top of page

Feature Book

A Song for the Telling

"She would travel the world to find her voice."

by Malve von Hassell


“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man’s dream.” Alina’s brother, Milos, pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci’s sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He had got her querulous tone just right.
I pinched my lips together, trying not to laugh. But it was true; Aunt Marci had already introduced me to several suitors. So far I had managed to decline their suits politely.
Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. How could she possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz, as impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage?
But fourteen-year-old Alina refuses to accept the oppressing life her strict aunt wants to impose upon her. When the perfect opportunity comes along for her to escape, she and her brother embark on a journey through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem.
Alina soon finds herself embroiled in the political intrigue of noble courts as she fights to realize her dream of becoming a female troubadour.


"Alina: A Song For the Telling is a fine example of how historical fiction can be full of color , action and atmosphere while rendering believable characters with sensibility and compassion. An empowering story for all ages." - Con

"This is a wonderful coming-of-age story about a 12th century orphaned teenage girl seeking to learn about the world and find her voice as a musician and singer." - Katerina V.

"This short novel is a wonderful tale about two brave youngsters embarking on a risk prone world tour to escape the confines of their home rendered alien to them after both their beloved parents had died." - A

The Amber Crane
The Falconer's Apprentice
Turtle Crossing
The Struggle for Eden
Letters from the Tooth Fairy
Tapestry of my Mother's Life

Malve von Hassell was born in Italy and spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research and has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College. Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She published two children’s picture books, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Amazon KDP 2012/2020), and Turtle Crossing (Amazon KDP 2021), and her translation and annotation of a German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). The Falconer’s Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults. She also published Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, and The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2021), set in Germany in 1645 and 1945. Her latest release was a biography, Tapestry of My Mother’s Life: Stories, Fragments, and Silences (Next Chapter, 2021). She is working on a historical fiction trilogy featuring Adela of Normandy.

Author page icon.png
Click here.png
iWiC Logo ICON.png
bottom of page