The Amber Crane

(5 customer reviews)

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?

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Book Details

Weight 350 g
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

260 pages






Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Release date

25 June 2021




Odyssey Books

About The Author

Malve von Hassell

Malve von Hassell

Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a PhD in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. In addition to various academic publications, she is the author of three historical fiction novels for young readers, The Falconer’s Apprentice (2015), Alina: A Song for the Telling (2020), and The Amber Crane (2021).

5 reviews for The Amber Crane

  1. Ellie Yarde, The Coffee Pot Book Club

    The Amber Crane by Malve von Hassell is a novel that is well crafted. Like a master craftsman working with the finest of ambers, this novel is an object of beauty and elegance.

  2. Nansi Kunze

    While books about WW2 are a dime a dozen, this time slip novel has something far rarer to offer: an insight into life during the 17th-century Thirty Years War. Following Peter, an amber worker’s apprentice, as he navigates the dangers of his own war-torn life in 1644 and helps the refugees he meets when his dreams take him to 1944, the tale is gripping and suspenseful. The settings in both time periods are authentic and fascinating, and it’s clear that von Hassell has researched these extensively. While themes of conflict and freedom are obviously at the forefront of the story, the exploration of Peter’s relationships with his family and the friend he finds three centuries in the future is even more engaging. The allure of amber binds the narrative together, and the author’s beautiful imagery and detailed description of how this precious substance is worked were one of my favourite things about the novel. (Another was von Hassel’s excellent translations – not an exciting aspect for most readers, perhaps, but as a German translator myself I found them a cool reading bonus!) Well worth a read for fans of time slip and historical stories, this is a YA that I can see having appeal for adult readers too.

  3. Kathryn Burlo

    This is one of those gems I wouldn’t have come across otherwise! But oh my goodness, for historical fiction fans (and beyond), this book is an absolute must-read. The author knows her history, but it doesn’t feel like you’re reading a textbook – instead, it is done so that it feels like you are following likable characters and an engaging plot. On top of that, I learned so much about the 30 years war and WWII that I didn’t even learn in school! Both wars, even though in very different times, were really sad and scary. There’s a great time travel element in the book as well, which touches on themes about how history tends to repeat itself, whether it is from a war in the 1600s or 1900s. The two MCs, despite being from different times, are the kinds of characters you want to follow throughout the book. All in all, this book was really fun to read – one of those books where the story is riveting, but you learn a lot as well. Perfect for many ages, I would highly recommend this one.

  4. Sarah Oakey

    There is so much to this book. The research that has gone into all aspects of it were phenomenal, creating a really enveloping, adventurous and captivating story.
    I’m fascinated by crystals and loved that amber was the centre of the whole story, the properties of amber have always fascinated me.
    The book is set in Pomerania close to the Baltic Sea in 1644 and 1944, the story constantly inspired me to seek further information on topics and subjects which piqued my interest …from The thirty years war to the history of Pomerania and Baltic amber (leading me to learn about the 3000 year old Slupsk bear made of amber found in a peat bog!) The story is gripping and well paced and I really enjoyed the time travel elements. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

  5. Dr. John H. Krahn

    Excellent writer and an engaging story for any age.

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