Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath

Written by Annette Oppenlander
Review by Francesca Pelaccia

When 15-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson decides to try his hand at the master level of an unpublished video game, he isn’t prepared for the ultimate gaming experience: being transported into the actual past.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.