Otto of the Silver Hand
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Otto of the Silver Hand

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,211 ratings  ·  62 reviews

Born into a robber baron's household in medieval Germany, young Otto is caught in the middle of a violent blood feud. Captured in battle and severely tortured, the brave lad nevertheless grows up to be a gentle and loving person, standing above other men and looked up to by all. 55 dynamic illustrations.

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1888)
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Lisa
Nov 19, 2008 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in medieval history
Otto of the Silver Hand was originally published in 1888 – and I am amazed that the content within this novel continues to be relevant in today’s society. This story is set in medieval Germany when castles, feuds, barons, knights, kidnapping, soldiers, and rescues were common. Violence, revenge, hatred are all themes that continue to permeate within our society. Yet, in both the past and present we can also find humility, gentleness, love, sacrifice and forgiveness. The traits that little Otto p...more
Brenda Clough
This novel is old-fashioned in two ways. It was of course originally published in 1888. But even then Howard Pyle was deliberately writing (and illustrating his own text) in an antique style. I am informed that his intent was to get away from the fluffy and overly-sweet view of the Middle Ages, so this was as it were the GAME OF THRONES of his time.
It is however still romantic and even sentimental, with its child hero and his attendant and inevitable passivity. All of the action is initiated by...more
Tessa
This isn't my favorite book. Otto is too perfect, to the point of being annoying. The story would have been better with more believable characters.
Jason
May 01, 2013 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical adventure fans; medieval fans
I read a condensed version of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" when I was nine or ten years old (I despise condensed books for children, incidentally), but have not given Howard Pyle a shot since then. It hasn't been because he was a bad writer, I just haven't thought much about it.

Recently I was reading up on him (I didn't even know he was American), and saw that he wrote a medieval story called "Otto of the Silver Hand", which was about the son of a robber baron in medieval times. That sounded r...more
El
Jun 09, 2009 El rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: Clovis's bookshelf.
Otto's mother died during childbirth, and his father, a warlord, left him in a monastery for a proper and safe upbringing. As an older boy Otto's father returns for him, at which time Otto discovers the truth about his father's past, particularly about his part in the murder of Baron Frederick. As a result of the feud his father had a hand in, Otto is ultimately is the subject of revenge.

Howard Pyle's books are always fantastic, down to his illustrations. Otto of the Silver Hand is a quick read,...more
Marlene
This is a good book. It is written I believe for young boys especially but all will enjoy it. You feel like you are reading an old English story that has been handed down through the ages. Even though it is a very quick read the characters are understood and appreciated by the reader. It contains some violence (I think life then was violent) and is somewhat sad. The author has illustrated the book with awesome drawings all through the book. I loved looking at them. For the art work I'm giving th...more
Abraham
This is a fine book, as are all great offerings from the masculine Pyle. This is a dark and more exotic tale than Men of Iron, and more complex than his Arthurian tellings. It is a good book for a young man -- portraying the discipline of education, the excruciating hardship of pain and torture, the marvels of love, and the thrills of cloak-and-dagger intrigue -- though every young woman will be enthralled by the same.
K.
Jul 17, 2011 K. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: medieval adventure story lovers
for heroes group. Joel loved it

---
Fun story, a little gruesome. Although not graphic, it did not gloss over the cruelty of the times.

Best part about this book was the illustrations, done by Pyle himself. Most incredible line drawings.
Chris
"Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Prov. 16:32

"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools." Ec 7:9

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and...more
Zinger
I thought Otto was a good kid, but really boring. An ok book for a young reader interested in a quick adventure during the dark ages.
Kyrie
I just never felt that I appreciated Otto as much as the author wanted me to.
Perry Whitford
When Conrad, robber baron of Castle Drachenhausen, (Dragon House) ignores the entreaties of his pregnant wife to end his days of plundering before it's too late, tragedy does indeed ensue. He is injured in a raid, and the shock to his wife leads to her death in childbirth.
The child, Otto, is taken to a monastery to grow up, where he lives a quiet, pious life, but this suddenly changes at the age of twelve when his father returns to take him back and groom him as his heir to the title as Baron of...more
Dan
Nov 14, 2008 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy, middle ages, historical fiction
Shelves: fantasy
Liked it for the story, which was well-rendered in that Old English/contemporary mesh, in which Howard Pyle excelled, which makes you feel like you're reading a tale that has been handed down in time-honored antiquity. A pretty mournful tale of a peaceable lad who, as the protagnoist, actually has almost no intentional impact on the storyline, but who is swept up in a big and violent world which surrounds him. Pyle's writing definitely makes you feel like you're reading the definitive version of...more
Sloweducation
Rather good book about medieval Germany, generously illustrated. Some of the illustrations are very beautiful and well-composed, but others are unengaging. The story is rollicking adventure, only loosely moralistic. Otto is a gracious victim, always ready to accept his bad lot in life. It is only in the last instants of the novel that Otto is given his predictable happy ending -- long after he has been brought from the paradise of a monastery to live with a father who doesn't understand him and...more
Jane
This story terrified and delighted me as a child. I re-read it every once in a while to see if it holds up - and it never fails. A brilliant mix of brutality, romance and adventure, Otto goes on my read over and over shelf.
Leslie
I remember my mom reading this aloud to us kids and was happy to run across it this past weekend. A quick read and good lessons to be learned.
Keith
I enjoyed "Otto of the Silver Hand" when I was in Elementary School. It takes place in medieval Germany.
Christopher Sumpter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise K.
A childhood favorite. I read it in the sixth grade.
Michelle Mcnally
The writer of Robin Hood presents us with a Medieval tale of treachery and violence. Short, but powerful, I recommend for the numerous well-written scenes ranging from the highly tender to the disastrous.
Stephanie
This was a good book to read aloud to my kids in order to provide insights into the Dark Ages. It conveyed well what we know of the lifestyle of that time, along with the fact that education was being preserved in monasteries while the rest of the world seemingly floundered along. It didn't delve very deeply into the interesting characters introduced to us, but did give some good examples (not in a preachy way) of the different choices we can make and how our priorities lead to consequences (goo...more
AmblingBooks
"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

Listen to Otto of the Silver Hand on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
Cheryl in CC NV
Feb 20, 2013 Cheryl in CC NV marked it as skimmed-reference-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl in CC NV by: alison lurie
The edition my library found for me had no illustrations, which makes it unappealing to me as they are meant to be part of the book. The forward made it even more so, as it talks about the so-called dark ages, and promises plenty of violence and moralizing. So, after stumbling through the first paragraphs and not feeling at all engaged or charmed, I gave up. *Iff* I am given or stumble upon a cheap illustrated version I will try again.
Megan Cullen
This was read to me when I was between 10 and 15 (not sure exactly what age.) Whenever I'm forced to read a book or it was read to me and my siblings as a family thing, I tended to not like it. ;)

However, since this is Pyle, I would like to say that this book is probably a lot better than I remember it being. And I love his Robin Hood, so I'm guessing this is a great read for those of us who love older books and classics.
Marni
This is a quick read, by the author of Robin Hood. Gives a good picture of the time period. Otto is left at a monastery as a baby to be raised by the gentle monks. When he is 12 years old, his father returns to bring him home and raise him as the heir to the lordship. Otto's peaceful nature is shocked by the warring around him, and he ends up being kidnapped as part of the local feud.
Lara Lleverino
Julia and I read this while studying the Middle Ages. It was a good story to tell of the time period we were studying. The language is picturesque if a bit archaic. I'm not sure how much of the thee's and thou's hindered Julia from understanding the whole story. She said she enjoyed it and she liked looking at the pictures. She said she wouldn't want to live in the Middle Ages...too many wars.
Danielle
I think I liked this story even more than the kids! It has all the elements I really enjoy, castles, knights, treachery, virtuous maidens, swords fights, and a tragic, yet happy ending. My skills as a reader were put to the test, though, the characters spoke in Old English! My tongue and their ears acclimated after the first few chapters and we all got along well after that.
Sarah

Otto Of The Silver Hand is about a boy named Otto who lives in Germany. Otto's father, Baron Conrad, was enemies with Baron Henry, because Conrad killed Henry's father in battle. Poor Otto hates fighting, and is afraid of the evil things his father had done.

This was a very well written novel and historical fiction fans would really enjoy it.
Morris Nelms
I like Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood best of his work. All his work is charming and wonderfully illustrated by Pyle (doesn't seem quite fair that he's good at writing and drawing!).
This is a good story, with a surprisingly moving ending. Anyone can read this with no fear of offense, which was Pyle's intention.

It would make a good movie.
Christina
Mar 06, 2007 Christina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older Kids!
This is the first book I remember reading to myself. I was pretty young - probably too young to read this book. I was definitely younger than 9 - the age range for this one. The story is very sad and also bloody and graphic. I remember it made me cry.

I think I went right from See Spot Run and Dick and Jane to Otto of the Silver Hand.

I grew up fast.
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Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and author, primarily of books for young people.

During 1894 he began teaching illustration at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University), and after 1900 he founded his own school of art and illustration named the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art. The term Brandywine School was later applied to the illustration artists an...more
More about Howard Pyle...
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (Signet Classics) Men of Iron The Wonder Clock or, Four and Twenty Marvelous Tales The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions

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