The Book of Darkness
Das Buch der Finsternis

richard duebell das buch der finsternis
Ravensburger Buchverlag Otto Maier
August 2014 / 384pp
Children’s & Young Adults’

This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our  recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.


The Book of Darkness is a medieval thriller for young teens set in and around Salzburg. 

Fourteen-year-old Quirin serves Master Lukas, a printer. Not yet properly apprenticed, he has to perform the dangerous, dirty work of crawling around inside the press, carrying out repairs. 

Master Lukas is summoned to an abbey several days’ journey away, to produce copies of some valuable books. Quirin accompanies him, and shortly after their arrival Master Lukas entrusts him with a small, locked chest. In a panic, he instructs him to take the chest to the Bishop of Salzburg. 

Quirin flees with the chest and subsequently witnesses Lukas being pursued. Brandishing a book, Lukas jumps into the river and drowns. As he shelters nearby, Quirin re-encounters Anna, a fourteen-yearold who works at the abbey. She tells Quirin the rumours about the book of darkness, the dark counterpart to the book of life, in which the devil writes the names of those who belong to him. 

They decide to flee over the mountains to Salzburg, but in order to get the book to the Bishop they must flee packs of dogs, avoid the plague, and escape capture; making friends – and enemies – along the way …

about the author

Richard Dübell was born in 1962 and is one of the most popular authors of historical fiction in Germany. His books Die Pforten der Ewigkeit and the Teufelsbibel trilogy were bestsellers. Following Löwenherz. Im Auftrag des Königs, this is his second historical novel for young adults.

Previous works include:
Löwenherz. Im Auftrag des Königs (2012)

rights information

Ravensburger Buchverlag Otto Maier
Contact: Florence Christ
Tel: +49 (0) 751 86 1240

The Ravensburger Buchverlag – founded in 1883 by Otto Maier – publishes Children’s and Young Adult books for all ages. The blue triangle is a guarantor for products of high quality. Ravensburger publishes storybooks for small children, books for first readers, and children’s non-fiction. They publish around 450 books per year, and more than 1,900 titles are available.

translation assistance

Applications should be made to the Goethe-Institut.

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