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The Whaler

(The Island of Sylt Trilogy #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  687 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
In the opening epic novel of The Island of Sylt trilogy by bestselling author Ines Thorn, a young woman must choose between love and poverty, or thrilling adventure and tormented passion.

The Island of Sylt, 1764

Life in the windswept village of Rantum in the North Sea is fraught with peril and hardship. Most families must rely on arranged marriage just to survive. But free-
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by AmazonCrossing
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Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
3.5 stars

Translated from German, this historical fiction novel is set on the island of Sylt, a Frisian archipelago in the North Sea, in 1764. I have always been fascinated by Nordic tales and appreciate to read settings that are beyond the known major historical events.

The villagers of Rantum are set deeply in their traditional ways. Neighbors know each other well and community is a way of life needed to survive the conditions by the cold sea. Maren, coming of marriageable age is in love with T
Patricia Hutcheon

I couldn't put this book down.It is so beautifully written,completely intriguing from the start.The character's are so believable,just a brilliant story.Can't wait for the next book in March.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Titel: Die Walfängerin
Originaltitel: -----
Autor: Ines Thorn
Seitenanzahl: 336
Genre: Historischer Roman, Liebesroman
Verlag: Ritten & Loening (Aufbau)

Sylt im Jahre 1765:
Maren ist 16 und schwer verliebt in Thies Heinen, ihren Freund aus Kindheitstagen. Für Maren kommt als Ehemann nur Thies in Frage und beide wollen heiraten. Aber Thies hat wenig Geld und kann selber nur schwer seine Familie ernähren. Als eines Tages plötzlich der reichste Mann der Insel; Kapitän Rune Boys um Marens Hand anhält
Ginger Pollard
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won the kindle edition of this book from Goodreads. Thank you, Goodreads! This is a wonderful book about family, resilience and love. I enjoyed it immensely and plan to read the next book in the series. Highly recommend!
Ines Thorn hat es in „Die Walfängerin“ wunderbar geschafft mit bildhaften Beschreibungen der Insel und des damaligen Alltagslebens das Sylt des 18. Jahrhunderts vor meinen Augen lebendig werden zu lassen. Ob der sturmgepeitschte Strand, die beengten Lebensverhältnisse der Dörfler, das reich ausgestattete Kapitänshaus, oder die Fahrt auf dem wellenumtosten Walfänger-Schiff --- alles konnte ich wie in einem Film vor mir sehen.

Leider war das auch schon das Highlight des Buchs. Der Schreibstil der
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
An ok historical romance set in the 18th century on Sylt following the destiny of a young girl as she grows up to become a woman. The dialogue in the German novel is very wooden and strangely, when I checked out the English translation of this book has actually been improved by translation. First time, I ever encountered that. It was fine, predictable plot, made me laugh out loud a few times (not intended by the author), the continuity errors drove me a bit bonkers at times but it was a quick re ...more
Kerstin Cordes
Netter historischer Roman, der sich schnell lesen lässt. Aber ich muss sagen, das man aus der Story noch ein bisschen mehr hätte machen können. Mir fehlt da doch etwas der Pepp und einige Sachen waren doch etwas zu vorhersehbar.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice story and it kept me interested enough to want to know how it ended. The writing wasn’t spectacular, but it was easy to read and a very quick read, which was good.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Ein schönes Buch, so ziemlich in einem Rutsch weggelesen. Historisch und maritim. Zwei Dinge, die ich mag. Und auch wenn man sich schon denken konnte, wie es wohl endet, konnte ich es nicht aus der Hand legen.
Kent Dallmeyer
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this in a giveaway. It was a great story so glad I won a copy. It had a good plot and good characters. It was written very well. I really enjoyed this story.
Titel: Seichter Schmöker für Zwischendurch...

Von Ines Thorn wollte ich schon immer mal etwas lesen und da ich kaum etwas über Walfänger weiß, begann ich unvoreingenommen mit der Lektüre.

In der Geschichte geht es um Maren, die unheimlich verliebt ist in Thies. Niemand anderes soll es in ihren Augen sein, den sie später mal heiraten wird, da spielt es auch keine Rolle, dass er so arm ist wie sie. Wird ihr das Schicksal hold sein?

Der Schreibstil der Autorin ist ungemein flüssig und recht einfach ge
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: olden-days
A really enjoyable read with good background knowledge of whaling and life in the 17th century.
Beca Silva
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the first installment of this series. The first section was a little slow, however, necessary to set the characters up for remainder of the book. The characters are likable the setting is certainly interesting. The author did a great job at bringing the scenes to life. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I admit I enjoyed this book, especially the setting and historical elements of it. Some of the story seemed a bit far-fetched, but I still found myself having a hard time putting it down. Definitely less whaling detail than Moby Dick (a good thing, although perhaps not a very good comparison).
Maureen Lambourne
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She had the heart of a whale.

I enjoyed the development of a girl to a feisty woman who learned how to judge people for their actions Rather than their social status.
Polly Clarke
The best part of this book is the second half, the first being a bit tedious and then it ends quite abruptly. It would have been far more satisfying to have languished in the ending for a few more pages. Overall, this was an ok read and up until the second part, I would have given it a 2 star but with the second part, having more depth to the plot, got me more interested in the characters and encouraged me to read on.
Danielle Bonam
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won the kindle version in a giveaway. I'm glad I read it. It was very interesting, learning about whaling in the 1700s (perhaps controversial, but a fact of life at that time), sailing, the way of living and culture in a small, poor town on an island in northern Germany. I thought Maren's character development was pretty decent, even though she was extremely obstinate and dense (at least she wasn't a Mary Sue character), and I liked most of the side characters (even if they were annoying or me ...more
Hanamiya Nagi
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Whaler transcended my expectations leaps and bounds. I picked it up to lighten my heavy current-read but ended up quitting the latter and gulping this one instead. This book left me with a feeling that I couldn't quite put my finger on, a potent cocktail of emotions. Oh how I wish I put it off for few more days to bask in Maren's company, but it was so irresistible I could not put it down!

To make a long story short: The folks of the island of Sylt are freighted with poverty, and hunger is a
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Oh look, it's one of those punish-the-heroine historical novels.

Here's our great romantic hero; "You humiliated me in front of everyone, and you sent me away like a dog. You deserve to pay for that."
What did she do? She did not humilitate him. She rejected him. This 16 year-old girl rejected a 30 year-old man because she was already in love with a friend of her own age.
Then he bribes her into kissing him but it's all ok because "the kiss stirred and softened her". Ugh.

This novel has things the o
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway.

Ines Thorn has written a book that is an enjoyable read for fans of this genre. For this reader there were too many plot events that were predictable. Maren, the main character, is a girl of mixed principles- in that she makes decisions based on experiencing love, but only a love relationship for herself. I wanted to bond with her and have her make the best decision for the people/family she cares about earlier in the book and find that it does w
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been fascinated by the island of Sylt since having German friends who holidayed there many years ago now. I was therefore keen to read this book and learn something of the history of the island. In the 18th century this was a place of shocking hardship where people were forced to depend on what could be earned from whaling expeditions to Greenland for their survival during the winter months. I really enjoyed reading Maren's story and how she changes over the course of the book. The whalin ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've learned that books translated from other languages can take some getting used to, and maybe a lot got lost here, but I wasn't a fan. The story was not overly surprising as far as the basic, love triangle plot line; the whaling boat added some additional interest. But the fact is, I don't like either of the men. Thies was underwhelming, and Rune seemed like a mean-spirited bully. The few moments where he showed some sort of tenderness were so brief as to be almost nonexistent. Believing that ...more
Jeene Hobbs
Finding love where you don’t expect it

This is a first in series book originally written in German and translated into English. That makes it difficult for me to decide if I was a bit unsatisfied with the story or the translation. Worth reading.

There were many aspects that I did enjoy. The setting: the Isle of Sylt (unknown to me) and onboard a whaling ship in the late 1700’s. The customs and traditions of that time and people. The unusual love triangle.

“There’s no right to happiness. There’s n
Robin Martin
I listened to this on Audible while I was doing yard work. I am stunned by all the five-star ratings for this book. While I liked it ok, I will probably forget most of the details of the story in a short while because I read so many books and nothing about this book stood out. The characters were typically stupid about realizing their attraction to each other and as is typical with this type of book they don't get together until the end. I like books that go beyond the happily ever after. I did, ...more
Pip Snort
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

In the north sea are tiny islands populated by fisherman. Some are so small they barely sustain life, which be grim and poor. Ms Thorn takes us back to the time of the whalers. Where oil came from whale blubber and life for the whalers was hard and cold. Ms Thorn has drawn a world that is grey and grim but pulses with a determined light. Her characters were meaningful, albeit simple and imperfectly drawn. The storyline too was simple but reasonably well written and engaging.
Brie Figueroa
Clumsy & Melodramatic

I wanted to like this book because of the unique setting, but it fell very flat for me. Maybe the dialogue and cultural nuances didn’t translate well. Unfortunately most sentences were clumsy or obvious, and the main characters’ words and actions seemed childish and melodramatic rather than mysterious or intriguing. There’s a lot of potential for a dark, moody story (along the atmospheric lines of The Ghost Writer or The Killing) but it would have to be completely rewrit
Kate Lomax
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pass the Kleenex.....
I have just finished this novel after an epic read by my standards.. Five stars from me then.. Move over Mr Darcy & Heathcliffe .. Captain Rune Boyse has arrived..... *swoons* - A brilliant book, a historical novel about 18th century life as it was for island of Sylt's whaling community. Have read it in several evenings, it is a very addictive, emotional roller coaster kinda read. Any other words would be spoilers, so you had best read it!
Denice Darland
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty tale of love, loss and and love triumphant

It was hard to put the book down! The story takes you from the wild frivolity of youth to the hard learned lessons of a more mature love. Only one instance of foul language that I felt was unnecessary and detracted from the tale.
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Other books in the series

The Island of Sylt Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Beachcomber (The Island of Sylt Trilogy, #2)
“Poverty can make people self-centered” 1 likes
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