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The Letter for the King

(De brief voor de koning #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  6,520 ratings  ·  419 reviews
A young messenger. A secret mission. A kingdom in peril.

It is the dead of night.

Sixteen-year-old Tiuri must spend hours locked in a chapel in silent contemplation if he is to be knighted the next day.

But, as he waits by the light of a flickering candle, he hears a knock at the door and a voice desperately asking for help.

A secret letter must be delivered to King Unauwen ac
Kindle Edition, 460 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Pushkin Press (first published 1962)
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Anneke Oosterink Het boek is vrij recent voor het eerst naar het Engels vertaald, (2013 of 2014) dus er zijn nu veel nieuwe lezers bij gekomen met name in Engeland en…moreHet boek is vrij recent voor het eerst naar het Engels vertaald, (2013 of 2014) dus er zijn nu veel nieuwe lezers bij gekomen met name in Engeland en de VS. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,520 ratings  ·  419 reviews

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jv poore
Upon discovering a character I admire and adore, I often aspire to become that character. Emulate a new role model, envision greater goals and dream of different worlds to conquer. In this case, though, I would never set myself up for that fall. Merely a human being, a perfectly plausible person; Tiuri is genuinely good. And kind. I believe that Tiuri is truly and actually, altruistic.

His epic journey to deliver a message of monumental importance took place many years ago. A mission that today c
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great childrens book, read it several times. Tonke Dragt's books are also read by many adults. Wonderful writer!!
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Μου άρεσε ιδιαίτερα αυτό το βιβλίο και ο λόγος είναι πως παρότι είναι 616 σελίδες δεν βαρέθηκα ούτε μια στιγμή. Η ιστορία του Τιούρι, ενός αγοριού 16 ετών που το βράδυ της αγρυπνίας του, πριν από το πρωινό που θα χριζόταν οππότης άκουσε μια φωνή βοήθειας είναι απλά εκπληκτική! Αφήνοντας τα πάντα πίσω του, παρότι ουσιαστικά ήξερε τις συνέπειες, γνώρισε τι σημαίνει κίνδυνος αλλά και αληθινή φιλία. Καμιά φορά δεν έχει σημασία ο προορισμός αλλά το ταξίδι. Υπέροχο βιβλίο που το συστήνω σε μικρούς και ...more
Denise Bücherwunderland
Ach war das süß 😍😍😍

Dieses Buch habe ich schon einmal als Kind gelesen und es hat mich begeistert! Damals habe ich noch nicht so viel gelesen, deswegen heißt das wirklich was 😊.
Deswegen habe ich mir das Buch noch einmal gekauft (keine Ahnung wo das alte Buch ist 🙈) und habe es jetzt nochmal gelesen.

Meine Meinung.
Obwohl ich jetzt doch ein paar Jahre älter geworden bin, hat mir das Buch noch genauso gut gefallen wie damals!

Der junge Tiuri soll am nächsten Tag zum Ritter geschlagen werde
Kezia Olive
Oh, give me a sec to let my tears drop.

This book is beautiful. The story inside feels so real. It feels different. It almost feels like Tiuri, the main character here, sits across the room telling me the story himself, and help me learnt so much.
I won't forget this book, that is for sure.
I am glad I found this book in my school library a few days ago. This is beyond my imagination.
I had no expectation when I first saw this book. I thought to myself that maybe this is another freakish classic ta
3.5 stars from me
4.75 stars from my son

I read this with my 10 year old son for the kids bookclub he belongs to through one of our local independent bookstores. It wasn't one I had previously heard of, although it is a Dutch classic, where it was originally published in 1962.

This is quaintly written old fashioned chivalric fantasy which would provide a nice entry to the genre for middle grade and young adult audiences. It's an older book, and reads that way, but it nevertheless has a simple appea
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2015, ya
As YA goes, this is a 5-star plot. It was written in 1962, apparently, and the new translation is coming on 25 August of 2015.

It's the story of a squire on the eve of becoming a knight who does NOT become a knight because he makes the fateful decision to answer a call for help. One thing leads to another, and before long, this kid is on a quest with unseen enemies all around him (but with unexpected friends as well).

It's sweet, actually. So old school it will remind you of the type of book about
First released 50 odd years ago in the Netherlands, this is a wonderful story of knights and adventures written by Tonke Dragt: why it took so long to be spotted over here (it's sold over a million copies) and be translated is beyond me.
From the outset, when Tiuri is tempted from his night's vigil out of the chapel by a call for help, I was hooked. There was something about Tiuri, the use of limited third person (wonderfully translated by Laura Watkinson) and the style of narrative that reminde
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GROSSER Buchtipp: Wer dieses Buch nicht liest, verpasst etwas! Das Cover ist zwar nicht sonderlich ansprechend, aber hey, don't judge a book by its cover. Und die Autorin hat für ihr Werk sicherlich nicht umsonst einen Preis erhalten. Also gibt dieser Geschichte eine Chance!

Inhalt: Ein unermesslich wichtiger Brief mit einer geheimen Botschaft, welche über die Zukunft eines ganzen Königreichs bestimmt. Jemand muss den Brief an den König überbringen. Diese Bürde wird dem jungen Schildknappen Tiuri
This is a prime example of a book that needs an introduction. The original Dutch edition of The Letter for the King was published in 1962 by an Indonesian survivor of WWII Japanese internment camps and is considered to be a European children's classic. 50 years later, it was finally translated into English.

So how does it hold up? Poorly, when you consider how the English edition was marketed.

I found it on a YA shelf with a shiny cover promising the epic adventures of a 16-year old squire. Sound
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood, fantasy, dutch
My father has always faintly disliked reading. Too bad he got me as a daughter! Out of the countless of books that he read to me when I was small, this book and its sequel are by far the most memorable. It fed my imagination to no ends, spawning both great visions and one of the most terrifying nightmares I remember. Since back then, much has changed. My knowledge of the Dutch language might have become crippled, and my eyes feast on the pages of other fantasy masterpieces, but Tonke Dragt and t ...more
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
I first heard about The Letter for the King when I happened to watch bits of the film version (Dutch with subtitles) on TV some time ago, and when I noticed the book on NetGalley, of course I couldn’t resist putting in a request. My thanks to Pushkin Children’s Books and NetGalley for a review copy of this title. This was written by Dragt in 1962 and the translation I read is by Laura Wilkinson, published by Pushkin Children’s Books which according to the blurb at the back of the book brings out ...more
The Captain
Aug 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

I always be interested in fairy tales from other lands.  This translation caught me eye because the author was born in Indonesia, imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp in WWII, and then moved to the Netherlands.  She published this book in 1962 and it won the Children's Book of the Year Award and was subsequently translated into sixteen languages.
Christoph Segers
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasie, jeugd
Ik kan niet anders dan het volle pond geven. Tikkeltje verouderd, mist hier en daar wat vaart, maar ik kreeg kippenvel en tranen in de ogen toen Tiuri uiteindelijk voor de koning van Unauwen stond om zijn boodschap af te leveren. Zoveel heroïek lijkt niet meer van deze tijd te zijn, maar werkt nog perfect.
Leve Ridder Tiuri met het Witte Schild!
This was a bit of a sad experience because The Letter for the King was one of my favourite books as a child, but I could tell during my reread that I wouldn't have been/wasn't as into it as an adult. I actually think this might be the rare case where I prefer the Dutch version. Part of that is definitely nostalgia-motivated, and it's not so much that you can tell this is an English translation as that it just reads very formal and literal in English, which I think might be less the case in the D ...more
Anna Dijk
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
altijd een geruststelling om te weten dat je favoriete jeugdboek nog steeds goed is :)
Alkisah hiduplah Tiuri, calon kesatria Kerajaan Baginda Dagonaut. Malam itu Tiuri musti melewati cobaan sebelum dilantik menjadi kesatria. Ia, bersama calon kesatria lain, menghabiskan malam dengan berjaga di sebuah kapel kecil di luar tembok kota. Sambil berpuasa, tidak makan tidak minum, mereka harus berlutut dan merenungkan amanat besar yang menanti mereka. Mereka pantang tidur, berbicara, dan mendengarkan dunia luar hingga pukul tujuh pagi saat mereka dibawa menghadap raja. Saat bertirakat, ...more
Alyson Stone
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, fantasy
Book: The Letter for the King
Author: Tonke Dragt
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC. Well, I guess it’s not really an ARC since the book was published a long time ago, but this is a new edition.

So, I have never heard of this book until now. I don’t know how it could have slipped by me, but it did. The Letter for the King has everything that a great fantasy needs. It has adventure, excitement, and well written characters. It i
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Een klassieker die weer in het nieuws is. Tijd om zelf een mening te vormen dus! Geweldig knap om een boek uit 1962 tijdloos te laten zijn. Het genre is niet helemaal mijn ding, maar absoluut een goed boek!
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved, loved, loved it! Longer review soon!
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Helen
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jeg kunne ønske jeg hadde hatt muligheten til å lese denne som barn, men den er nesten like magisk for voksne. En av de mest engasjerende barnebøkene jeg har lest. Gleder meg til fortsettelsen..
When my friend and book blogger posted this glowing review of Tonke Dragt’s “The Letter for the King” last year, I was intrigued because it appeared to be all about knights and chivalry and adventure. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? A month or so ago, I found this book waiting to be reviewed on NetGalley, and my heart leapt! Thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley, I got a copy, and I finished reading it yesterday.

The Letter for the King is the thrilling story of one boy’s battle against evil
Anna || MyBookishDream
Full review on my blog, MyBookishDream

The Letter for the King is a book I both enjoyed and didn’t. Some parts of it I found amazing, while others bothered me. I just had a very mixed experience with this book in general. Before reading this book I had heard quite a bit about it. Mostly from my cousin in the Netherlands, as she had to read it for school. I’m very glad to have read this book, even though I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would.

This story has the feeling of a cla
A simple tale of Tiuri, a 16 year old, who goes on a journey to delivery a message of great importance to a King in the land over the mountains. Along the way he is helped by various people, escapes from evil dudes, finds friendship and remains loyal and determined to complete his task.
This is a new edition of a Dutch children's classic which remains enjoyable in its simplicity, lack of fantasy and prose that takes the reader into another place and another time.
Anton De Wolf
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wat een boek. Ik zou zelfs krachttermen als 'een heel erg goed boek' in de mond durven nemen.
Moest ik het niet net gelezen hebben zou ik het nog eens lezen, zo goed was het.

Nu terug grote-mensen boeken gaan lezen voor school, saai hoor.
Dirk Schut
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing children's book. I really enjoyed reading it, though the concept of people being either purely good or evil is not something representing reality, it is a children's book.
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received my copy from the publisher through Nudge. This is a work of juvenile fiction aimed at children aged 10 - 12

It is the night before 16 year old Tiuri is to be knighted. He finds himself locked in a chapel in silent contemplation of the honour and duty that will be bestowed on him the following day. When he hears a noise and a voice calling for help he knows he should ignore it. If he wants to become a knight the following day he can’t talk to anyone or allow anything to distract him fro
Ashley Choo
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've ever read about knights that didn't include King Arthur, and I absolutely ADORED it. I've been obsessed with the retellings of the daring quests of the knights of King Arthur's round table, and this captivating adventure takes the crown.

On the night before he is to be knighted, Tiuri, our unlikely young hero, is entrusted with the huge task of delivering a very secret and important message to King Unauwen.
It is Tiuri's very first quest, he's being pursued by enemy kn
Description: The rule-book says that a young man who is to be knighted by King Dagonaut must pass the eve of the grand ceremony in silent vigil. However, Young Tiuri, son of the famous Tiuri the Valiant, breaks the rules - he opens the door to a stranger, who begs him to deliver a secret letter to the Black Knight with the White Shield. The letter is destined for the ruler of the neighbouring realm, King Unauwen, and concerns a matter of paramount importance. Tiuri accepts this dangerous mission ...more
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The Letter for the King 6 23 Jan 10, 2016 02:46AM  
Young Adult bookc...: De brief voor de koning - Tonke Dragt 2 11 Dec 03, 2015 03:18PM  
  • Geef me de ruimte! (Trilogie over de 100 jarige oorlog, #1)
  • Koning van Katoren (Katoren, #1)
  • Jip en Janneke
  • Het sleutelkruid

Tonke Dragt werd in 1930 geboren in Indonesië, en heeft daar het grootste deel van haar jeugd doorgebracht. In 1942 kwam ze met haar moeder en twee zusjes terecht in een Jappenkamp, en daar heeft ze ontdekt dat ze ze kon ‘ontsnappen’ door verhalen te verzinnen. Ze schreef en tekende in eerder gebruikte uitgegumde schriftjes en zelfs op wc-papier, want er was bijna niets. Samen met een vriendinnetj


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“As long as you remember that fighting evil doesn't necessarily make you good! Good and evil are each other's enemies, but they are often found close together.” 4 likes
“What does he look like? Not big, not small, not short, not tall, not old not young, not dark nor blond. His eyes are the only thing that give him away; they’re as mean as a snake’s. We were all afraid of him. Sometimes we feared we might become as evil as him!” 1 likes
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