Klaus Teuber, the mind behind one of the most prominent board games ever created – “Catan” – has announced a trilogy of books set in the game’s rich world.
This isn’t the first time the popular board game has been novelized and put into fictional writing, however. Rebecca Gable released her novel “The Settlers of Catan” in 2003. She and Klaus Tuber had collaborated together in order to bring the board game’s story to the bookshelves. The novel takes place in 850 AD and follows the adventures of a seafaring Norse community who set out from their village of Elasund to seek better fortune. Eventually, they discover the mythical island of Catan.
“The Settlers of Catan” is written and stylized much like the Norse sagas and stories of old, mixed with subtle references to the board game throughout it. Most of them were in the manner of how the settlers traded with one another, making the novel more realistic and in sync with the time period. Unfortunately, it received a somewhat mixed response, possibly due to the writing style of Gable and the lack of a more substantial reference to the original board game.
A New Compelling Story, True to the Board Game World
Klaus Tuber aims to improve upon Gable’s “The Settlers of Catan” with his very own “CATAN – Der Roman” – a 576-page novel, and that’s just the first volume. The novel’s description gives us a glimpse of what the story will be about. “CATAN – Der Roman” will be set in 860 AD, and will follow the story of half-brothers Thorolf, Yngvi and Digur on their journey to find a new home to call their own. But how did it come to this? The three brothers had helped the daughters of the brutal Viking prince Halldor. When he seeks revenge, the three brothers have little choice but to flee with some settlers who are willing to emigrate and follow them. Eventually, they reach Catan, dubbed “the land of the Sun”.
The announcement comes at a very opportune time when the interest in board games and their various outside-of-the-tabletop transitions is still going strong. This also provides a unique opportunity for the world of Catan to enter the world of cinema, should the novel prove successful. As is often the case – most successful historical fiction novels have transitioned to the wide screen in one form or another. We need to look no further than “The Last Kingdom” TV series, which is based on Bernard Cornwell’s “The Saxon Stories” series of novels. Perhaps Klaus Tuber is aiming for similar success, but only time will tell. The Viking themes and tropes are growing ever-popular, which will only do Tuber’s novels good.
The first volume of “CATAN – Der Roman” is set to debut next week, on 24 October. Pre-purchases are currently available, with the hardback copy costing €26, and the e-book version costing €20.99.