Reader Reviewed The Secrets of the Wild Wood by Tonke Dragt

The Secrets of the Wild Wood

Written by Tonke Dragt
Illustrated by Tonke Dragt

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2015 Tonke Dragt’s The Letter for the King has been acknowledged as a classic of Dutch literature since its publication over fifty years ago, but it took until 2013 for it to find a British publisher. Pushkin Press took it on and published it to huge acclaim, the story of young squire Tiuri’s trials as he sets about carrying out the final wishes of a dying man captured the hearts of readers in the UK. Now comes the sequel, and some may think it even more thrilling than the original. Tiuri, now a knight, has another mission: he will go into the Wild Wood to search for one of the King’s knights who has gone missing. There are lots of rumours about the Wild Wood, about robbers, woodland spirits, Men in Green, but Tiuri’s adventures will be stranger still. Not many books are genuinely spellbinding, this one is. ~ Andrea Reece

A Piece of Passion from Adam Freudenheim, Publisher of Pushkin Children’s Books I was thrilled and proud by the amazing response we had to the first book we published by Tonke Dragt, The Letter for the King. We have since had countless children and teachers writing to us, asking when the next book is coming out. Well – here it is at last. And what a book it is! I really believe The Secrets of the Wild Wood is even better than The Letter for the King. Tiuri is older, and the plot is darker, more complex – and even more gripping. But it still retains that grand atmosphere of mystery and suspense that drew so many children (and their parents) to the world of knights and squires, and to the dark secrets of the Wild Woods…

Reader Reviews

A small number of our Lovereading4kids reader review panel members were lucky enough to be invited to review the first in this series, The Letter for the King. You can read their full reviews here.

  • Freddie, age 8 - 'I loved this book because it is really exciting and has lots of adventures.'
  • Amie Coffman, age 9 - 'An intense and exciting, albeit very long book which is vastly different from anything I have read before!  Don't let the length of this book put you off...It is exciting from the first page.'
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 10 - 'Thrilling book and a must read for everyone capable of reading!'
  • Mukunth Kowsik, age 11 - 'A fantastic book full of courage and bravery that Hobbit fans would really love to read, with loads of action and suspense.'
  • Liberty Annison, age 11 - 'The Letter for the King is a breathtaking book and it draws you in with a fabulous start, an even better middle and a spectacular end.'
  • Dylan Sweet, age 10 - ' I think this brilliant book is an inspiration to readers who have a good sense of adventure.'
  • Ellen Faulkner, age 12 - 'The Letter For The King is a gripping story about a young boy, soon to be knighted, who runs off to deliver a letter to the King across the great mountains. He must not trust anyone. I love this book.'
  • Robert White, age 10 - 'The Letter for the King is a gripping, fast paced, difficult to put down classic adventure set in medieval times.  I loved it!'
  • Avanish, age 9 - 'The book is full of action, adventure and a hint of mystery. If you love books that are adventurous but slow paced then this is the book for you. It’s not an ordinary quest, it’s different in a good way.'   


The Secrets of the Wild Wood by Tonke Dragt

'There's no place you can lose your way as quickly as in the Wild Wood...' One of the King's knights has gone missing. Sent to explore the mysterious Wild Wood, which no-one dares visit and some say are enchanted, he has vanished in the snow. Tiuri - now Sir Tiuri after carrying out his last perilous mission - has to find him. With his best friend and squire, Piak, he must journey into the heart of a terrifying, secret forest realm, where danger is all around and every path leads you astray. It is a place of lost, overgrown cities and ancient curses; of robbers, princesses and strange Men in Green; of old friends and treacherous new enemies - and a secret plot that threatens to bring down the entire kingdom.


'Fans of The Letter for the King will be delighted with its sequel' Sunday Times

'Action-packed drama' Daily Mail

'Thrilling' Metro

The Letter for the King was a Sunday Times, Metro and Times Book of the Year

Praise for The Letter for the King:

'A true page-turner Sunday Times

'A pulse-pounding epic... will keep all high-fantasy addicts riveted from the first page' Metro

'A brilliantly epic tale' Sunday Express

'This spellbinding classic of high fantasy never once flags' FinancialTimes

'The plot is central, and extremely gripping, but the writing also delivers lovely detail and evocative description' Guardian Children's Books

'An absolute pleasure... immensely enjoyable... vivid and intelligent' newbooks

'Gripping...inspiring' Rachel Khoo

About the Author

Tonke Dragt

Tonke Dragt was born in Jakarta in 1930 and spent most of her childhood in Indonesia. When she was twelve, she was interned in a camp run by the Japanese occupiers, where she wrote (with a friend) her very first book using begged and borrowed paper. Her family moved to the Netherlands after the war and, after studying at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Dragt became an art teacher. She published her first book in 1961, followed a year later by The Letter for the King, which won the Children's Book of the Year award and has been translated into sixteen languages. Dragt was awarded the State Prize for Youth Literature in 1976 and was knighted in 2001.

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Book Info


460 pages


Tonke Dragt
More books by Tonke Dragt

Author's Website


Pushkin Children's Books

Publication date

10th September 2015




Publisher Profile

Pushkin Children's Books is an imprint of Pushkin Children's Books


Pushkin Children's Books was launched in 2013 to share tales from different languages and cultures with younger readers, and to open the door to the wide, colourful worlds these stories offer. From picture books and adventure stories to fairy tales and classics, and from fifty-year-old bestsellers to current huge successes abroad, the books on the Pushkin Childrens list reflect the very best stories from around the world, for our most discerning readers of all: children. Twitter @PushkinPress

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