I’ve been posting a lot of historical fiction set around WWII recently. But don’t get bored! They’re not all the same. This next review, in particular, has an interesting story to tell.
Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal: Hunting Himmler’s Holy Chalice by Niall Edworthy
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, there is a part of history that I never know about. It shows just how delusional and self-important the Nazis were. I mean, if nobody had told me that this book was based on fact, I would have believed it to be total fantasy, comedic almost in the fact that Himmler would send somebody in pursuit of the Holy Grail.
In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I liked this book at all. This was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t very keen on Otto. I know it is easy for me to say but I feel like he should have resisted the advances of the Nazi party more. Like his father, who would rather lose everything than join the Nazis in their crusade.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were probably a lot of people like Otto during this period. People were really, really afraid of the system. They didn’t believe in the system but did believe that it was the better option to join the party. Once I realized this fact, it opened up my eyes a lot more and I could appreciate the book for what it was, an absorbing coming-of-age story about love, life, and the search for meaning.
Otto Eckhart’s Ordeal is available to purchase now.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.