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The Beggar King

(Die Henkerstochter - The Hangman's Daughter Series #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  15,041 ratings  ·  983 reviews
The year is 1662. Alpine village hangman Jakob Kuisl receives a letter from his sister calling him to the imperial city of Regensburg, where a gruesome sight awaits him: her throat has been slit. Arrested and framed for the murder, Kuisl faces firsthand the torture he’s administered himself for years.

Jakob’s daughter, Magdalena, and a young medicus named Simon hasten to hi
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Mariner Books (first published August 11th 2010)
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Lillia It just had a name change to The Poisoned Pilgrim. I checked the beginning of that book and it's the same as the excerpt. Though given it's been two m…moreIt just had a name change to The Poisoned Pilgrim. I checked the beginning of that book and it's the same as the excerpt. Though given it's been two months since you asked, I assume you already figured this out.(less)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  15,041 ratings  ·  983 reviews

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Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary

Not Up to Par with the Rest - 3 Stars

The third installment of the popular Hangman's Daughter series, is, in my opinion, the weakest offering to date. The novel lacked some of the clever storytelling of the two previous novels and the chirpy relationship between the characters started to become tiring. While I still recommend the series, this installment is average at best.

Plot summary

Jakob Kuisl, our loveable hangman, torturer, herbalist and garbage collec
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jakob Kuisl (the grumpy hangman from Schongau and my favorite character of the series) receives a letter in which he is told that his sister in Regensburg is seriously ill. Kuisl makes his way to the big Imperial City far away (two weeks by raft) to find his sister and brother-in-law brutally murdered. The hangman gets arrested for murder and, in order to receive a confession, subsequently tortured by his colleague from Regensburg. Those were the legal proceedings in 17ᵗʰ century (summer of 1662 ...more
Maya Panika
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent offering from Oliver Pötzsch, another great translation by Lee Chadeayne. I'm not going into the details of the plot of this, the third in the series; you can read the synopsis for that. Suffice to say, it's another wonderful read. A plot that's just complex enough to keep you turning pages, set in glorious locations, peopled by characters that completely draw you in and include you in their world.
I've become a massive fan of this series. It is simply the best thing I've read i
Apr 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
As I was reading this one, I couldn't help but wonder if I'm supposed to like Magdalena. I am all for headstrong independent women, but this time I thought she was condescending, rude, and belligerent throughout the whole book. And Simon's character felt very weak... just meekly accepting whatever she said and did! I couldn't understand what was keeping the two of them together... there was no working together, no compromise, nothing that felt like an actual relationship.
Also, I'm not sure if it
I absolutely loved The Hangman’s Daughter (the first book in this series) and I found the second one a modest success even if it lost the sense of real danger and motivation that permeated the first one. With this book I found myself looking at a mix of the two. The personal motivation is back – Kuisl is falsely imprisoned for murdering his sister and due to be tortured and executed for the crime. I found that an intriguing reversal and it gives Kuisl something to do other than being sidelined t ...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well done!

I like the Kusil clan - their adventures.

I enjoy reading about their stubborness, their humor, intelligence and even with the terrible job (profession) the sense of what is right and just.

Looking forward to book #4.
Okay, so I created a reading crime because I read the third book of this series WAY before I even read the second book. WHY? Well, for a certain reading challenge this book was called for me to read. So being me.. I read it without hesitation or regrets.

The Beggar King was a pretty good addition to this series. Now it's been a while since I've read the first book and fell in love with the character .. so unfortunately for me, this book started off slow but that's mostly my fault. However, once I
As with the previous books in this series, I felt that this was overly long but I did like the fact that the hangman's daughter played a bigger role in this entry. ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Beggar King, is the third book in Oliver Pötzsch's "A Hangman's Daughter Tail" series. While still retaining the energy of the first two books, it lacked plausibility. Granted, this is fiction, and while the settings and much of the background details are historical, much of the language the author used was too contemporary and unbelievable. This was a huge distraction for me. Set in the mid 1600's, I hardly think anyone would be telling someone to "shove it" as one of the principle characte ...more
I'm a HUGE fan of this series - I think what appeals to me is the mystery/historical realistic fiction genre. For some reason it's rarely done well. This series is a dream come true. I absolutely adore the Kuisl family (hangman) despite the fact he tortures people for a living. I love the rebel Simon (almost Doctor) despite the fact he can be a dolt. And I adore Magdalena (the hangman's daughter) who has fire, spirit, and doesn't relegate herself to a damsel in distress role. For the 17th centur ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that when you finish them you are content or uplifted or angry or inspired. Then there are books that you just don't want to end because they are so good. The Begger King is one of those for me. This third in The Hangman's Daughter series is the best so far. The hangman goes to a large city to help save his dying sister. When he gets there he finds she and her husband with their throats cut. He is arrested for the crime and finds what it is like to be on the receiving end of ...more
Christy Griffith
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this 3 and 1/2 stars if that were an option, but obviously it ain't.

Not a bad book at all, but Potzsch falls into the trap of having his villains spill everything out all wicked-like at the end; I could just imagine them twisting their mustaches and cackling wildly while doing so. Not cool. More SHOW, less TELL, please... (view spoiler)
The Beggar King was uber-fun to read, not to mention thrilling. I got off to a slow start because life happens, but once I got on a roll I finished the book in two days. As with all good things, the time it takes to read a great book flies too fast. I always get to the end of the book and wish there were more pages to turn. Then there are the books I have to drag myself through. Those loathsome buggers feel like this: You know that feeling when you awake on a Wednesday morning, thinking it's Fri ...more
Sue Nelson
The third book in the series and I am still enjoying reading about the 1660s. This time the hangman, Jakob Kuisl, goes down the river to a large city to help his ailing sister. The ruse that brought Jakob away from home unfolds immediately and he is imprisoned. For various reasons his daughter and her lover, the medicus, run away from home and also go to the same city.

Two story threads run through this book, the one about Jakob trying to uncover why he has been set upon and the other involving
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, the combination of sublime ridiculousness and sheer awesomeness driven by admirable chutzpah makes for an unputdownable read that keeps you going even as you cringe on occasion at some of the literary tropes used. Pure entertaining fun, and with a nice short guide to Regensburg and its historical sites as a bonus.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Not the best in the series, but,once again, there is a keen view into life in Germany in the mid 1600s. Fascinating how early drug smuggling was a thing and also the various herbs that were successfully used for all manner of medical issues back then.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Oliver Potzsch's "Hangman's Daughter" series of bloody detective novels set in mid-17th-century Bavaria. Whatever skills Potzsch may lack as a stylist (which may or may not be more the responsibility of the translator, Lee Chadeayne, who translated the German novel to English) he more than makes up for with his ability to create gut-busting, bloody detective stories in a world where he has mastery over the setting.

In "The Beggar King," we retun to the small Bavarian village of
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first of the series that I read and I'll definitely go back and read the previous ones. It's historical fiction though real characters aren't prominent - and tend to be people you haven't heard of anyway.

The series concerns the family of a Hangman - in the Germany that was set in, someone who was pretty near the bottom of society and functioned as the hangman, torturer, trash (umm to put it politely) remover and also a healer. Strange brew.

This novel finds the hangman's daughter and
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I love this series. Magdalena, the Hangman's Daughter, is a delight. She is not perfect, but she is beautiful, which she finds out when she finally is put in front of a good mirror in the house of an evil man. As an outcast, someone whom the entire town disdains because of her position, she is forced to be introspective and perceptive, in spite of her natural disposition to be assertive and a handful. Simon, the son of the town doctor, is her brilliant, learned, and less than courageous companio ...more
What I’ve noticed about this solid medieval mystery series is that each book is better than the one before. Which makes this installment my favorite.

Jacob the Hangman has a heck of a back story— one that bleeds the past into the present. His violent past isn’t just haunting him but also haunting my favorite mismatched medieval lovers, Simon and Magdalena.

The book and its setting (the Bavarian town of Regensburg) is populated with a host of unforgettable characters. Less focused on the star cro
John Hughes
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am hooked on Oliver Potzsch! This is the third Hangman's Daughter book I have read and Mr Potzsch has yet to disappoint in the adventures of Hangman's family. His pattern with this series seems to start with a mystery that envelops the Kuisl family and Simon. At times they volunteer for the adventure and at other times, they have no choice but rest assured, the action and danger are non-stop. The characters are very well developed and I look forward to getting my hands on the next book in the ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch takes us back to the German empire in the year of 1662 and the lives of the Hangman and his family in their remote village in the Alps.

Jakob Kuisl, the Hangman of Shongau, receives a letter from his beloved sister asking him to come to the great city of Regensburg. Jakob has not seen his sister in many years, ever since she left their small village behind and followed the man she would marry to the city. But the life of the family of a hangman is one filled wit
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the two “Hangman’s Daughter Tale” books that were released before this one and had mixed reactions to them. There has been a lot I have liked and a lot I haven’t, and I remember them with both fond memories of good adventures, but also some wasted potential. I decided to dig into the third book early this year.

Jakob Kuisl is the hangman of the town of Schongau, Germany in AD 1662. The story begins as he travels to Regensburg to visit his sick sister (Kuisl being a gifted heale
Zoe Hall
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
'The city out there's like a ravenous beast ... Everyday she devours a few more, and it isn't always the villains'.

This is my third foray into the world of Regensburg. I love these stories and will continue to read the other books in the series but I didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous two.
I'm not saying it isn't a good book because as always it's a great read, I just didn't find the story as interesting as the others. I enjoy the characterisation and the themes covered in the stor
Clare Smith
Maybe because I haven't read the first two books of the series but I felt this book was a bit lacking. Hard to put my finger on it. Great setting, believable historically, a cast of thousands almost but the story somehow skips along from one tele novella scene to the next. And I just feel a bit let down ...more
Greg Richardson
It was fine. A decent enough thriller that I mostly enjoyed for its historical setting. Not as good as the first 2 but would make for a fine vacation read.. Once again the series continues its trend of puzzling titles that have nothing to do with like, 80% of the book..
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More and more I fall in love with the Kuisls more and more each time I read one of these books. Am looking forward to the next adventure they will be going on.
DNF. Was well written but I just couldn't get into it ...more
Candice Hansen
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful book in the series about German historical fiction. Layers of plot twists, interesting characters and beautifully written. Highly recommend!
Lisa Hofmann
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as captivating as the first one, but still a completely enjoyable read. I loved the insights I got into life in the big towns of that time, subcultures, and the 30-years-war.
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Oliver Pötzsch is a German writer and filmmaker. After high school he attended the German School of Journalism in Munich from 1992 to 1997. He then worked for Radio Bavaria. In addition to his professional activities in radio and television, Pötzsch researched his family history. He is a descendant of the Kuisle, from the 16th to the 19th Century a famous dynasty of executioners in Schongau.

Other books in the series

Die Henkerstochter - The Hangman's Daughter Series (9 books)
  • The Hangman's Daughter (The Hangman's Daughter, #1)
  • The Dark Monk (The Hangman's Daughter, #2)
  • The Poisoned Pilgrim (The Hangman's Daughter, #4)
  • The Werewolf of Bamberg (The Hangman's Daughter, # 5)
  • The Play of Death (The Hangman's Daughter, #6)
  • The Council of Twelve (The Hangman's Daughter #7)
  • Die Henkerstochter und der Fluch der Pest (Die Henkerstochter, #8)
  • Die Henkerstochter und die schwarze Madonna (Die Henkerstochter-Saga #9)

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“Food, drink, love… There are some things one doesn’t scrimp on.” Magdalena” 1 likes
“A roll of thunder signaled another rain shower passing over the town. Simon pulled Magdalena close and kissed her until, locked in a tight embrace, they sank to the ground in a puddle of blood, mud, and horse piss. A small bundle of humanity in the midst of the thundering downpour.” 1 likes
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