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The Secret of the Water Knight
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The Secret of the Water Knight [Kindle Edition]

Rusalka Reh , Katy Derbyshire
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

While vacationing on an island with her parents, a young girl must overcome her greatest fear in order to rescue the local animals and sea life from the magical curse of a villainous toad. Beloved by fans for her beautifully written stories and interesting characters, Rusalka Reh has penned yet another fun and fantastical tale that is sure to enchant young readers the world over.

When Kat’s mom suggests a family vacation to the beach, her ten-year-old daughter is less than thrilled. In fact, the idea sounds downright lousy, considering the fact that Kat is terrified of the water. Yet from the moment they arrive, Kat senses there is something very unusual about the island. Her hunch turns out to be right: moments after discovering a strange whistle in the surf, she realizes she can hear the island’s animals talking to her. She doesn’t understand why…until a dolphin known as the Water Knight tells her about a curse cast upon the island by a villainous toad. Only a child can break the spell and only during a special full moon that shines once every forty years. The dolphin tells Kat that just such a night is rapidly approaching, and it’s up to her to free the island from the curse. But to do so, she must dive down into the toad’s lair, deep beneath the ocean’s dark waters. Packed with adventure and suspense, this story about a plucky girl conquering her greatest fear makes for a rousing—and heartwarming—read.

A worthy follow-up to her novel Pizzicato: the Abduction of the Magic Violin, Rusalka Reh’s newest tale, The Secret of the Water Knight, is sure to be praised for its excitement and suspense and hailed as a “compelling story of adventure…in the vein of a classic story, enjoyable by young and old alike.”

About the Author

Rusalka Reh was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1970 and grew up in Germany. She studied special education, rehabilitation, and art therapy in Cologne. She began her career as a scientific assistant at the university’s fine arts program and later worked as an art therapist in municipal children’s homes. Since 2000, she has worked as a freelance author, writing lyrics and prose. In addition to books for children and adults, she has published several texts in anthologies and magazines.

Katy Derbyshire is a London-born translator based in Berlin. She has translated various contemporary German writers including Clemens Meyer, Inka Parei, and Helene Hegemann. She also co-edited a book of writing on her new home, City-Lit Berlin.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 472 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (May 10 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049P1U1A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,927 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
By Darlene
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It has a good story line with a surprise ending. It is also teaching self-improvement by meeting challenges. The transalation of the original language I think does not do full justice to what was probably present in the original language - German but I don't believe it would bother a child to any degree.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neat idea, but didn't translate well May 26 2011
By C. Leebrick - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
There shouldn't be anything better than a girl who must face her greatest fear or leave a whole island of talking animals and sad people doomed to misery. Kat hates to put her head in the water. Her parents decide to take her to an island getaway with a goal of getting her more settled with swimming while there. She does discover snorkeling, but that is all she can manage. Then a magic whistle allows her to talk to the island's animals. They need her to confront the Vile Toad who has a stranglehold on the island, but that will require going under water to confront the toad at the 500th full moon. What will she do. What, what, what. Maybe the advice of the friendly newspaper stand owner can guide her. Maybe her father can teach her to love the water. Oop. Gotta end the book, bye.

It's almost that abrupt. The parents are quirky, but flat. The town is mysterious, but 2-D. The animals are cautiously optimistic, but not much else. My 8 year old borrowed this from me and had lots to say. "Is there more of this part where she meets the dolphin?" "Why did Kat do that? She was just going to ... and then she did this instead." "Is there a different book of this story that doesn't skip so much?"

Definitely not a good choice for most 9+ year olds who read for fun. My 8 year old finished it, but she was out of other books at the time, so I'm not sure that is a recommendation. I have never heard her have so many unhappy reader comments about a book before. Usually she loves everything, and frankly, I think she gets that from me. Neither of us was wild for this one.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but rather short. June 9 2011
By D. Williams - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Kat, the ten-year-old narrator and protagonist of "The Secret of the Water Knight" has a great fear; every time she tries to learn to swim, she panics and simply cannot do it. No one -- not her physical education teacher or her parents -- seems to be able to help her overcome this fear.

Her parents decide to spend a vacation on an island. Because of Kat's fears, she isn't too happy about going, but when she and her parents get there, she learns of some strange things that have happened. She finds an unusual whistle and meets some of the island's animals; the whistle makes the animals seem to speak to her. She meets a dolphin called the Water Knight, who explains that the island has been cursed, and she is the chosen one to break the curse of the evil toad. There is a very small time frame to do this -- every five hundredth full moon, or about every forty years. Others on the island tried to break the curse when they were Kat's age and failed. Kat must succeed, or the island will be cursed for another forty years.

This book would be an enjoyable read for tweens, but it seems quite short, hence my reason for a rating of four stars. My advance reader copy was only 92 pages long, even counting the back matter (a brief glossary of some Spanish words and phrases and information about the author and the translator); the information on the back cover states that the final copy will be about 102 pages. This length might be just right for some young readers, but many might want something more substantial.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical Realism Aug. 5 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Secret of the Water Knight / 1611090067

Kat can't swim and she's afraid of the water, so her parents take her to the ocean on a summer holiday so she can learn to swim far away from the teasing jibes of her friends. Yet when Kat gets to the lovely island paradise where they will spend their vacation, she learns that a terrible curse has been plaguing the island residents, and that *she* is expected to swim on the night of the full moon and do battle for all their lives. No pressure!

I had heard that this short story suffered from translation issues, but I had no problem whipping through it in a single night -- for myself, the text flowed well and the story was gripping. There are perhaps a few sentences where the sentence structure is different from what an English reader might be used to, but the meaning was still clear to me and the unique phrasing added to the poetic feel of the novella.

The plot itself is very gripping: this story puts me in mind of a collaboration effort between Gabriel Marquez (for the magical realism) and H.P. Lovecraft (for the intense body horror) to create a kids' novel about learning to swim and embracing and overcoming your fears. Since I'm a huge fan of magical realism and body horror, I suppose it was inevitable that I would enjoy this book, but I'm not sure how many young children will love this story, just because there are several quite intensely scary moments, including: (spoilers) humans having their body parts replaced with fish parts; a sad, wounded, bleeding dolphin; and a grown man tying up and gagging a young girl and leaving her alone in the dark.

I really enjoyed the magical realism in this book -- animals speak to our young protagonist without a lot of buildup or explanation, and Kat runs into people curses with changed bodies on a regular basis without batting much of an eye. The body horror is gripping and the frightening plot juxtaposes very nicely with the child-like narration and the vivid depictions of an island paradise. I'm not sure this book is for everyone, but I can definitely attest that I enjoyed it and recommend it as well worth a look.

NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through Amazon Vine, though I did end up buying the ebook version as well.

~ Ana Mardoll
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Aug. 27 2013
By Huh? - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This book had great potential. But it was the worst book I have ever read. The characters randomly broke out into Spanish, and there was no flow to the writing. Kat's parents were quirky and! annoying, and the "climatic" ending seemed like 7 pages were lost during its translation. The plot twist was really unneeded and annoying, almost like a weak attempt to keep you reading for the last two pages of the book. The only part that was good was when she first met the water knight. The magic solution to the problem that was mentioned throughout the book was completely disregarded when it was needed most. There were many other inconsistencies throughout the book. I dont think anyone would want to read it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Jan. 17 2013
By Abbe smith - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was boring but when u got far ahead and u would think o i know this than BAM its turned completely around and i liked it
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