What the Hungarian?! SPFBO 9 Edition: Brendan Noble

What the Hungarian?! – Brendan Noble

Üdv! Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you had no idea what was being said? Well, the brave people taking part in the What the Hungarian?! feature can experience exactly that. 5 quotes, 5 guesses, and 5 answers. How well would you do?

If you’d like to try this feature out, please contact us for further details!

For SPFBO 9 I’m returning to my old tradition, where I offer to the authors in our batch a spotlight on Queen’s Book Asylum. While in previous years I created a new feature, this year I let them choose between all of my available ones: What the Hungarian?!, Tales from the Asylum, Stuck in the Pages, Party with the Stars, To Be Continued…, as well as the regular author spotlight options of an interview, and a guest post.

Brendan Noble, author of A Dagger in the Winds, chose the challenge of What the Hungarian?!, let’s see how he did with it!

The Rules
  • You get the first passages in Hungarian (translated by me, but they should do) from 5 books you’ve read, and a couple of hints.
  • You have to guess which book they are from. And for extra fun, share your thought process with us!
  • You can also ask 3 questions regarding any of the passages (1 question/passage) which I’ll answer with yes, no or I don’t know – as I didn’t read each of the books.
  • You can’t use a dictionary or a translator.
  • And you just have to have fun!

Simple, isn’t it?

Meet the Author
Brendan Noble

Brendan Noble is an author writing epic fantasy with inspiration from his Polish ancestry, mythology, video games of all types, and Dungeons & Dragons. He loves to explore the complexities of politics and the gray between good and evil. 

Shortly after beginning his writing career in 2019, Brendan married his wife Andrea and moved to Rockford, Illinois from his hometown in Michigan. Since then, he has published three series: The Realm Reachers, The Frostmarked Chronicles, and The Prism Files. 

Outside of writing, Brendan is a data analyst and soccer referee. His top interests include German, Polish, and American soccer/football, Formula 1, analyzing political elections across the world, playing video games, exploring with his wife, and reading.

Connect with Brendan Noble
What the Hungarian?!


Derült, hideg áprilisi nap volt, az órák éppen tizenhármat ütöttek. _, állát leszegve, gyorsan besurrant a Győzelem-tömb üvegajtaján, hogy megszabaduljon a metsző széltől. De nem tudott olyan gyorsan besurranni, hogy ne törjön be vele együtt egy kavicsos porörvény. 

Az előcsarnokhoz vezető folyosó főtt káposzta és öreg rongy lábtörlők szagát árasztotta. Egyik végén egy – épületen belüli elhelyezés céljára túlságosan is nagyméretű – plakát volt a falra szegezve. Csak egy hatalmas arc volt látható rajta, méternél is szélesebb arc: egy negyvenöt év körüli, sűrű fekete bajuszos, durva vonású férfi arca. _ egyenesen a lépcső felé sietett. A felvonóval nem volt érdemes próbálkozni. Még a jobb időkben is ritkán működött, jelenleg meg az áramszolgáltatás is szünetelt a nappali órákban. Ez is része volt a takarékossági versenynek, amellyel a Gyűlölet Hetére készültek.

Hints: Standalone, trad published, male author, Big Brother is watching

Brendan Noble:  I read very few standalone books, and ‘Big Brother’ is too famous to not know. 

Guess: 1984 by George Orwell

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The correct answer: 1984 by George Orwell

The Original Quote

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats, At one end of it a colored poster too large for indoor display had been tacked tp the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a meter wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week.



Nézd, én nem akartam félvér lenni.

Ha azért olvasod ezt mert azt gondolod, hogy talán te is az lehetsz, azt javaslom, csukd be ezt a könyvet, most azonnal. Hidd el bármilyen hazugságot is adott be az anyád vagy az apád a születésedről, és próbálj meg normális életet élni.

Félvérnek lenni veszélyes. Félelmetes. A legtöbbször fájdalmas, kellemetlen halállal végződik.

Ha normális kölyök vagy, és azért olvasol mert azt gondolod ez csak fikció, király. Olvass tovább. Irigyellek amiért azt hiszed mindez sosem történt meg.

De ha magadra ismersz ezeken a lapokon – ha úgy érzed megmozdul benned valami – azonnal hagyd abba az olvasást. Talán egy vagy közülünk. És ha egyszer tudod, csak idő kérdése, hogy ők is megérezzék, és eljöjjenek érted.

Ne mondd, hogy nem figyelmeztettelek.

Hints: irst book of a series, trad published, male author, blood doesn’t become water

Brendan Noble: The hints lead me towards either Brandon Sanderson (who a lot of the books I’ve read are by), Brian Mcclellan, or David Dalglish. I’m not sure specifically why those three pick out in my head, but they’re the main ones I’ve read lately. From there, I don’t think the sentence style fits Sanderson (though Hungarian could have a different sentence structure that breaks that guess). That leaves Mcllelan and Dalglish. Dalglish I recall in The Bladed Faith has a lot of dialogue around blood and killing and how far someone should go, so I’m going to guess that one in the end. There’s probably something I’m missing with blood not becoming water, but that’s my best guess.

Guess: The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

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The correct answer: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Timy: Okay, I feel like the blood doesn’t become water hint needs a bit of explanation. There is a Hungarian saying “a vér nem válik vízzé” that I used as the hint, for two reasons: 1) this saying means that you can’t deny your ancestry, and family is always a strong bond. 2) I thought it was a clever way to hint at Percy being the son of Poseidon, the god of the ocean. Not gonna lie, I’m extremely proud of this one.

The Original Quote

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.

If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.

Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty ways. 

If you are a normal kid, reading this because you think it’s fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe that none of this ever happened.

But if you recognize yourself in these pages – if you feel something stirring inside – stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it’s only a matter of time before they sense it too, and they’ll come for you.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



Nem futhatsz el ez elől.

_ püspök ajtaja előtt állva _ kopogásra emelte a kezét és hezitált. 

Miért hívatta? Elfogadható munkát végzett tegnap a misén és kizárt volt, hogy tudjon az előző éjszakáról, amikor Nafarival megpróbáltak besurranni Drága Atya ministránsainak szárnyába. Barátja fogadkozása ellenére, miszerint tud egy titkos utat, nem jártak sikerrel. Miután három órán át bolyongtak elveszve az Északi Katedrális egyik pincéjében, végül megtalálták a szobájukhoz visszavezető utat. Nem keverték bajba magukat, próbálkozásaik ellenére. 

Bármennyire is szerették volna.

Hints: Book 1 of a series, self-published, male author, the circle of life

Brendan Noble:  I must confess that I have not read much self-published fantasy (terrible, I know, coming from a self-pubbed fantasy author). I’ve spent so much time trying to catch up on Sanderson’s cosmere, so the remaining self-pubbed options are few and far between. I’m working on changing that. Unfortunately, I haven’t read many books this year in general either. I believe the best one that would fit this is Smoke and Stone by Michael Fletcher. The book I believe is inspired by Aztec mythology, and there is a large focus on sacrifices for a deity, which may hit that theme.

Guess: Smoke and Stone by Michael Fletcher

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The correct answer: Smoke and Stone by Michael Fletcher

The Original Quote

You can’t put this off any longer.

Standing outside Bishop Zalika’s chambers, Akachi lifted a hand to knock and hestitated.

Why had she summoned him? He’d done a passable job of leading yesterday’s sermon and there was no way she knew about last night’s attempt to sneak into the wing housing Precious Father’s acolytes with Nafari. In spite of his friend’s claim to know a secret route, they’d been wholly unsuccessful. After spending three hours wandering, lost in one of the Northern Cathedral’s sub-basements, they eventually found their way back to their own room. They hadn’t actually managed to get into trouble.

Much as they wanted to.



Ahogy a nap lenyugodott a hegyek mögött, Demir Grappo átvágott a csata maradványain. A fátyolfelhők a végtelen kohó lángjaiként kúsztak át a brilliáns vörös színben pompázó égen. A jelenet festménybe illő lett volna, ha a sikságon nem látszottak volna mindenhol a mészárlás nyomai. Demir a napnyugtán legeltette a szemét, próbálva kizárni a haldoklók sikolyait és nyöszörgését. Azon tűnödött, vajon van-e a seregének hivatásos művésze. A legtöbb hadseregnek volt, nemdebár? Ha nem, szereznie kellett egyet.

Feltartott ujjaival téglalapot formázott, mintha egy tájképet nézne. A látvány lenyűgöző volt. Lassan leengedte ujjait miközben azok a folyamatosan sötétedő csatateret mutatták. Ez kevésbé volt lenyűgöző.

Hints: Book 1 in a series, trad published, male author, fragile peace

Brendan Noble:  Demir Greppo (mentioned in first sentence) is the name of the main character of my favorite recent read, In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian Mcclellan. 

Guess: In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian Mcclellan

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The correct answer: In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian Mcclellan

Timy: I have to admit, that I forgot to blank out the name ????????‍♀️ And that’s a lesson for everyone not to rush things even if you are under pressure from all sides.

The Original Quote

Demir Grappo picked his way through the aftermath of a battle as the sun began to set over the mountains. The sky was a brilliant hue of red, wispy clouds looking like the flames of an eternal forge, a scene worthy of a painting if not for the carnage spread out across the plain in every direction. Demir let his eyes linger on that sunset, trying to block out the screams and moans of the dying. He wondered if his army had an official artist. Most armies did, didn’t they? If not, he should get one.

He held up his fingers to make a rectangle like that of a landscape painting. It was an incredible view. Slowly, he lowered his fingers so that they took in the rapidly darkening battlefield. This… less so.



Észak _ban késő tél volt, a levegőt nedvesség töltötte meg ami nem volt se eső, se hó. A brilliáns februári táj átadta helyét március sivár szürkeségének, és _ családja mind szipogott nyirkos levegőtől, és lefogyott az elmúlt hat hétben amikor fekete kenyéren és erjesztett káposztán kellett élniük. De senki sem gondolt a fagyra vagy az orrfolyásra, de még a zabkására sült hússal sem, mert _ arra készült, hogy elmondjon egy történetet.

Azon az estén az öregasszony a legjobb helyen ült az elbeszéléshez: a konyhában, a fapadon a kályha mellett. Hatalmas, égetett agyagból készült kályha volt ez, magasabb mint egy ember és elég terebélyes ahhoz, hogy _ mind a négy gyeremeke kényelmesen elfért volna benne. A lapos tető fekvőhelyként szolgált, míg a belseje gondoskodott az ételükről, melegítette a konyhát és gőzkabinként is használhatták betegség esetén.

Hints: Book 1 of a series, trad published, female author, evil stepmother

Brendan Noble: There are two books immediately that seem relevant here: Circe by Madeline Miller and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I am conflicted here, as I don’t actually know if Circe is in a series (and I’m not going to cheat to check), and I cannot remember specifically if The Bear and the Nightingale had an evil stepmother. I vaguely remember a super traditional Christian woman in The Bear and the Nightingale, and the main character was a Slavic witchy girl (which is what brought me to the series as a fellow Slavic fantasy writer).As I’m typing, I’m remembering that Circe’s evil nymph lady was directly her mother and not her stepmother, so I will guess The Bear and the Nightingale.

Guess: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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The correct answer: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Original Quote

It was late winter in Northern Rus’, the air sullen with wet that was neither rain or snow. The brilliant February landscape had given way to the dreary gray of March, and the household of Pyotr Vladimirovich were all sniffling from the damp and thin from six weeks’ fasting on black bread and fermented cabbage. But no one was thinking of chilblains or runny noses, or even, wistfully, of porridge and roast meats, for Dunya was to tell a story.

That evening, the old lady sat in the best place for talking: in the kitchen, on the wooden bench beside the oven. This oven was a massive affair built on fired clay, taller than a man and large enough that all four of Pyotr Vladimirovich’s children could have fit easily inside. The flat top served as a sleeping platform; its innards cooked their food, heated their kitchen, and made steam-batch for the sick.

Results: 4/5

Well done, Brendan!

Grab a copy of A Dagger in the Winds!

A Dagger in the Winds by Brendan Noble

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