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The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale | [Oliver Pötzsch]

The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale

It is 1648, a small village in the Alps: In the thick of a blizzard,a town priest discovers he’s been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength and scratches a sign in the frost that will lead the town hangman, his daughter, and the town physician in pursuit of a treasure of the Knights Templar. But the priest’s murderer is already on their trail, and he’s not the only one after the legendary fortune: a dark monk is not far behind,and a band of thieves is roving the countryside, attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic.
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Publisher's Summary

It is 1648, a small village in the Alps: In the thick of a blizzard,a town priest discovers he’s been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength and scratches a sign in the frost that will lead the town hangman, his daughter, and the town physician in pursuit of a treasure of the Knights Templar. But the priest’s murderer is already on their trail, and he’s not the only one after the legendary fortune: a dark monk is not far behind,and a band of thieves is roving the countryside, attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic. The race is on, and the stakes are high.

Delivering on the promise of his first book, Oliver Pötzsch takes readers on a whirlwind tour through the occult hiding places of Bavaria’s ancient monasteries, bringing to life the compassionate hangman - who’s destined to join the ranks of literature’s most beloved characters.

©2012 Oliver Pötzsch (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  •  
    Snoodely 01-15-13
    Snoodely 01-15-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Real Discovery of Penicillin!"

    I liked "The Dark Monk" better than its predecessor, "The Hangman's Daughter." It tells a better story, and it has fewer horrific descriptions of Midieval torture. (Yes, I know that this story technically takes place during the Reformation, but the people and villages depicted here still seem locked deep in the Middle Ages.) I also liked it better because of Pötzsch's increased inclusion of herbology in this story. Here, Pötzsch speculates about the original discovery of Penicillin, attributing it to one of his characters. Such speculation makes some sense: Practicing herbalists may, indeed, have quietly discovered the antibiotic properties of certain molds prior to Alexander Flemming's official discovery of Penicillium rubens in 1928. With "The Hangman's Daughter," Pötzsch built a tale around one of his real 17th-century forebears: a veritable village executioner. Whodathunk that anyone could make a hero out of someone who tortures and murders for a living? I, personally, find this character difficult to believe -- an executioner with a gentle heart and the gift of healing? However, if you can swallow that premise, then you might like "The Dark Monk," in which the executioner, his daughter, and her lover solve another mystery. And what a mystery they solve: the location and nature of the lost Templar treasure! The narrator, Grover Gardner, also does a better job with this audiobook than he did with "The Hangman's Daughter," using a wider variety of voices to distinguish the characters. He doesn't have very good accents in his repertory, but he makes attempts, as necessary. I hesitate to say this -- because "The Hangman's Daughter" contains a lot of harrowing scenes of cruelty -- but you will probably enjoy "The Dark Monk" better if you have listened to "The Hangman's Daughter" first. You stand forewarned.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Verburg Aiken, SC USA 06-03-13
    Larry Verburg Aiken, SC USA 06-03-13
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    "Great, Like a Bavarian Cream Cake"

    I really liked The Hangman’s Daughter, so I was hoping the sequel, The Dark Monk, would be just as good. Well, I actually liked the sequel more than the original book (by just a bit). The author, Oliver Pötzsch, is very good at pacing the narrative so it moves along quickly and never lags or falters. Either Pötzsch has a talented editor or he is graced with a marvelous gift for narrative. Admittedly, there are perhaps just a few too many cliff-hangers, but then you are carried along with the flow of the narrative and don’t realize that until later assuming you think about what you’ve read (or heard). I’m not sure the books are meant to do anything but entertain, but they give you a glimpse of life in 17th century Germany (and by implication much of Europe as well). Jakob Kuisl is the Executioner of Schongau, and he is the lens through which you view the interesting if brutal life of the time. The Hangman’s Daughter series is unique; it’s history mystery at its very best. As for Audible’s narrator, Grover Gardner, I can think of no one today whose voice and narrative skills would be better. His elocution and pronunciation are just right, and the voice seems appropriate to his subject.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Matt Seongnam, Korea (South) 03-02-13
    G Matt Seongnam, Korea (South) 03-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story but uninteresting writing."

    Perhaps it is due to the translation, but the writing is bland. If my German was better, I would have liked to hear the story in its original language. Maybe it would have been better.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Hertford, NC, United States 12-09-12
    Beth Hertford, NC, United States 12-09-12 Member Since 2014
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    "I really like these characters"

    I also like the timeframe and backdrop for the story. I look forward to more from Oliver....

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Golish Salt Lake City, UT 02-17-15
    Angie Golish Salt Lake City, UT 02-17-15 Member Since 2014

    Miss Angie

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    "Another Addictive Hangman's Daughter Book"
    Would you listen to The Dark Monk again? Why?

    Yes, I actually probably would. It's just fascinating and the narrator has such a way of making it come alive.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Grover Gardner has such a fantastic voice and way of telling this story. Personally, I'm glad I listened to it instead of just reading it because it was excellent and enthralling as he spun the tale and changed his voice for each character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One of my favorite parts about this book was the epilogue. The Author tells you how he came to write the book using so much history from his family tree and how he actually descends from the Hangman and how he goes back to Bavaria to research all of the locations. He then takes you on a walking/bike tour of the Priest's Corner, and tells you exactly what to look for if you vacation there. I hadn't really thought too much about visiting Bavaria before, but now I really want to go!


    Any additional comments?

    Another amazing book in the Hangman's Daughter series. I'm really loving this author and his ability to tell a tale that incorporates historical realness with absolute creativity and imagination. This book was another stunning visual in the way he combined his words, and I like how he has the ability to connect his old story without it being related. I would not recommend skipping the first book in the series, but you could easily read this one without having read it and not be lost. The characters and storylines intertwine and the plot has fun up and downs without being entirely predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ammar 02-15-15
    Ammar 02-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "vividly entertaining"

    It is an adventure. you will love the journey. it is by no means an insight to characters but a very accurate and detailed representation of the era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    3dogs3 01-27-15
    3dogs3 01-27-15 Member Since 2013

    bunnymama

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    "Not My Style at All"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Unfortunately there's no way to know about a book until you read it. Reviews give you some idea, but the book may still be one you don't like. That's the case here.


    Has The Dark Monk turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Of the genre, no. Of this series, oh my yes! I was going to ask that someone send me the name of the villain, but after a few more chapters, I just don't care.


    What aspect of Grover Gardner’s performance would you have changed?

    I would not have chosen Mr. Gardner to narrate, but as he was chosen, I wish he had decided between just reading the book and providing voices. I didn't think his voice fit with the heavy Germanic characters.


    Do you think The Dark Monk needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    For those who like it, sure. For me, this is my first and last.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the book very slow moving with a bizarre cast of characters. I listened for several hours, so I think I gave it a fair trial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia 01-13-15
    Cynthia 01-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "still interested"

    Book 1 was fantastic as I love historical stories. hangman's daughter was a bit dry and was a struggle to finish but I am looking forward to book 3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather L. Koranteng Jersey City, NJ 01-07-15
    Heather L. Koranteng Jersey City, NJ 01-07-15 Member Since 2012

    HK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dan Brown should sue...."
    Would you try another book from Oliver Pötzsch and/or Grover Gardner?

    Probably- he's not a bad story teller- and the Hangman and his family are interesting characters to follow.


    What was most disappointing about Oliver Pötzsch’s story?

    Disappointing in its unoriginality. He wrote a Dan Brown book- but set it a few hundred years ago. Right down to the mad monk, and a Templar mystery with clues in art and prayers. It’s not that it’s a bad read- but if I were Dan Brown- I’d sue.


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but this was fine. He sounds like James Woods.


    Was The Dark Monk worth the listening time?

    Mostly- you don't really have to make an effort to pay attention because you can see the story coming a mile away.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe this guy is Dan Brown's secret identity and since he can only write one story he has to write under another name.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny M. Baltimore, OH United States 11-24-14
    Penny M. Baltimore, OH United States 11-24-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Easy story to follow, but yet entertaining"

    I have listened to many audible books. This is not a biting your nails kind of book, but whenever I stopped listening, my mind wondered back to it curious to see how it would end. This is an easy story to follow, but entertaining. Grover Gardner does an execellent job bringing the characters to life. The translation from German into English was well done. I am looking forward to listening to book three.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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