Ricarda Jordan – Die Geisel des Löwen (Incl. A Short English Review)

This book is written by a German author and is written and read in German. For a short English review please see further below.

CIMG6608

Hörbuch gelesen von Nicole Engeln
Informationen zum Buch:
Taschenbuch
Verlag: Bastei Lübbe Verlag
veröffentlicht: 2013
Seiten: 624

Klappentext:

Rügen, 1163: Magnus, ein junger Knappe und Neffe des Dänenkönigs Waldemar, bangt um sein Leben. Die Inselbewohner haben sein Schiff gekapert und ihn gefangen genommen. Nun soll er ihrem Gott Svantevit geopfert werden. Nur die junge Amra stellt sich gegen ihr Volk und riskiert ihr Leben, um Magnus zu retten. Tatsächlich kann Magnus fliehen, doch kann er seine Lebensretterin ebenso wenig vergessen wie Amra den jungen Edelmann. – Ihre Wege kreuzen sich wieder, als Amras Wagemut sie erneut in Gefahr bringt. Und nun ist es an Magnus, Amra vor dem Schlimmsten zu bewahren … (Amazon)

Meinung:

Handlung: Nachdem Amras Heimat überfallen wird, geht sie als eine von vielen Geiseln an den Hof des Löwen. Dabei gerät sie von einem Unglück ins Nächste und die Aussicht auf ein glückliches Ende scheint sich immer weiter zu entfernen. Dabei war die Handlung über viele Jahre gestreckt und trotz der gekürzten Lesung konnte man der Geschichte gut folgen.

Figuren: Die Protagonistin wirkte sehr naiv und handelte oft wirklich unüberlegt und das selbst nach alle den unschönen Situationen, in die sie sich selbst manövriert hat oder manövriert wurde. An Magnus kann ich mich nur wenig erinnern, er schien mir etwas farblos.

Stil/Sprecher: Der Schreibstil war angenehm und flüssig und der Detailreichtum für dieses historische Buch angemessen wenn auch gering. Es hat die Handlung nicht beeinflusst, aber die Geschichte mit etwas historischem Flair versehen.

In English:

Amra was a happy girl living on Rugia, yet when her land is attacked and the fight lost, she is one of many hostages taken to live with the enemy. Therefore, she slips from one awful situation to the next, yet it is mostly her naivity that causes her many problems. And the more time passes, the more it seems that happiness is unreachable.

I enjoyed the story, yet the characters were either a little colorless or naiv and annoying. The writing was fluent. The details of the time were barely enough, but gave you a feeling for the time this historical novel is set in.

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Kai Meyer – Seide und Schwert (Wolkenvolk Trilogie #1)

Seide und Schwert

Taschenbuch
Verlag: Carlsen
veröffentlicht: 2010
Seiten: 416

Klappentext:

Das Mädchen Nugua wächst im China des Jahres 1760 unter Drachen auf. Doch eines Tages sind die Drachen spurlos verschwunden. Nugua macht sich sofort auf die Suche nach ihnen. Sie begegnet unsterblichen Magiern, œ iegenden Schwertkämpfern – und Niccolo, einem Jungen mit goldenen Augen. Auch er sucht die Drachen. Denn nur ihr Atem kann sein Wolkenvolk vor dem Untergang retten. Nugua und Niccolo merken schnell, dass sie nur gemeinsam eine Chance haben. (Amazon)

In Kürze:

+ Auftakt zu einer Trilogie um Drachen, China und Völkern die auf Wolken wohnen
+ interessant konstruierte Welt
+ eine Mischung unterschiedlicher Hauptfiguren

Meinung:

Seide und Schwert ist der Auftakt zu einer Trilogie. Da ich ein großer Freund von Abenteuergeschichten für Kinder bin, war ich schon sehr gespannt auf dieses Buch.

Die beiden Hauptfiguren Nugua und Niccolo sind auf der Suche nach den Drachen, die über Nacht plötzlich verschwunden sind. Dabei haben beide unterschiedliche Beweggründe. Während Nugua nur mit Drachen aufgewachsen ist, steht Niccolos Volk kurz vor dem Untergang, da sie den Atem der Drachen brauchen, damit ihre Land auf den Wolken sich nicht auflöst und alle in den Tod stürzen. Zusammen begeben sie sich also auf die Suche nach den Drachen und kämpfen das ein oder andere Mal ums Überleben und die Wahrheit.

Ich kann noch immer nicht so ganz einschätzen, ob es sich hierbei nun um einen Fantasyroman handelt und alles nur erfunden ist, oder ob die Geschichte auf chinesischen Mythen oder Legenden beruht. Auf jeden Fall ist die Erschaffung der Welt bzw. die Welt in der die Geschichte spielt, sehr interessant, vielseitig und fremd. Es ist spannend mit den Figuren die Welt zu erkunden und zu versuchen ein Bild zusammenzusetzen.

Obwohl die Figuren sehr nett sind, kann ich leider keine richtige Beziehung zu ihnen aufbauen…gelegentlich gehen sie mir ein wenig auf dem Keks. Die arme Socke im Drachenkostüm ist mir da noch am sympathischsten.

Der Auftakt ist unterhaltsam. Ich bin gespannt wie es weiter geht, was nun mit den Drachen passiert ist und ob Niccolo sein Volk retten kann. Allerdings werde ich nicht sofort weiterlesen. Da Buch ist zwar nett, hat mich aber weniger gefesselt als Die Wasserläufer von Kai Meyer. Das mag mit Sicherheit daran liegen, dass die Geschichte an sich ruhiger und langsamer entwickelt und nicht ganz so handlungsorientiert wirkt.

Fazit:

Ein unterhaltsamer Auftakt mit einer interessanten und fremdartig wirkenden Welt.

In English:

This novel is set in China and centers around the sudden disappearance of dragons. Niccolo and Nugua are thrown together as both look for the dragons – Nugua because she grew up with them and Niccolo because the breath of the dragons keeps the city on the clouds (on which he lives) up on the air. His home is about to plummet towards earth and her home is gone. Together they face many challenges and fight for their lives and the truth.
I am not sure whether this is a fantasy book or based on myths and legends. It is enjoyable to discover the story world. Though the characters are nice, I could not relate to them without really knowing why I can’t. Still, the story is entertaining, yet not fast-paced, the world is fascinating and strange, and the characters interesting, yet distant. I am interested to see how this story evolves and if they actually find the dragons and the truth.

Rating:

rating 3

Richard Stark – The Handle: A Parker Novel (#8)

The Handle

paperback
publisher: University of Chicago Press
published: 2009
pages: 172

Blurb:

In The Handle, Parker is enlisted by the mob to knock off an island casino guarded by speedboats and heavies, forty miles from the Texas coast. (Goodreads)

In (Very) Short:

+ crime novels
+ career criminal as main protagonist
+ fast-paced, action driven, gun shots and explosions, and hard-boiled detective traits

My Opinion:

Although this is the 8th novel in the Parker series or the 8th Parker novel – however that is named correctly –, this is the first one I read. I got this as a present from one of my teachers and I felt like I had to read a quite fast. I wasn’t so sure, but I enjoyed the story and the premise.

Parker is a career criminal who will murder if that ensure his success, yet he lives by his own code. He seems to have no redeeming qualities, yet when I read the story, I wanted to him to succeed.

Parker is paid to heist a casino – a criminal wants revenge on another criminal and Parker is the one to do it.
The story was fast-paced, the characters unknown to me (but appeared in previous books and stories), there was a lot of gun shots and explosions, almost no escape, and a lovely female character that the protagonist is drawn to but can never be with (very hard-boiled detective like).

It was a good and solid read. I rooted for Parker (though not always sure why because he surely was an – insert swear word here –) and I am interested to read some more to get a feel for the stories.

Bottom Line:

A good and solid read with a career criminal as main character.

Rating:

rating 3

My Reading Month Febuary

I am pretty pleased with this reading month given that I somehow don’t really have the time nor the nerve to sit down quietly anymore. Yet I still manage to listen to my fair share of audiobooks.

  • Books: 3
  • Audiobook: 6
  • Pages (only books): 720
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 3066
  • Minutes listened: 1910 min. (over 31 hours)

Books:

Victoria Aveyard – Red Queen

Red Queen was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Though I could see some of the twist and turns coming, it was a captivating read. The world creation was interesting (and I can’t wait to get to know more about it), the characters were fascinating and divers (even if I did not connect to all of them), and the protagonist’s dilemma developed from a rather one-dimensional point and perspective to a multidimensional one. A really enjoyable and entertaining fantasy novel.

red queen

Antje Szillat – Tohu Wabohu: Nichts für müde Krieger (#1) & Tohu Wabohu: Nur für echte Cowboys (#2)

This children’s book series is not only a wonderful book for boys (and I would say girls too) but is narrated with and through small comic strips in between longer texts. The comics, however, do not just support the text but actually continued the narration before returning to a piece of text again. The illustrations were charming and the protagonist and his horse were adorable. Each book centers around an adventure in which the protagonist and his horse save the day.

Tohu 2 - Nur für echte Cowboys

Audiobooks:

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Diebe im Olymp/ Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I have read the Percy Jackson series quite some time ago and I really enjoyed it. Now I have turned to the German audiobooks (because they are available in our library) and I do enjoy them too. Though I do not laugh as much as I did with the English version. Still, they are fun, entertaining, thrilling, and Percy is still very loveable – though I do miss the sarcasm…but that might also be due to the narrator.

Dörte Hansen – Altes Land

This German author has centered her story around two women from different generations each fleeing, each trying to find a home, each struggling with their past. While one protagonist fled their home in WWII and never felt home in a town she has lived in ever since, the other flees her live and family after being left by her husband. The character-driven story was captivating and thought-provoking.

Tohu 1 - Nix für müde Krieger

Lucinda Riley – Das Orchideenhaus/ Hothouse Flower

My very first Lucinda Riley novel was surprisingly entertaining. Not that I did not think I would like the author, since I heard only good things about her. However, I am always a little nervous or reluctant when I dive into a new audiobook genre. The first books always determine whether I want to continue with it. So far I have mostly listened to historical fiction, crime stories and young adult and children’s books.
I really enjoyed the story that was set in two different times. The writing was fluent and effortless, the narration well-paced and intriguing, and the characters vivid and sympathetic. A wonderful start into the genre and the writing of Lucinda Riley.

Kai Meyer – Die Wasserweber (Die Wellenläufer #3)/ Pirate Wars (The Wave Walkers #3)

The final installment of the Wave Walkers trilogy was gripping, surprising, and fun. As per usual the story was fast-paced and action packed. I was happy to meet my friends again and accompany them on their final adventure as well as sad to let them go at the end. It was a wonderful conclusion to a great middle grade series.

Sabine Weigand – Die Silberne Burg

My historical novel this month was centered around a young Jewish woman who tries to escape a horrible past and husband and to make a living for herself in the middle ages. It is amazing how many times she was down on the ground and she picked herself up again. I enjoyed the author’s novels since they entail enough historical data and facts, yet do not overwhelm and bore the readers with those. The information is dispersed and keeps the narrative pace steady (if that makes any sense).

Kuschelflosse 1

Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse und das unheimlich geheime Zauber-Riff

This audiobook is a wonderful children’s book about the fish Kuddly and his friends who are searching for a magical reef and an old turtle who will grant a wish. The friends start on adventure that is exiting, a little dangerous, and that lands them in an urchin population census. A wonderful and fun book with a great message. I loved it.

Rae Carson – The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom

paperback
publisher: Greenwillow Books
published 2014
pages: 448

Blurb:

In the deeply satisfying conclusion to the bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen Elisa travels into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion—a champion to those who have hated her most. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ the final installment and conclusion to the trilogy
+ reuniting with old friends and foes
+ fast-paced story

My Opinion:

Since this is the conclusion to a trilogy, I don’t want to go into too much detail since I don’t want to spoiler the previous books if you haven’t read them yet. Yet I might not be able to avoid them – so beware.

Elisa is now on her way into enemy territory with her trusted and some not so trusted friends. She not only uncovers truths about herself, the countries’ history and her enemies, but she finally becomes the Queen that some people never thought she could become.

This book was as riveting as the previous ones. I adored the dynamic between the little travel group, I also enjoyed the insecurity whether to trust a character or not, I also loved the story and surely the end.

The novel was fast-paced and kept that pace pretty good. The story world became even more complex and wider and I thoroughly reveled in the world creation, the magic system, and the queen’s council.

I was happy to be reunited with characters which I genuinely liked and I was also a little sad to let them go for good.

Bottom Line:

All in all, this was wonderful and satisfying conclusion to an exiting series with a great story world and likeable characters.

Rating:

rating 5