About the Book
Alina: A Song For the Telling by Malve von Hassell
August 27, 2020
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook
Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Medieval
“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man’s dream.” Alina’s brother, Milos, pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci’s sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He had got her querulous tone just right.
I pinched my lips together, trying not to laugh. But it was true; Aunt Marci had already introduced me to several suitors. So far I had managed to decline their suits politely.
Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. How could she possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz, as impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage?
But fourteen-year-old Alina refuses to accept the oppressing life her strict aunt wants to impose upon her. When the perfect opportunity comes along for her to escape, she and her brother embark on a journey through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem.
Alina soon finds herself embroiled in the political intrigue of noble courts as she fights to realize her dream of becoming a female troubadour.
I don’t often read middle school age books, but when I do it’s because it’s compared to Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. Alina is a delightful story of a young girl coming of age in a very tumultuous time. It’s a really interesting look into the time period and focuses on the people that lived and persevered during this time.
This is very much a story focused on the characters, so while there is tons of character development the action sometimes falls to the wayside. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s action throughout this story, but it is all through the eyes of Alina and her own thoughts and feelings. While there were some aspects that could have been a bit more detailed, this story was extremely enjoyable and gave us a wild tale.
Alina is a wonderful story that provides a small insight into the lives of those who lived during this time period. And it’s also a reminder that life was not always easy for those who strive to live it. And although this is a middle grade book, adults and younger individuals can enjoy this story alike.
About the Author
Malve von Hassell is a writer, researcher, and translator. Born in Italy, she spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She lives in Southampton, New York, close to the ocean and a bay beach where she meets flying sea robins and turtles on her morning walks with her rescue dog Loki. She enjoys reading, playing chess with her son, gardening, anything to do with horses, and dreams of someday touring Mongolia on horseback. Her works include the children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy, written in response to her son’s letters to the tooth fairy; The Falconer’s Apprentice, her first historical fiction novel for young readers; The Amber Crane, a historical fiction novel set in Germany in the 17th century, and Alina: A Song for the Telling, a coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who dreams of being a musician.
Blog Tour Schedule
Thursday, August 27
Review at Passages to the Past
Friday, August 28
Interview at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Saturday, August 29
Feature at Books, Cooks, Looks
Monday, August 31
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Wednesday, September 2
Review at History from a Womanís Perspective
Thursday, September 3
Feature at SplendeurCaisse
Friday, September 4
Review at YA, it’s Lit
Monday, September 7
Review at Books and Zebras
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Alina by Malve von Hassell! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.