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Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath
When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that 1) He's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever. Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.
Reviews
Historical Novel Society

When 15-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson decides to try his hand at the master level of an unpublished video game, he isn’t prepared for the ultimate gaming experience: being transported into the actual past. This turns out to be medieval Germany, 1471, and Castle Hanstein, near the village of Rimbach, and the Klausenhof Inn, which still exists today in present-day Germany. Without any clues about the game’s rules, missions or even how to return to his time, Max uses his ingenuity, whatever he remembers from history lessons about the places and time, and friendships with a peasant boy, a healer, a beautiful servant girl, a lady in distress, knights, squires, and the lord of the castle to help him survive and pick his way through ordeals and hardships.

The historical details in the novel are on the mark and describe just enough to reveal the conditions of medieval life as a peasant, servant, craftsman, lord, lady, squire, and knight. Max stumbles through in time and masters the game, but matures and comes out a changed young man. Geared to a young adult audience, Escape from the Past is an entertaining and fast-paced read that guarantees to thrill any young reader’s/gamer’s wish to be a hero in a faraway time.

Midwest Book Review

“Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath” is a science fiction time travel action/adventure novel that will grip the reader’s total attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for school and community library YA fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath” is also available in a Kindle edition.

Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy

"Escape from the Past is chock-full of the tiny details that make a story feel realistic and immersive, from the leather ribbons used to fasten shoes to the slimy gruel that formed the bulk of the peasants' diet....those who love historical fiction or medieval fantasy will certainly enjoy Escape from the Past."  
 

Singing Librarian Book Blog

Author Annette Oppenlander has written an exciting new novel filled with action and historical events.  The main character in the book, Max, loves computer games and is transported back to the mediaeval time period where he must complete his mission in order to get home. Filled with plenty of action, historical events, and even a little romance, teens will thoroughly enjoy Annette’s first novel in The Duke’s Wrath series.  I would recommend this novel to any young reader who loves video games and wants to be transported back in time on a grand and thrilling adventure.

The Book Beacon Blog

This is a great story about a teenage gamer who is transported to 1471 Germany.  Max thought he was beta testing a new video game, but immediately finds himself far from home and modern day.  While desperately looking for an “exit button” or way to pause the action, he must evade detection.  In his contemporary clothing and shoes, he is obviously not a local.  Once it becomes clear there is no simple solution to leaving the game, Max must do his best to save himself and the people that help him, even if they are as confused as he is.

I really loved this book.  I am a huge fan of medieval history, and I especially love realistic accounts of the life and times of people who lived during this time.  It is very easy to romanticize castles and knights and medieval nobility.  In Escape from the Past, the author does a beautiful job of depicting a brutal time before civil rights for women, basic hygiene and healthy diets.   The sights, sounds and odors of 1471 are incredibly descriptive.  About two chapters in, you want the hero to Escape from the Past as much as he does… it will also make you appreciate indoor plumbing, grocery stores and laws that protect citizens from immoral rulers and enforcers.

The action is fast paced, the details are historically accurate and the plot is original and entertaining.  It was fun reading about a modern day Max navigating his way through a tough time and place.  It was also great watching him come of age in an age long ago.  He is both a fish WAY out of water and a marvel to those he meets.

Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy says it best: “Escape from the Past is chock-full of the tiny details that make a story feel realistic and immersive, from the leather ribbons used to fasten shoes to the slimy gruel that formed the bulk of the peasants’ diet….those who love historical fiction or medieval fantasy will certainly enjoy Escape from the Past.”

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