Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

Bewertung: 0.5 von 5.

by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling


Check out my Booktube review of this thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYg1Z…
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This is an abomination of the Harry Potter series and of the characters people have come to love over the course of seven magnificent books. I’ve never hated anything as passionately as this book.

Why? There’s a million reasons why. Basically, the story is illogical. What’s more, nobody acts like they’re themselves. JKR has created so many adorable, unique, great characters, but somehow, somewhere after „all was well“, they’ve all changed their personalities completely.

Hermione Granger being too stupid to hide a time-turner? You know, that Hermione Granger who’s supposed to be the brightest witch of her age. Voldemort having a child? You know, that guy who did everything to become immortal…why would he want an heir? Cedric Diggory becoming a Death Eater because he failed at the First Task? This guy was pure Hufflepuff, honest to the bone. This is the guy who was so good at heart that he didn’t take the Triwizard Cup when he could. This guy – a Death Eater? No way.

Also, Harry and Ron. You’ve got to be kidding… Harry Potter, the neglected orphan boy who nonetheless grew up to be such a loving, selfless person…this Harry Potter being a bad father? Ron Weasley being a stupid sidekick?

This was written by someone who never read the books but worshipped the movies where all of Ron’s strong moments, his dry cleverness, his irony and his achievements were given to Hermione, who was portrayed as the infallible, perfect person who had to save the boys all the time.

I wanted to burn it after I read it, but it was a friend’s copy, so I didn’t. Maybe it’s a good play to watch because of special effects, good actors etc, but this text is a catastrophe and a disgusting try to make money, nothing more. How anybody can actually say that this is „the best Potter book“ is beyond my imagination.

This is the embodiment of a one-star book. I hate it. Absolutely hate it. I’ll never understand why Rowling gave her name to this one. It’s so bad that I wrote my own HP fanfic just to erase this storyline from my brain.




Review: QUEEN’S PLAY (LYMOND CHRONICLES #2)

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

by Dorothy Dunnett


To say that Dorothy Dunnett’s writing is in a league of its own would be a huge understatement, because it’s far better than that. It’s basically a sport of its own, played after rules no one else can ever understand, played with such excellence and brilliance that no one else ever dares to pick up the ball and give it a try. ‚Queen’s Play‘ is once again an embodiment of perfection, a book without a fault and an unparalleled piece of art.

‘To succeed as you want, you have to be precise; you have to have polish; you have to carry polish and precision into everything you do. You have no time to sigh over seigneuries and begrudge other people their gifts. Lack of genius never held anyone back,‘ said Lymond. ‚Only time wasted on resentment and daydreaming can do that. You never did work with your whole brain and your whole body (…); and you ended neither soldier nor seigneur, but a dried-out huddle of grudges strung cheek to cheek on a withy.‘

Yes, Lymond’s back, and he’s as merciless, reckless and witty as always. While The Game of Kings took place mostly in Scotland, this one has moved over the channel: the French court of Henri II gets to know our heroe, who disguises himself as a clown to save the life of young Mary, Queen of Scots. He is poet, singer, musician, and fool all in one, and conquers the young court within days. We are introduced to a world full of luxury, decadence, and reckless entertainment, with elephants named Hughie and murderers who want to kill a child of eight years. Once again, Dunnett comes up with a set of characters both ficticious and historical who never cease to deliver irony, fun, and twists, and Lymond’s escapades and intrigues are the best of it. And yet, just as we remember him from the prequel, even the brilliant Master of Culter makes mistakes.

‘For those of easy tongues, she said. Remember, some live all their lives without discovering this truth; that the noblest and most terrible power we possess is the power we have, each of us, over the chance-met, the stranger, the passer-by outside your life and your kin. Speak, she said, as you would write: as if your words were letters of lead, graven there for all time, for which you must take the consequences. And take the consequences.

This is a lesson Lymond had to learn, and he learns it the hard way in this one, for the court of France is a place filled with poison, murder, and intrigue. Of course, Dunnett portrays all of this with her unique brilliance: with these dialogues sparkling of intelligence, with precise love for detail, and with…basically everything one could wish for in a novel. By now, I’d give a recipe on how to boil eggs five stars if it was written by Dorothy Dunnett – obviously this one also gets five stars.

Review: THE GAME OF KINGS (LYMOND CHRONICLES #1)

I realised it’s stupid that I uploaded my review for the fourth book of this awesome series without uploading those for the prequels first, so here they come.

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

by Dorothy Dunnett


To all the books I’ve loved before: I’m sorry. Really. But it’s over. We’re done. We just can’t see each other any more. It’s not because of you, honestly. It’s because of me. Because I’ve read something else, something special, and I just can’t forget it anymore. Never. I’ll never stop loving you, but it’s just not the same. I’m really, really sorry, but we’re done. I’ll never forget you, but Dorothy Dunnett’s „A Game of Kings“ is just perfect. We can still stay friends, though.

You know, there’s books and there’s books. Those rare, lucky pieces of extraordinary genius which you meet every few years, which are so good that you think about turning all your five-star ratings into four stars, because, oh boy, this is so much better. As you may have guessed, this is what I experienced here.


So, „A Game of Kings“. I’ve waited months to get my hands on this one, but my local bookstore kept telling me „No, it’s not available at the moment. Sorry. But maybe you like this one here…“ So, I waited. Why did I wait? Because this one comes with such high praise. Its protagonist is the most favourite literary character of Scotland, beating Harry Potter, Ivanhoe and Sherlock Holmes, which sounded very blasphemic to me. From what I read in other people’s reviews here, Lymond must be the wittiest, funniest devil there ever was, and this book was full of intertextual references in various languages. I was expecting a combination of Kaz Brekker, Robin Hood, and Tyrion Lannister. So I had, most definitely, to read this one.

Fair warning: if you’re not into the basics of Greek, Roman and Germanic mythology, classic literature, and 17th century-history, this one will be hard for you. Also, if you don’t speak French and Spanish, plus can read Latin, it’ll be even harder. Then you’ll only get the plot and dialogue, which also is brilliant, but you won’t get all the irony and wit this includes, especially in Lymond’s speech. But if you’re familiar with these things and tongues and willing to engage into a challenging read, this the most brilliant, clever book you’ll ever read, and you’ll be loving Lymond, right from the moment he’s introduced here – by himself:

”I am a narwhal looking for my virgin. I have sucked up the sea like Charybdis and failing other entertainment will spew it three times daily, for a fee.“



Others, of course, have a different opinion about him:


„Lymond! We know all about Lymond. Rieving and ruttery and all manner of vice-“
„And treason.“


In a way, that’s pretty accurate.

As I said, I had the highest hopes possible for this book. They were higher than Mount Everest – more like Mauna Kea, which is the highest mountain on earth if you include what’s under the surface of the ocean. Because both knowingly and unknowingly I was so very much hoping that this one would be as good as promised. It wasn’t. It was better by far. This book starts with Lymond making all of Edinburgh drunk in the first scene. In the second scene, he commits arson by burning down his family’s castle, plus armed robbery on his mother and sister-in-law. And he does it all with the same extraordinary brilliance he shows for the rest of the book. Lymond is one super-intelligent, super-witty, super-reckless piece of work. At least that’s what he makes you and everyone else think, until the end. And it’s all so full of intelligent wit and humour that I can’t compare it to anything I’ve ever read.



Francis Crawford of Lymond is a masterpiece of literature, just like the whole book. It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect. The humour, the cleverness, and the audacity are in a league of its own. This is pure brilliance and perfection, compressed into the best historical fiction book I’ve ever read. Everything about it is extraordinary, from the chapter titles to the plot, to this unique language and dialogue. At one point, someone asks Lymond ”Can you not speak in prose?“ I certainly hope he never will start doing so. The only bad thing about this book is that it’s over – but never mind, this is only the first one. There are five more, and I’d bet everything I have that they’re at least as good as this one. Life’s good. Dorothy Dunnett was a literary titan. Five stars, of course.

Review: THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LaRUE

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

by V.E. Schwab

„Do you think a life has any value if one doesn’t leave some mark upon the world?“



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I’m late to the party: this is my first V.E. Schwab novel. And guess what? I’m now a steadfast Schwabista for life. ‚The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue‘ was my most anticipated new release-read of the year, not only because it was released on my birthday, and it was even better than I hoped. Schwab has writen an epic story full of heartbreak, love and cleverness that is carried by its extraordinary protagonist: Addie LaRue is a character you’ll – most ironically – never forget.

Addie’s story is told in two time levels interchangeably, very much like The Lies of Locke Lamora: we have the protagonist acting in medias res and also on her way there. One story is about Addie in modern-day New York, the other one tells us how she ended up there – and very unlike ‚The Lies of Locke Lamora‘, these time levels aren’t as close to each other as one would expect. Because Addie LaRue is, at the start of this novel in 2014, already 300 years old.

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Why? Not because she’s hidden away some fancy horcruxes or drinks loads of Elixir of Life. No, Addie’s lot is much harder: when she was a young woman in early 18th-century France, her parents wanted to steer her into an arranged marriage. Addie’s attitude towards this thing was as negative as possible, and there were two major reasons for this. Reason One: she really didn’t fancy this Roger guy she was supposed to marry. Reason Two: Addie wanted to be free. She was, and remains for the whole book, an extremely independent and curious person that wants to see as much of this world as possible. And marrying some French farmer and spending the rest of her life raising his children didn’t agree with her character at all.

‚Three and twenty – and then gifted like a prize sow to a man she does not love, or want, or even know. She said no, and learned how much the word was worth. (…) Adeline was going to be a tree, and instead, people have come brandishing an ax. They have given her away.‘



So what does she do? Run away and leave him at the altar like Julia Roberts?
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Of course she does, but sadly, that’s not all she does. No, Addie prays to the Old Gods (not those from Game of Thrones, I guess) and begs them to help her – and one of these gods answers her prayer and offers her a way out. All she has to do to become free is to trade in her soul. And Addie, desperate and frightened Addie, agrees.

„I want a chance to live. I want to be free.“ She thinks of the years slipping by. Blink, and half your life is gone. „I want more time.“



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From this moment on, Addie is immortal until she will ask this god, Luc, to end her life and collect her soul. She is also free, but not in the way she imagined: after this Faustian bargain, Addie cannot be remembered by anyone. Whoever meets her forgets her right when she is out of his sight – her parents and friends included.

„Who are you?“
The words are a hiss, and she realises then, that fearsome look on her mother’s face is not the anger of a mother scorned, but that of a woman scared. (…)
„I am your daughter“, she says again.
Her father grimaces. „We have no child.“



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Addie is also unable to tell anyone about the curse, very much like the bewitched people in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and she isn’t even able to say her own name from this point on. So Addie leaves her home with a broken heart and starts to explore this wide world she has always longed to see. Of course, things are now a lot harder for her. How do you get a place when the person you buy the place from immediately forgets you? How can you get a job?

‚She tells the story of her life to the little carving, as if afraid she’ll forget herself as easily as others do, unaware that her mind is now a flawless cage, her memory a perfect trap. She will never forget, though she’ll wish she could.‘



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There’s only one job Addie can do that can be done quickly and without leaving the customers for a moment: she ends up as a prostitute in the streets of Paris. To summarise her story up to this point: life’s shit. Naturally, Luc the god/devil/demon/whatever turns up and offers to end her suffering by collecting her soul. But, people? Addie is not willing to to give up at all, and she is still full of hope that things will turn out good, no matter what Luc says.

„You think it will get easier“, he says. „It will not. You are as good as gone, and every year you live will feel a lifetime, and in every lifetime, you will be forgotten. Your pain is meaningless. Your life is meaningless. The years will be like weights around your ankles. They will crush you, bit by bit, and when you cannot stand it, you will beg me to put you from your misery.“



And things get better. Bit by bit, Addie crawls out of the mess her life has turned into and uses the advantages of people forgetting her as soon as she vanishes from their sight: she steals everything she can. How else is she supposed to make a living? While the story of how Addie tests the boundaries of her curse goes on for the next 300 years, the other time level tells a much shorter period in 2014: Addie in modern New York, living her life without friends, without anyone who cares about her, because how can you make friends or find love when people forget you as soon as you leave the room?

‚It was, for Sam, a rare impulsive moment.
It was, for Addie, the second month of an affair. (…) Sure, she dreams of sleepy morning over coffee, legs draped across a lap, inside jokes and easy laughter, but those comforts come with the knowing. There can be no slow build, no quiet lust, intimacy fostered over days, weeks, months. Not for them.‘



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Until suddenly, there’s someone who doesn’t forget her. Someone who remembers. After 300 years, the impossible happens: Addie runs into someone (while stealing, of course) and is recognised. Henry Strauss remembers her, and from now on, this isn’t only Addie’s story, but also his, and all of the sadness, all the disappointment that Addie has suffered over the last 300 years is gone – there’s hope.

‚Three hundred years she’s managed to suffer time, but now, now there is a present and a future, now there is something waiting ahead, now she cannot wait to see the look on Henry’s face, to hear her name on his lips. (…) She’s nervous. Nervous like tomorrow, a word for things that have not happened yet. A word for futures, when for so long all she’s had are presents.‘



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But of course, there’s a reason why Henry is unlike everyone else. So much for the plot, because spoilers. Anyway, the rest of it heartbreaking and intense as hell. There’s a reason why I devoured this book in a day as greedy as Garfield devours lasagna, after all: this is a masterpiece. V.E. Schwab goes straight to my list of authors whose books I buy without reading reviews. The plot itself, this brilliant mixure of The Picture of Dorian Gray and ’50 First Dates‘, is already amazing, but the way Schwab delivers it is extraordinary. Her storytelling is superb, and Addie is a hell of a narrator. I loved every bit of this book: the yearly meetings with Luc (-ifer) who keeps asking for Addie’s soul, the chemistry between the characters, the way Schwab put every single word in this one right where it belongs. All of its sadness, all of its heartbreak, all of Addie’s cheek: I loved it.

‚She never gets closure, never gets to say good-bye – no periods, or exclamations, just a lifetime of ellipses. Everyone else starts over, they get a blank page, but hers are full of text. People talk about carrying torches for old flames, and it’s not a full fire, but Addie’s hands are full of candles. How is she supposed to set them down, or put them out? She has long run out of air.‘



Me to talking to this book:
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The hype is real: this is great. Highly recommended to anyone, go pick it up, people. Five very deserved stars.

Kritik: HARRY POTTER UND DER GEFANGENE VON ASKABAN (HARRY POTTER #3)

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

von J.K. Rowling

“Aber glaubt mir, dass man Glück und Zuversicht selbst in Zeiten der Dunkelheit zu finden vermag. Man darf bloß nicht vergessen ein Licht leuchten zu lassen.“

Das erste Buch, in dem Voldy sich überhaupt nicht blicken lässt – wen interessierts? GRYFFINDOR GEWINNT ENDLICH DEN QUIDDITCH-CUP! YESSS! Oliver Wood und 99 anderen Personen gefällt das.

„Schlechte Nachrichten, Harry. Ich war eben bei Professor McGonagall wegen des Feuerblitzes. Sie – ähm – hat mich ziemlich angepflaumt. Ich wisse wohl nicht recht, was wirklich wichtig ist. Dachte wahrscheinlich, mir wäre es wichtiger, den Pokal zu gewinnen, als dass du am Leben bleibst. Nur weil ich gesagt hab, es sei mir egal, wenn es dich vom Besen schlägt, solange du vorher den Schnatz gefangen hast.“ Wood schüttelte ungläubig den Kopf. „Ehrlich, wie die mich angeschrien hat… als ob ich irgendwas Schreckliches gesagt hätte…“

Außerdem treffen wir hier zum ersten Mal Sirius Black, diesen mörderischen, verräterischen Bastard, der seinen besten Freund und dessen Frau an Voldy verraten hat. Außerdem hat er den armen, unschuldigen Peter Pettigrew umgebracht und ein gutes Dutzend Muggel noch dazu. Was für eine wirklich schreckliche Person.

„Übles Temperament hat er, dieser Sirius Black.“

Das hier ist das „James-Potter-Buch“. Wir erfahren zwar auch so einiges über Lily, aber große Teile hiervon handeln von Harrys Vater und davon, wie sehr sich die beiden ähneln (Severus Snape gefällt das nicht). Kein Wunder, immerhin treffen wir hier auf James‘ alte Freunde und Feinde. Zudem wird das Goldene Trio so langsam erwachen – Hermine und Ron haben ihren ersten, großen Streit wegen dem armen Krätze, und Harry bemerkt Cho Chang, was bei Wood für Unverständnis sorgt.

„HARRY, DU KANNST JETZT NICHT DEN KAVALIER SPIELEN!“, polterte Wood, als Harry sich in die Kurve legte, um einen Zusammenprall zu vermeiden. „Hau sie wenn nötig runter von ihrem Besen!“

Was noch? Dieses Buch hat den ersten kompetenten Verteidigungslehrer, weswegen Harry zum ersten Mal in einem Unterrichtsfach zum Überflieger wird. Es hat neue, unterhaltsame Charaktere, allen voran Professor Trelawney, der es immer wieder gelingt, McGonagalls trockenen Humor zum Vorschein zu bringen. Und es hat, natürlich, das Quidditch-Finale, Gryffindor gegen Slytherin, die wahre Schlacht von Hogwarts. Ich weiß, dass es Leute gibt, die die Quidditch-Spiele als Störfaktor in den Büchern sehen, aber ich fand sie immer toll, nicht zuletzt, weil Harry hier einfach auch nur ein Spieler unter anderen sein kann – zwar ein überragender Spieler, aber nur ein Spieler.

„Mr Moony erweist Professor Snape die Ehre und bittet ihn, seine erstaunlich lange Nase aus den Angelegenheiten anderer Leute herauszuhalten. Mr Krone kann Mr Moony nur beipflichten und möchte hinzufügen, dass Professor Snape ein hässlicher Schaumschläger ist. Mr Tatze wünschte sein Befremden kundzutun, dass ein solcher Dummkopf jemals Professor wurde. Mr Wurmschwanz wünscht Professor Snape einen guten Tag und rät dem Schleimbeutel, sich die Haare zu waschen.“

Nicht nur weil die Rumtreiber eingeführt werden, ist das hier das witzigste Buch der Reihe. Es gibt so viele Szenen, die mich zum Lachen bringen, auch jetzt noch, wo ich das Buch zwanzigmal gelesen habe. Und obwohl Voldy sein plattes Gesicht nicht zeigt, gibt es doch auch Bedrohungen: Dementoren und die teuflische Tante Magda. Und Sirius Black, diesen bösen, bösen Bösewicht. Wie sehr ich ihn doch hasse.

Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (HARRY POTTER #3)

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

by J.K. Rowling

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

The first one where Voldy doesn’t show up at all. Who cares, because Gryffindor finally win the Quidditch Cup! YEAH! YOU GO, OLIVER WOOD!

‚Bad news, Harry. I’ve just been to see Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt. She – er, got a bit shirty with me. Told me I’d got my priorities wrong. Seemed to think I cared more about winning the Cup than I do about staying alive. Just because I told her I didn’t care if it threw you off, as long as you caught the Snitch first.

Also, we get Sirius Black, that murdering, treacherous bastard who sold out his best friend and said best friend’s wife. Plus, he killed poor, innocent Peter Pettigrew and about a dozen muggles. What a truly bad person.

‚Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.‘

This is the ‚James-Potter-book‘. There are several references to Lily, but a big part of this is about Harry’s father and how very much the two of them are alike. It has James‘ old friends and enemy in it, after all. The Golden Trio also slowly start growing up here – Ron and Hermione have their first major battle and Harry notices Cho Chang, very much to Oliver Wood’s displeasure.

‚HARRY, THIS IS NO TIME TO BE A GENTLEMAN!‘ Wood roared as Harry swerved to avoid collision. ‚KNOCK HER OFF HER BROOM IF YOU HAVE TO!‘

What else? This book has the first competent Defence teacher which is why Harry is for the first time excelling at some subject. It has new, hilarious characters, most of all Professor Trelawney who never fails to bring out McGonagalls great humour. And it has, of course, the Quidditch Final, Slytherin vs. Gryffindor, the one true Battle of Hogwarts. I know there’s people who regard the Quidditch matches as something of a disturbance in these books, but I’ve always loved them – they’re one of the rare instances where Harry can be just like anyone else, only a player among others. A brilliant player, of course.

‚Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.‘

Not only because we get the Marauderers introduced, this is the funniest of all seven books. There’s so much here that makes me laugh even now after reading these books around twenty times. And though Voldemort’s not in it, there’s still danger, of course. There’s Dementors and vicious Aunt Marge. And Sirius Black, that bad, bad villain. Really hate that traitor.

‚Mischief Managed.‘

Review: PAWN IN FRANKINCENSE (LYMOND CHRONICLES #4)

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

by Dorothy Dunnett


Dear Committee for handing out the Nobel Prize in Literature,

I hereby accuse all of you of being insufferable and ignorant morons who have no idea whatsoever of literature. You are a bunch of nefarious idiots without any clue about what literature is, and of who deserves a Nobel Prize. You may ask why. Let me tell you why: Dorothy Dunnett died without ever getting that damn Nobel Prize. Hence, I can’t take your ridiculous committee and your stupid prize seriously.

Have a nice day,
Klaus


Oh, you were waiting for a review for „Pawn in Frankincense“? Ask me any time, I could gush about it all day. So here it comes.

‚I have a young sister far beyond the sea
Many be the dowries that she sent me
She sent me the cherry withouten any stone
And so she did woo withouten any bone
She sent me the briar without any rind
She bade me love my leman withoute longing
How could any cherry be without stone?
And how could any doo be without bone?
How could any briar be without rind?
And how could I love my leman without longing?



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This is the fourth book by Dorothy Dunnett which I’ve read, and it’s also the fourth book in the Lymond Chronicles that I’ve read. The first one was my favourite book of all time when I read it, and the third book was even better. The second one was still brilliant. So, what about the fourth book? Let me tell you about the fourth book. „Pawn in Frankincense“ is perfect. Among all books ever written, it is the best. I don’t care what other books you have in mind when being asked about your favourites. I don’t care, because to me, this book is to me the biggest achievement in the history of humankind. Okay, the taming of fire and the invention of the wheel were pretty important. But this one is better, trust me. It is the realisation of what humans can do with written language at their very best, it is filled from the very first page with perfection after perfection after perfection, with brilliant language, sparkling dialogue, horrible twists and moral dilemmas which blow your mind. This is brilliance.

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It starts off where we expect it to start in terms of plot, but not where we expect it to start in terms of place. We left that embodiment of the perfect, ambivalent character, Francis Crawford of Lymond (Comte de Sévigny, etc.) in the cathedral of Edinburgh where he confronted his nemesis, that embodiment of the perfect, terrible villain, Graham Reid Malett, nicknamed Gabriel. We find Lymond again in Baden, sitting in a bath, doing all things Lymond: basically wreaking havoc wherever he goes. He is as brilliant and ingenious as we left him, but he is also a driven man: looking for his former mistress and his child who are in the control of Gabriel, that monster.

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‚You have had a long journey, my dear Francis; and you have put me to a certain amount of additional trouble. I have prepared for you a detailed, an exquisite death. You will not enjoy it. (…) If I order the girl to be ganched or throttled or torn apart between horses, it will be done. If I wish it, I can have the brats drowned and trampled; their tongues uprooted, their eyes seared with hot copper.‘

Seriously, fuck you, Gabriel. Just fuck you. Anyway. we encounter Lymond through the eyes of his right-hand man Jerott Blyth and of the adorable Philippa Somerville who would be my favourite character in the history of literature if there wasn’t, you know, Lymond.

‚She has too many ideas,‘ Pierre Gilles had replied. ‚Women with ideas are a threat to the civilized world. Get an ichneumon instead. They have only one idea. It’s the same one, but they’re more open natured about it.‘

Just like these two, we are surprised to learn that Lymond has once again reinvented himself: while he was the leader of outlaws in Book One (oh, just read the damn thing! It’s hard and super-intelligent, but funny as hell!), the clown of the French court in Book Two and the captain of a mercenary company in book three, he has left said company behind. Instead, our hero is now the Special Envoy to the Crown of France, sent to Constantinople to hand a gift of France to the King of Kings, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the master of the Sublime Porte. Of course, there are reasons why Lymond accepted that exquisite post: he wants to hunt Gabriel (fuck you, Gabriel!) and end him once and forever, and why not do it with the power and authority of the French crown behind him?

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We follow Lymond and his band of misfits through the whole Mediterranean Sea on their hunt for Gabriel and their search for their master’s mistress and child. There are twists and horrors awaiting them, of course, created by the both perverse and magnificent mind of Gabriel (FUCK YOU, GABRIEL!), and Dunnett presents all of it with her brilliant writing: easily switching between perspectives, painting intricate pictures of our world in 1552, carefully lying out clever hints to the big revelations which are coming. And they’re coming hard. They made me set this book down and stare at the wall in disbelief and horror. Before taking it up again. I’m not gonna do spoilers, of course, but I’ll tell you this much: never, ever will I forget what happened in that kiosk.

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Of course, Dunnett doesn’t only introduce a captivating, fresh setting again: there are also new characters roaming these pages who are just unforgettable as the familiar faces. Each of them is so real that whenever Lymond does something amazing again, you know what their take on it will be. Because they’re characters, not blunt figures written together. They’re fleshed out and unique, each with their own hopes and flaws, and each of them attached to Lymond for some reason. Regarding the familiar faces, Dunnett once again proves herself the supreme overlady of character development. What happens to Philippa and Jerott here is both groundbreaking and believable. There is a huge story arch that spans throughout this series, and every bit of it falls into its place perfectly.

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And oh boy, the last part of this book is even better than the rest of it: Algiers, that brilliant ending, and that INCREDIBLE chess scene. I’ll post another review with spoilers for this book because OHMYGOD!

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The words how had meaning. All poetry had meaning, and sorrow she had never envisaged.

‚Come, my love, and say goodnight to the dark.‘


I will never forget that chess scene. Never. So. To conclude, this is my new favourite. Once again, the flawless and perfect writing has still improved. Once again, the perfection that has already been there in terms of characters, setting, plot and writing has still improved further. I can’t adequately express my feelings about this. Words cannot express my devotion to this book, so I’ll just shut up now and force myself to read „The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue“ before turning to the fifth book, because I want my first read of this series to last as long as possible. I want to keep wondering where all of this ends, what all of these unforgettable characters will face in the two books lying on my shelf. Only one more thing: I advise everyone to read these books. Especially the people from the Nobel Prize Committee.

‚It is well (…). You are here; and we have begun our journey together.‘



Review: THE BLADE ITSELF

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

by Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie’s ‚The Blade Itself‘ is an action-packed, fast-paced, grim-dark introduction into his ‚First Law‘ trilogy that is above average and yet somewhat disappointing. It has interesting characters and fascinating world-building, but suffers from a number of problems that often come with first books in a trilogy.

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My first issue was with the three main characters: Glokta, Jezal, and Logen. I really liked Glokta as a character, that once great and now broken antihero, crippled by his enemies who now spends his days as a torturer and questioner because he doesn’t know what to do with his life. The thing is that his story arc gets tedious: he’s questioning and torturing that guy, then he’s questioning and torturing that guy, then he’s…you get the gist of it. Also, he’s the cleverest out of the three main characters – he has to be, as being a cripple he has to rely on his wits – but although he’s supposed to be the clever one, he’s still acting stupid. Especially his search for that traitor within the Inquisition… I mean, come on. How can a professional investigator miss that possibility?

Second character: Jezal. Stupid, arrogant, lazy. Currently in training to take part in the Contest, basically a duelling contest. The thing is, while he keeps practicing in the mornings, he’s drinking in the evenings. He’s still getting better, and I don’t buy that. Too much Gary Stu for me. Also, his POVs kept going on my nerves because, well, he’s stupid. And arrogant. And lazy.

Third main character, Logen. Basically a brute. His chapters were interesting, especially because he’s the one accompanying Bayaz, the First of the Magi. I liked Logen and the tiny snippets about his past. The issue here was that endless fighting scene near the end where he basically turns into a berserk out of nowhere – though maybe that’ll be explained in the next book.

Second issue: distractions. Abercrombie tells his story in a number of POVs – in my opinion, too many of them. There are three main narrarors, but also a number of side characters who suddenly get POVs themselves – without really adding anything special to the story. Neither Logen’s old warrior pals from the north nor Jezal’s fellow soldier West tells us anything that Logen and Jezal couldn’t have told us themselves. This is a story that apparently concerns three major players (four, if you add Ferro) – their sidekicks having own POVs only kept distracting me from the main plot. In fact, I sometimes skimmed whole pages of these chapters. It strongly reminded me of the last ‚A Song of Ice and Fire‘ books with all that useless side plots and characters- at some point I didn’t know where the plot was going at all. So I’ve got one question for the plot:

Third issue: female representation. I didn’t spot a single interesting female character in the whole book. Ardee is pretty much reduced to her role as Jezal’s love interest, constructed as interesting because she apparently can’t decide what to do – I still haven’t realized why she is even remotely interested in Jezal, apart from fulfilling her role as his love interest. Ferro is a brainless weapon and nothing more. And that’s it. I think the only other women mentioned in ‚The Blade Itself‘ are whores and the Crown Prince’s betrothed who’s apparently blessed with great beauty and terrible character.

Final and biggest issue: tension. As I mentioned at the beginning, this is fast-paced and action-packed. There’s always the next fight waiting around the corner, people are split in half and decapitated, but the thing is… although Ferro and Logen stumble from one fight to the next, I was never afraid for them at all. I never felt that they were in mortal danger (and I wouldn’t care at all in Ferro’s case), and none of them was seriously hurt. Of course Glokta was hurt and broken, but that was before the story started. Also, Glokta spends the second half of the book trying to unmask Bayaz as a fraud and, well, we already know that Bayaz is just who he pretends to be. We’ve spent two hundred pages with him and Logen, after all. So there’s no tension there, too. If you’re looking for plot twists, you need to look elsewhere, because there were none of them in this one.

These problems aside, this was a good read, made interesting especially by the excellent world-building. There seems to be a big backstory about the Maker and the Magi in the past, and Abercrombie has barely scratched at its surface in this one. Also, the title was really fitting, because every single character in this one is determined by his blade and its strenght: Glokta was a blade but was broken, Jezal is becoming one, Logen is an experienced one, and Ferro is a brainless one. If the number of POVs is reduced in the next book, I have high hopes for it.

Kritik: HARRY POTTER UND DIE KAMMER DES SCHRECKENS

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

von J.K. Rowling

Das Buch, in dem Rowling (Oh Joanne, hör auf, so schlimme Dinge zu sagen. Ruiniere mir nicht meine Kindheit!) langsam den großen Konflikt ihrer magischen Welt einführt: während es in ‚Stein der Weisen‘ einfach nur kindgerecht „Gut gegen Böse“ war, verrät sie uns hier, was „Du-weißt-schon-wen“ so böse macht. Er ist nicht bloß ein hässlicher, sadistischer Bastard. Nein Freunde, hier geht es außerdem um Rassismus. Voldy und seine sympathischen Gefolgsleute glauben, dass sich der Wert einer Wert einer Person daran bemisst, wer ihre Vorfahren waren.

Fall sie alle Zauberer waren, dann Herzlichen Glückwunsch. Falls nicht, dann bist du quasi wertlos. Zumindest in den Augen von Draco „Noch kein Frettchen“ Malfoy, seinem dämlichen, blondierten Vater und dem alten Voldy. Harry selbst ist natürlich viel zu schlau um solchen Unsinn zu glauben, nicht nur weil seine beste Freundin sowohl eine Muggelgeborene als auch der schlauste Mensch in so ungefähr der gesamten Geschichte der Menschheit ist.

Nicht nur wegen ihrer sehr unterschiedlichen Einstellung zu diesem Thema ist das hier das erste der beiden großen Draco-gegen-Harry-Bücher: das erste Mal, dass sie sich auf dem Qudidditchfeld gegenüberstehen, die ganze Erbe-von-Slytherin-Sache, etc., etc. Um ehrlich zu sein: das hier ist mir von allen sieben Büchern der Serie das unliebste – aber es ist trotzdem großartig. Es hat Dobby (Oh, Dobby), Rons und Harrys brilliante Idee, mit einem fliegenden Auto zur Schule zu kommen und es in einer Peitschenden Weide zu parken, und außerdem kommt meine Allerlieblingsfigur Ginny Weasley endlich nach Hogwarts.

Sie ist noch weit entfernt von der, die sie einmal sein wird, aber unterschätzt sie nicht, Leute. Um es zusammenzufassen: Rowling ist ein Genie, ich küsse den Boden, auf dem sie läuft, auch dieses hier bekommt fünf verdiente Sterne.

Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

by J.K. Rowling

The one where Rowling (Oh Joanne, why do you say all these terrible things? Please stop destroying my childhood) slowly introduces the grand reason of conflict in her world: while in Philosopher’s Stone it was just good vs. evil, now we get to know what that evil is, what makes He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named so very dark. It’s not just that he’s a creepy, sadistic monster who thought it was a good idea to murder a one-year old. No, it’s also racism, folks. Voldy and his minions think that a person’s worth is determined by who their ancestors are.

If they’ve all been wizards, then kudos, if they weren’t, then you’re basically worthless. At least in the eyes of Draco „Not-Yet-A-Ferret“ Malfoy, his stupid father and old Voldy. Harry, of course, is far too clever to believe in such nonsense, not only because his best friend is both a muggleborn and the cleverest person in like, the entire history of mankind.

Not only because of their very different perspective on one’s (non-)magical background, this is the first of the two big Draco vs. Harry books. The first time they fight each other at Quidditch, the Heir of Slytherin haunting the halls of Hogwarts, etc., etc. It’s actually my least favourite of all these seven books but it’s still great. It has Dobby (Oh, my), it has Ron and Harry’s brilliant idea to go to school in a flying car, and my all-time-favourite character, Ginny Weasley, is finally coming to Hogwarts.

She’s not yet who she’ll be, but don’t undererstimate her, folks. To conclude, Rowling is a genius, I worship the ground she walks, this one gets five stars.

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