Hello, sunshines, thank you for stopping by! I have the massive pleasure to be kicking off this brilliant blog tour; Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal; Hunting Himmler’s Holy Chalice by Niall Edworthy. I can’t wait to share my review of this fabulous book with you all, firstly I want to say thank you to the ladies at Bookollective for my complimentary copy and inviting me onto this tour. Now onto the book itself, I hope you love as much as I do.
Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal by Niall Edworthy
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing
Release Date: 1st August 2020
Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal is a work of historical fiction, inspired by the true story of Otto Rahn, occultist member of Nazi Germany’s Schutzstaffel (SS) Ahnenerbe think tank, and his search for the Holy Grail. He believes that in finding such a trophy, he will succeed in proving Ayran supremacy for Nazi Germany.
In Niall Edworthy’s riveting retelling, a naïve young historian, Otto Eckhart, is personally dispatched by SS leader Heinrich Himmler to seek a holy chalice, only to discover the real-life Chalice of Tomar.
Set over the course of a six-month span in 1937, the action unfolds across Berlin, the Odenwald mountain range, Wewelsburg Castle, and the Languedoc region of France. Sure to delight history buffs and World War II scholars, Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal is an absorbing coming-of-age story about love, life, and the search for meaning.
Well, this is a cracking read and a brilliant debut from Niall Edworthy, full of tongue-in-cheek, dry humour, adventure, history and tour across war a war-torn continent, which is all seen through very different eyes.
I was really intrigued by this and was really excited to read it and I am so pleased to say that it did not disappoint. The back blurb doesn’t do it justice at all and comes as a real surprise once you start reading. I do love historical fiction set during the WW2 era and this one totally caught my attention even before I got my little mittens on a copy.
Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal is very loosely based on actual events, of the real story of an Otto Rahn who was reportedly an Occultist in the SS who was also on the old Grail quest. I have read some eye-opening and at times particularly weird stories regarding the Nazi’s quest for historical artefacts and arts, but this has to be right up there with the most laughable and bizarre yet; but saying that, everything we know of the Nazi’s should we be surprised that Himmler wanted the Holy Grail?
This isn’t the most realistic of historical novel’s I’ve read from this era’s but to be perfectly honest it doesn’t matter, it’s a jolly good escapist read, full of laughs, adventure and a bit of history thrown in for good measure. It’s more about good versus evil, about an ordinary man doesn’t something extraordinary to pull the wool over the eyes of not just Himmler but the Nazi party.
It’s not just all light-hearted, Indiana Jones-style treasure hunting and fun, there a series side to it to so do expect to read some harrowing moments which feature the Dachau concentration camp which also means brutality and abuse from the SS, but seeing as this is a WW2 novel set right in the centre of the dragon’s lair, harsh and uncomfortable scenes are to be expected. One different thing about this book though is it doesn’t push that aspect of history on to you constantly, this is very much all about Otto and his quest, it’s about a very young man wanting something else in life than the norm.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s a lighter historical then the usual and one I think is perfect for those just coming into the genre, I see this more of a young adult story. It’s got darkness, but that darkness is overcome with light. It’s has a fabulous cast of characters’ Otto is a fascinating young man, I saw him as a bit of a daydreamer, head in the clouds instead of on the ground – true the likes of Himmler is portrayed a little cartoonish than the narcissistic evil cretin he was but personally, it added to the enjoyment of the overall story.
Overall an exciting, coming of age and highly enjoyable and fun read!
About the Author
Niall Edworthy, a former reporter with international wire agencies AFP and Reuters, has written over 40 books, many of them ghosted. Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal is his exciting fiction debut. His work has covered a broad range of genres and subjects and include a highly acclaimed account of a British tank regiment at war in Iraq, the comic adventures of an Essex roadworker on the world darts scene, the autobiography of a rugby World Cup winner, and the harrowing story of a young Londoner unjustly jailed in Russia.