The Dark Monk (The Hangman’s Daughter, #2)

3/5 stars

The Dark Monk (The Hangman’s Daughter, #2) by Oliver Pötzsch

The Dark Monk is the second story from Oliver Potzsch about Jacob Kuisl–the big, tough, gruff, skilled, and troubled town executioner in the mid-17th century Bavarian town of Schongau. Like the first book, the author has carefully recreated life in the 1600’s and woven a cleaver and exiting story into it. In addition to and exciting “who-dun-it” story, you get a compelling and colorful description of customs, superstitions, and politics, and life in general of that time in history. Also like the first book, the title implies the Hangmans Daughter will be the main character–but she is not. She’s there, and she actually has a bigger role this time than last, but still the title of the book is weird to me.

I’m not sure how critical I should be with the translation of the book vs the content of the story, because the story is really cool but the translaion is really lame. I kept thinking that it’s obvious the book was translated by a non-native english speaker, but I was shocked when I looked Lee Chadeayne up and found him to be a recongized American expert in both history and languages–especially of German and the time period in question. Perhaps there are different strategies to translating, and this translator chose to be quick literal in translating instead of re-writing the story to appeal to American ears.

Luckily the story wins out, and I enjoy the mystery tied to history that this story brings. When the next two books are released in English I’ll be reading those too!


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