The Piper's Pursuit
Series: Hagenheim #10
Published by Thomas Nelson
Publication Date December 3, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Action/Adventure, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Setting: Holy Roman Empire Middle Ages - 400 to 1600
Written for: High-School/Young Adult
A plague of rats. Children going missing. A giant beast attacking just outside the walls of Hamlin. And one young woman determined to save her town.
Katerina’s stepfather, Hennek, is neither a good father nor a good husband, but he is the mayor of Hamlin. Could he somehow be causing the misfortunes that have befallen her beloved town? The evidence points to a beast of unusual size—a wolf, perhaps, or a large dog—killing people who venture too far from town. But does that explain the disappearance of so many children, many of whom seem to have gone missing from inside the town walls?
Steffan knows he must reconcile with his father, the Duke of Hagenheim, but he’s not sure he’s ready. In the meantime, he roams from town to town seeking adventure and reward. When he hears of a giant beast terrorizing the town of Hamlin and an equally giant reward that includes gold, money, and the mayor’s daughter in marriage, he heads to Hamlin. Steffan plans to kill the beast, rid the town of its rat infestation, and take the reward—everything except the girl in marriage. However, when he meets Katerina, he’s not so sure. Perhaps his plans need changing.
Katerina is hunting the Beast of Hamlin for herself, determined to win liberation from her conniving and controlling stepfather. When she finds one of the children who has been missing for many months, dirty and wandering around the woods, the mystery only seems to deepen. Katerina will have to team up with Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son who infuriates her—he’s the only one in town who isn’t controlled by the mayor. Danger dogs them from both man and beast. Can Katerina and Steffan stop the “Pied Piper” from stealing every last child from Hamlin? Or will their interference create an even worse fate?
They continued following the path as it wound around the side of the hill, coming to the far side, away from town. Then, instead of continuing up, the path started down.
Kat got a strange feeling, a prickling at the back of her neck, as if something were breathing just behind her. She turned, but only Steffan was there, slightly behind and to the side of her. Beyond him were dark, shadowy trees. The sky seemed to have become overcast, hiding the sun and making the forest even darker.
She continued forward. How had she never seen this path before? Or gone this way? It must be a very new path. A fallen tree lay up ahead. She vaguely remembered seeing it before, lying against a large boulder, half covered. But today there were other downed trees that looked to have been piled up around it, covering the boulder, if indeed her memory was correct.
The trees, though their trunks were sawed through, were still full of green leaves, as if freshly cut.
A growl erupted, loud and close. It came from the other side of the pile of trees.
Kat’s whole body tensed. She already held her crossbow at the ready, so she stopped and waited. Steffan stepped up beside her. He had drawn his sword without her hearing it.
An animal with long skinny legs stepped out from behind the pile of trees. The unusually large creature bared its teeth and hunched low, crouching and readying itself.
Steffan stepped forward as she raised her crossbow. Thankfully, he stayed well to the side so that she had a clear shot.
Kat raised her crossbow, aimed, and just as she loosed the arrow, the animal leapt.
See my review of the book here