Day 5 – Count Karlstein

Count Karlstein

I ‘m not sure why I like this book so much. I read it when I was about fourteen, and years later I remembered it well enough to buy it and let it sit on my bookshelf for months before finally reading it. The thing is I never forgot about it. Every time I browsed my bookshelves I would see it’s spine poking out between larger books and I would think back on the plot, the story, the characters that I could remember and want to pick it up again, but I never did. It never felt like the right time. But that was then and this is now. And I decided that with my book a day challenge going on, it was the perfect time.

On All Soul’s Eve, the Demon Huntsman, Zamiel, goes on the prowl. On this night everyone remains inside, their doors and windows closed as they huddle around the fire. Some don’t believe in Zamiel, but that doesn’t stop them from staying in that night. But Count Karlstein believes because ten years ago he made a deal with the Prince of Darkness and the time has come for him to honor his end of the bargain. But the Count has no intention of giving himself to the Huntsman; instead, he hatches a sinister plan to sacrifice his two nieces to the huntsman instead. But Charlotte and Lucy are clever, and with the help of some fast made friends they may stand a chance of eluding their uncles schemes, but the Huntsman will not depart without his prey.

Some books pull off multiple perspectives well. You get several characters working together to tell a story and it usually results in a well-rounded view. I’m personally a fan of these kinds of books. Brandon Sanderson and Maggie Stiefvater are two authors off the top of my head whom I know pull this off very well. In Count Karlstein, Phillip Pullman (who you may recognize as the author of The Golden Compass and the rest of His Dark Materials Trilogy) uses six perspectives, though mainly one, but the book wouldn’t be the same without them. I mean, I’m sure it could have been written differently to accommodate for a single, or even two, view-points, but flair and style would have been lost.

One thing to say in critique of this book is that it’s written for a young audience. That isn’t the bad part, but it does end with everything being resolved and everyone is happy, everyone (except the bad guys) gets their happily ever after. It finishes like one of Dianna Wynn-Jones’ books: everything tied off with a pretty bow. It didn’t bother me that much because I knew what to expect, but such endings are not for everyone. In fact, they don’t seem to be for many people these days, but I still enjoy them occasionally for what they are: a fun, easy read.

As I said in the beginning, I don’t know why I like this book so much. Sure, it does an excellent job with changing perspectives, yes, it’s a fun and easy read, but it’s not the only book that has these qualities. Phillip Pullman, though he faced a bit of controversy with some of his books and has since fallen out of popularity since the His Dark Materials Trilogy, is still an excellent writer who spins words into beautiful stories that can brush against the world of magic or dive right in. So next time you’re strolling through your local library take a minute and check him out. You may be grateful you did.

Rating: ★★★★

This entry was posted in 2016 Book Challenge, 7 Day, 7 Book Challenge, Book Reviews, Children's Novels, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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