Coffee Pot Book Tour: The Amber Crane by Malve von Hassell



Welcome to The Book’s Delight and a stop on the Coffee Pot Book Tour for The Amber Crane by Malve von Hassell. We have a super blurb and a bonus guest post for you today. I’ve read Malve’s book, The Falconer’s Apprentice, and I can tell you she is a marvellous writer with a keen eye for historical detail.


The Details


Author: Malve von Hassell

Publication Date: 25th June 2021

Publisher: Odyssey Books

Page Length: 268 Pages

Genre: Time-slip Historical Fiction / Young Adult



The Blurb


Chafing at the rules of the amber guild, Peter, an apprentice during the waning years of the Thirty Years’ War, finds and keeps a forbidden piece of amber, despite the risk of severe penalties should his secret be discovered. 

Little does he know that this amber has hidden powers, transporting him into a future far beyond anything he could imagine. In dreamlike encounters, Peter witnesses the ravages of the final months of World War II in and around his home. He becomes embroiled in the troubles faced by Lioba, a girl he meets who seeks to escape from the oncoming Russian army. 

Peter struggles with the consequences of his actions, endangering his family, his amber master’s reputation, and his own future. How much is Peter prepared to sacrifice to right his wrongs? 

Trigger Warnings:

References to rape, Holocaust, World War II, violence


Get to know Malve

Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer. She has self-published two children’s picture books, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (2012/2020) and Turtle Crossing (2021), and her translation and annotation of a German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). The Falconer’s Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults. She has published Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, and The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2021), set in Germany in 1645 and 1945. She has completed a biographical work about a woman coming of age in Nazi Germany and is working on a historical fiction trilogy featuring Adela of Normandy.



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The Excerpt

Discussion of a historical aspect in THE AMBER CRANE


It is hard to choose a single historical aspect since there are far too many I would love to talk about. This complexity and richness made writing this book so challenging and such an amazing experience. 

I would like to present one aspect that has the added advantage of cutting across the two time frames addressed in this time-slip historical fiction book.  

That is the story of a tree. It is a linden tree. As I write this, linden trees are in bloom in my neighborhood, and the sweet lemony perfume hangs in the air like a veil, immediately evoking thoughts of honey and afternoon tea at a patio table in the dappled shade of a tree. This particular linden tree is in a village called Motarzyno, Poland, formerly known as Muttrin. The nearby town was Stolp (today Slupsk) and the harbor town was Stolpmünde (today Ustka) in a province in Pomerania. 

Jacob von Zitzewitz planted the famous Muttrin linden tree in 1555 to commemorate his appointment as Chancellor of Duke Philipp I of Pommern-Wolgast. He planted it on a hill on his land at a distance of about thirty miles from the Baltic Sea. 

The linden was called the Schifferlinde (marinerslinden tree). According to the von Zitzewitz chronicle, on dark and stormy nights, members of the family would light a bonfire next to the tree so that it served as a beacon that could be seen from afar by sailors navigating the rocky waves of the Baltic. The fishermen rewarded him with salt and herrings. The linden tree was eventually marked in the nautical charts as a guide.



In 1931, the tree was declared a protected natural monument of the Stolp district. It had reached a height of over 18 meters, and at its widest point the crown measured 24 meters, with a trunk width of 6 meters.



It is still standing even though about half of the branches were lost when the tree was hit by lightning during a storm in the 1980s.



Every year, the town of Slupsk sends a deputation to the village to inspect the tree and insure itself of its wellbeing. 

Thus, this tree is a living link between the two eras covered in my book. Its roots reach across the centuries, its branches have provided welcome shade for countless generations, and it continues to serve as a beacon of trials and tribulations, resilience, healing, and hope.


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Don't miss any stops on the book tour. Check out these other great historical fiction bloggers. 





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