If the name of Zamiel, the Demon Huntsman, doesn't send shivers down your spine now, it will when you have read this book.
The Demon Huntsman? Well, he usually conducts his business on All Souls' Eve, the day when we are all supposed to pray for the souls of the dead. Zamiel, the Prince of the Mountains, the Demon Huntsman prowls through the great forests on that night in search of his prey. If you ever think you could do with a bit of supernatural intervention to help your worldly ambitions come to fruition, don't strike a bargain with Zamiel ... He'll remember you, and come a-hunting.
Evil Count Karlstein has a bit of a problem, accounting with Zamiel. He struck a bargain ten years ago, and it is payback time now:
'This year,' said Count Karlstein, 'I have to provide a human prey -'
A gasp (oily) from Snivelwurst; a gasp (stifled) from me, and I clung to the little tin candlestick with both hands as I strained to hear what Count Karlstein said next.
'A living human,' he went on, 'or two, complete with soul. Now,' he said briskly, and I heard a chair being pulled across the wooden floor and the creak of the ancient floorboards as the count settled down in it - 'the question, is who shall it be?'
'Ah, yes, a very vexing question, I can well imagine, your grace. Who shall it be? Indeed! A sorrowful task, picking the right merchandise,' said Snivelwurst carefully. He wasn't sure what Karlstein was up to, and he didn't want to say the wrong thing.
'To be sure, Snivelwurst. But in this case there's only one thing for it. It'll have to be my nieces.'
His nieces! Lucy and Charlotte. A nicer pair of girls you wouldn't come across. I don't know what would have become of them if it hadn't been for Hildi. Hildi, you see, happens to be standing quietly round the corner, and hears the terrible plan. What can she do to save the girls?
You'll have to read on for yourself. It's a rip-roaring tale of drama and suspense, suitable for reading under the bedclothes.
Tracey, girl, age 13, from virginia, United States, on 20th May 2007. Rating: 8/10
I lovede it! from the book review it wasnt what i expected but was certainly fast paced and a great book. philip pullman has many different styles. the only thing that bothered me was that it was very obvious (to me) of who the missing count karlstein was. i dont know why i figured it out but i did! but it's still a great book
Matilda Lawless, girl, age 12, from Coffs Harbour, Australia, on 27th June 2005. Rating: 10/10
What a WONDER!!!! This book is ammazing........how can Phillip Pullman 'play' so many characters at once??? All of them are completely different. They are not all of one mold but intricate beings. My favourite paragraph in the entire book is; However, then, as now, I was able to console myself with the reflection that an English gentlewoman can rise above any circumstances, given intelligence and a loaded pistol. Both of these properties I had, and, tucking the latter into my muff, I set off to find some quiet spot in which to exercise the former. What an amazing paragraph and so in character! My only suggestion is that instead of 'spot' have location.
jesslover, boy, age 12, from Wembley, United Kingdom, on 7th December 2004. Rating: 9/10
It has a slow start but don't be put off. It grabbed my attention so much I told my mum I was sick o I got sent to bed at 7. But instead I read the book till 10. I am not a Phillip Pullman fan but this book is at the top of my list!
If you want to buy Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman and help readingmatters, please use these links
Sorry, no links yet at
Excellent stuff. I love melodrama. That's when the drama is so completely over the top, it becomes funny. If you enjoy Count Karlstein, you could have a look at this similar story also by Philip Pullman:
You might also enjoy anything by Alan Temperley:
Or you might enjoy anything by Stephen Elboz, who tells a great story:
If you just enjoy the humour, I think you might like to read anything by Odo Hirsch: