Malve von Hassell

on Tour

November 2-6


Alina_A Song For the Telling

Alina: A Song For the Telling

(Middle Grade historical fiction)

 August 27, 2020
at BHC Press

232 pages



ALINA: A SONG FOR THE TELLING is the coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who travels to Jerusalem, where she is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder, and finds her voice.
“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 got her querulous tone just right. Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. She could not possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz—impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage. But Alina refuses to accept the life her aunt wants to impose on her.
At the first opportunity she and her brother embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray for their father’s soul and to escape from their aunt and uncle’s strictures. Their journey east takes them through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem, where Alina is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder.
Forced by a manipulative, powerful lord at court into acting as an informer, Alina tries to protect her wayward brother, while coming to terms with her attraction to a French knight.

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Alina_A Song For the Telling Malve_von_HassellMalve von Hassell
is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator.
Working as an independent scholar,
she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002)
and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996).
She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell’s memoirs written in prison in 1944,
Der Kreis schließt sich – Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994).
She has self-published a children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Mill City Press, 2012)
and her translation and annotation of a German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsay,
Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012).
She has published The Falconer’s Apprentice (namelos, 2015)
and Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020),
and has another forthcoming historical fiction novel, The Amber Crane (Odyssey Press, 2020).
She is working on a biographical account of a woman coming of age in Germany during World War II.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and BookHub
Visit her website

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Click on the links to real the full reviews

Words And Peace

With an unusual setting and period (Jerusalem in the 12th century), the author offers a captivating and excellent evocation of the society of the time. A middle grade historical novel I would recommend to all lovers of history, young and older.

Locks, Hooks and Books

I thought the author did a great job to detail the setting and the historical details.
I would be interested in reading more by Malve von Hassell in the future. I recommend this one for readers who enjoy Medieval era historical fiction.


By weaving the story of real life historical people and events with her fictional characters, Malve von Hassell has created a brilliant coming of age tale.
Through hard work, your dreams may come true.
Though this book is written with younger people in mind, it appeals to all ages. Even adults will find it an enjoyable read.

Impressions In Ink 

~I had not read another story about pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Some of my questions were answered because of the story.
~The story was descriptive whether it is a market place, palace, Jewish home, or scenery along the way to the Holy Land.
~There is a strong teaching element at the conclusion of the story. I found other places where the story reveals a lesson learned.

Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Alina has my favorite elements: medieval ages, crusades, religion and something I am familiar with.
I did appreciate traveling to medieval ages.

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