Germany 1521: Fourteen year-old Seppel, an unskilled village boy, cannot imagine why the Duke of Saxony would summon him to a year of service in faraway Thuringia. A knight and squire escort Seppel to the Wartburg Castle, where Captain von Berlepsch instructs him in the ways of the nobility. Clumsy in his first attempts at fencing, Seppel tells the captain, “You cannot hope to convince anyone that I am of noble birth!” but the captain continues to school Seppel in the knightly arts.
In a locked room Seppel meets Sir Georg, the mysterious knight whom he is to serve as page. The imprisoned knight welcomes Seppel’s company and does not see through his disguise. When Seppel learns the true identity of the prisoner, he realizes that he must keep the secret of the Wartburg or the entire household of the castle will risk punishment by Church and State.
Kingdom of the Birds was published by Kirk House Publishers of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2010.