von Hassell

A young man’s adventures in Renaissance Italy.

”That bird should be destroyed!”

Andreas stared at Ethelbert in shock. Blood from an angry-looking gash on the young lord’s cheek dripped onto his embroidered tunic. Andreas clutched the handles of the basket containing the young peregrine. Perhaps this was a dream—

Andreas, an apprentice falconer at Castle Kragenberg, cannot bear the thought of killing the young female falcon and smuggles her out of the castle. Soon he realizes that his own time there has come to an end, and he stows away, with the bird, in the cart of an itinerant trader, Richard of Brugge. So begins a series of adventures that lead him from an obscure castle in northern Germany to the farthest reaches of Frederick von Hohenstaufen’s Holy Roman Empire, following a path dictated by the wily trader’s mysterious mission.

Andreas continues to improve his falconry skills, but he also learns to pay attention to what is happening around him as he travels through areas fraught with political unrest. Eventually, Richard confides in Andreas, and they conspire to free Enzio, the eldest of the emperor’s illegitimate sons, from imprisonment in Bologna.

The Falconer’s Apprentice is a story of adventure and intrigue set in the intense social and political unrest of the Holy Roman Empire in the thirteenth century.

  • Ages: 12 up
  • Grades: 6-12
  • Pages: 212
  • Hardcover: $19.95
  • Softcover: $9.95
  • E-book: $8.95

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Recent Reviews

Von Hassell’s beautifully written journey tale introduces the world of falconry to readers and vividly evokes European daily life during the thirteenth century.... Andreas’ coming of age is sensitively portrayed, and the somewhat surprise ending will engage thoughtful readers.

—Booklist Online

This well-researched and carefully plotted novel features a likable protagonist and a setting straight from the Newbery canon.

—Kirkus Reviews

This is a classic road trip story of finding one’s self through travel, set in the late thirteenth century after the Crusades.... It is well written and keeps a steady pace.... Boys and girls alike can relate to the story of Andreas finding his inner strength and finding his true calling.