Young Otto is born into a warring household in a lawless age. Having no mother, he is sent by his father, a valiant robber baron, to be safely raised by the monks until the age of 12. But when he returns, gentle Otto can no longer escape the bitter blood feud between his father and the rival house of Trutz-Drachen. He is kidnapped by the rival family and his hand is cut off, to be replaced forever by a silver one. Can his brave father and his captor's kind daughter, Pauline, help him escape?
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"Otto of the Silver Hand has audience appeal for fans of the Arthurian legends....Geoffrey Howard's crisp diction and nuanced characterizations enhance this classic story....a worthy addition to any audiobook collection seeking lesser-known classics in children's literature." (School Library Journal)
"Otto of the Silver Hand is marvelously read by Geoffrey Howard....well worth the listen." (Largeprintreviews.com)
My family listened to this together and enjoyed it right up until the last chapter, when they realized it was about to end. The story felt like it was an extended introduction to an epic tale....and then they realized it WAS the entire tale.
We are studying the Middle Ages with our 4th grader this year, and Otto of the Silver Hand was on our list of recommended reading. We opted for the audiobook so we could listen in the car. I found Geoffrey Howard's narration to be hard to adjust to, although I will admit my ears are not attuned to the British accent. I found his voice to be quite monotonous. If this were the only problem, I would wish that I had just read it aloud myself; however, I was not delighted by the story either.
Otto of the Silver Hand is set in Germany in the Middle Ages. Otto is the son of a robber baron. His mother dies and his hard-hearted father takes Otto to a monastery to be raised until the age of 12, at which point he comes to retrieve him. The baron is always at war with another baronial family, and Otto is kidnapped and maimed. Then he is rescued. He grows up to marry the daughter of the enemy family and becomes a wise and peaceful ruler of his house. There is a lot of action, but we totally failed to connect with Otto as a character.
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