Do you want to know more about the world that inspired the SEVEN KINGDOMS? Check out these fun links and books.

Fun Facts about the Rhine River in 4 Languages for kids, including the whale that swam the wrong way. This website lets you choose age group (8-11 years, 12-14 years) and language (English, Dutch, German, French). The International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine website also has photos, videos and a quiz. Have fun!

Lovely footage of the castle that inspired Cochem Castle in TROUBLE WITH PARSNIPS (from local German TV station). The 2 1/2 minute video is in German, (read my translation below):

Text of Reichsburg Cochem video in English:

The Reichsburg Cochem is an impressive fortress located on top of a hill that is visible from a distance. It stands more than 100 meters above the city of Cochem on the Mosel River.

Originally built in the year 1000, the castle was damaged and re-built many times. In the 19th century, it was completely re-built in the Neo-Gothic style by Louis Ravené, a wealthy businessman from Berlin. He bought the castle from the Prussians for a token 300 coins of silver. The castle served the family as a summer home for 75 years. Since 1978, the castle has belonged to the city of Cochem.

A steep, narrow, garden (not shown in video) leads from the Martin’s gate in Cochem all the way up to the castle gate. The castle still hosts concerts, festivals, Christmas-at-the-castle, and medieval feasts today.

cover of graphic novel history of Cochem in GermanThis dramatic graphic novel about the history of Cochem castle is only available in German. Life wasn’t always a fairy tale in Cochem Castle!




The castle below is the inspiration for the Blackfly Kingdom. It’s called Kaub for short, after the city near it, but its real name is

Burg Pfalzgrafenstein

I love the way it looks like a boat in the middle of the Rhine River, don’t you? Early travelers probably hated it, because it was a toll-booth. If you didn’t pay, you got sent to the dungeon!

This seven-minute video (in German) works its way through all twenty-one of the castles in this most famous section of the Rhine Valley.

Which one should I put in my next SEVEN KINGDOMS FAIRY TALE?

For my taste, the music is a bit twinkly, so if you don’t understand German, you could turn off the sound and pretend you’re taking a Rhine cruise!

Here’s a video in English that also covers the area:

Do you want to know more about the world of THE WOUNDED BOOK? Check out these fun links and books.

Stone arcade with shadows in Italian town of Pratovecchio
Deeper into The Wounded Book for Readers


Michael of Rhodes: a first-hand account of ships and travel in the middle ages. Click here for interactive journey map and ship info.

A very old city:

The modern city of Istanbul was built on top of Constantinople, but you can see very cool computer reconstructions of the great palace here at Byzantium 1200.

An old way to make music:

Interested in a quickie music lesson with Guido of Arezzo? This is how Bella tried to teach Perpetua. You’ll probably have better success.

More books:

Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo by Susan L. Roth with Angelo Mafucci. Houghton $17 (40p) ISBN 978-0-618-46572-9. I like picture books because they help me imagine unfamiliar places. Maybe you will like this one too?

Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed. Jobs in History Series. by Priscilla Galloway, Martha Newbigging (Illustrator). Click here for more about this book.

Click here to read part of Chapter 1 online.

© Laurel Decher, 2020

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