The Amber Crane by Malve von Hassell wonderfully combines historical fiction and fantasy. A curious combination, but one that settles comfortably when you read the book. The story follows a young amber artisan apprentice as he does his best to balance his work and life, as well as discover the seemingly magical properties of the amber he works so closely with.
Hassell’s use of well studied historical facts carefully researched alongside the dreamy time travel aspects fit comfortably. The main character’s ability to follow the future of his workmanship through his dreams to the dark days of World War II is well done. The characters fit the settings and are realistic, even given the fantastical aspects of the story.
Given the story takes place in war times, there are some dark but very real aspects, they are presented with care and not simply dropped in to the story for the sake of drama.
Is The Amber Crane worth reading? For both fans of historical fiction and fantasy, I would suggest you pick this up. Yes, I know that seems like a strange combination, but you will enjoy it! I had a hard time putting the book down.