When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he’s sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn’t realize that 1) He’s been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him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.
Praise for the Book
“Fast-paced compelling YA debut.”
Giselle Green, #1 bestselling author of A Sister’s Gift”
“A wonderfully crafted romp to the time of lords, ladies, and knights.”
Lee Ann Ward, author and former Senior Editor of Champagne Books
“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.”
Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy
Where is Escape from the Past set and why did you choose to set it there?
The story sort of created itself when I stumbled across medieval Castle Hanstein in Thuringia, Germany in 2012. These ruins are some of the best preserved in the country with an awesome view of the land. I knew immediately that I had to write something about this castle.
But then I found the jackpot. A display told of Knight Werner von Hanstein, a larger than life character who’d feuded with Duke Scharzburg over a beautiful woman in the late 15th century. This bit of information led me to a historical accounting of the Hanstein family with a few pages dedicated to Knight Werner. To say the least I was hooked.
The original Castle Hanstein was built with wood, but over several decades redone in stone. The outer walls, the portcullis, one tower still stand. The drawing, also used for the book’s cover, was done around 1450 and shows the castle in all its glory. The other images show the ruins you’ll see today.
A bonus to the location is the Klausenhof Inn, built in 1487 at the base of the mountain. Though it wasn’t in existence, my story takes place in 1471, the building gives great insight into what knights, peasants and merchants would have seen back then. The second floor contains a knight’s hall and fancy private dining rooms for the lords and ladies. The main floor is divided into a restaurant and bar. Peasants would have found nourishment in the basement.
Author Annette Oppenlander
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for teens. Whenshe isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.
“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”
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