Oliver Pötzsch – Der Hexer und die Henkerstochter

This books/audiobook is written by a German author and narrated in German. For a short English review please see further below.

9783869091365

Hörbuch gelesen von
Informationen zum Buch:
Taschenbuch
veröffentlicht 2013
Verlag: Ullstein
Seiten: 624

Klappentext:

1666: Der Schongauer Medicus Simon und seine Frau Magdalena, die Tochter des Henkers, brechen zu einer Wallfahrt ins Kloster Andechs auf. Dort lernt Simon den mysteriösen Frater Virgilius kennen, der Uhrmacher und Erfinder ist. Simon ist fasziniert von den unheimlichen Automaten, die Virgilius erschaffen hat. Als der Frater verschwindet und sein Labor zerstört wird, ahnt Simon Böses und ruft Jakob Kuisl, den Schongauer Henker herbei. Gemeinsam machen sie sich auf die Suche nach einem wahnsinnigen Mörder… (Amazon)

Meinung:

Handlung: Simon und Magdalena sind nun endlich verheiratet, haben 2 Kinder und sind auf einer Wallfahrt. Dabei stoßen sie wieder auf einen Mord, ein mysteriöses Verschwinden und ein Komplott und rufen den Henker herbei. Die Handlung ist genauso komplex wie in den vorangegangenen Bänden. Die Spannung steigt gleichbleibend an und die Wendungen habe ich nicht vorausgesehen. Es ist immer wieder faszinierend wie Pötzsch dies schafft.

Charaktere: Auch wenn ich nicht der größte Fan von Simon bin, mag ich Kuisl und seine Tochter. Sie sind liebenswerte Figuren und mit jeder Geschichte erfährt man ein wenig mehr über den Henker und seine Vergangenheit.

Stil/Sprecher: Ich finde den Stil sehr angenehm und flüssig mit genügend Details aus der Zeit ohne einen damit zu erschlagen und die Aufmerksamkeit vom Kriminalfall weg zu lenken. Diesmal wurde das Hörbuch von einem anderen Sprecher gelesen, aber das hat ebenso gut funktioniert. Auch wenn ich zu Beginn etwas skeptisch war.

In English:

This is the fourth book in the series about the executioner in the middle ages in Bavaria. While his daughter and his son-in-law are on a pilgrimage, they encounter murder – again. So they contact the executioner to come help and investigate the murder and the sudden disappearance.

Each story is complex, fast-paced, and thrilling. I do not see the twists coming and while the individual narrative strands do not seem to be interconnected – but do come together at the end.

I really like the executioner and his daughter, they are well-rounded and likeable characters. The writing is very fluent and filled with just enough historical detail without overpowering the crime story aspect.

An entertaining historical crime novel that was very well narrated.

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My Reading Month October

Well, this was not a great reading month but a good listening month, I suppose. I enjoyed the audiobooks very much. I did enjoy almost all of my books (well only one of the two that I have read).

  • Books: 2
  • Audiobook: 9
  • Pages (only books): 880
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 4144
  • Minutes listened: about 2900 min. (over 48 hours)

Books:

Paula Hawkins – Girl on the Train: Du kennst sie nicht, aber sie kennt dich/ The Girl on the Train

This Thriller was somewhat thrilling but disturbing on so many levels. At least for me. I was intrigued by the premise and the idea, yet the implementation lacked originality and characters that were not filled with clichés to the brim. Sadly disappointing.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

A wonderful, funny, and sweet introduction to Greek mythology. Definitely not boring for a history lesson and thoroughly entertaining.

Girl on the Train Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

Audiobooks:

Rita Falk – Griesnockerlaffäre

A crime story set in a small town in Bavaria. This is the fourth installment of the series about a quirky and sometimes strange provincial police officer who not only stumbles over more murder than anyone else but who has a problem with authority and weapons regulations. Great read as per usual.

Susanne Fröhlich – Wundertüte

A chick lit novel for the older chick (in her late 40s) about finding your way and balance between your old man, your new man, your new man’s family, and sudden changes within your own family. Entertaining and a little heartwarming.

Cordula Stratmann – Sie Da Oben, Er Da Unten

Another fun novel by the author. A husband murders his wife and now both deal with the aftermath of this situation. How can she deal with the aftermath, you might think…well you have to read it, but sadly it is only written in German.

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Henkerstochter und der Teufel von Bamberg

A crime novel set in the in the 17th century in Bavaria. The executioner and his daughter have to solve a murder and unravel a conspiracy. Great read as usual.

Rita Falk – Sauerkrautkoma

The fifth installment about the provincial police officer and his life. This time he is transferred to the police department in Munich. Though I was afraid that I was going to miss his wonderful grandma and the rest of his family, he still returns home often.

Kiera Cass – Selection

I finally started with the Selection trilogy and I really enjoyed it. Though it was not as fast-paced and thrilling but a rather character driven plot, it was entertaining and enjoyable.

Chris Riddell – Ada von Goth und die Geistermaus/ Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

I needed a little cheering up since it took me a long time to get through my physical book, so I listened up a children’s story. Ada does not only sees the ghost of a mouse but also discovers a conspiracy that could end deadly. Thus, she and her friends take matters into their own hands. Wonderful read.

Sabine Weigand – Die Tore des Himmels

Another rather annoying character was one of the protagonists in this book. Elizabeth of Thuringia wants to become a saint. This not only leads her down an uncommon way for women at that time, but also subdues her to the whims and wills of a christian priest, who want to use her for his own benefit. And then there is the conspiracy against Elizabeth’s oldest son, the heir. A good historical novel, yet quite difficult at times.

Maryrose Wood – Das Geheimnis von Ashton Place/ The Incredible Children of Ashton Place

After finishing the historical novel, I needed another more cheerful story and I turned to Maryrose Wood. This novel is a fun and entertaining read, with lots of references to other literary pieces that the children might not understand but as the person who might have to read it to the child or with the child, this is quite fun. A nice adventure story with a lot more mystery to be solved in future installments.

My Reading Month June/July

Since I did not manage to write a monthly summary for June, I have combined both June and July this time and I was surprised how much I read and listened to in these months.

During the past months, I listened to more audiobooks than I read physical ones and I have to admit, that I did start to enjoy to watch an occasional TV series again – I have limited my TV watching due to my project worked which focused on TV series. But now, I spent some time with the good old Star Trek Next Gen – which I loved when I was younger and still love. Oh the good old times. But back to business.

In June, I read two books and I listened to six audiobooks – two of them being children’s stories about an hour long.

Books:

Octavia Butler – Parable of the Talents

This is the second book in a duology and it was a good and interesting read. I really enjoy Butler’s writing. I don’t want to spoil so I will refrain from summarizing and it is quite complicated to do anyway. As I said, the story was good, but I could not relate to either the protagonist nor her daughter.

Rae Carson – The Bitter Kingdom

The last book in the series was as fast-paced and exiting as the ones before. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and their developing relationships and the new characters. I did not see some of it coming and I always waiting for some twists that never came. Great conclusion.

The Bitter KingdomStorm Glass

Audiobooks:

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Hexer und die Henkerstochter

The fourth book (or audiobook) in the series. A historic crime novel centering around murder and is solved by a grumpy executioner. It was interesting, fascinating (I really enjoy all the middle age day-to-day facts), thrilling, sometimes funny, and sometimes a little sad. Great book.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Die Schlacht ums Labyrinth

I have read the books several times and I came across this audiobook in German, so I picked it up. I wanted to see if I like the story translated into German and I enjoyed it. I have to say that I like the original a little better (at least the book version) but that is maybe due to my familiarity with it. Translations are always tricky. But it was done really well.

Bibi Blocksberg wird Prinzessin

Bibi is one of my childhood friends, and the audiobooks centering around this characters are the ones that I listened to repeatedly. This time the little witch (the main character Bibi) is suddenly turned into a princess and has to find her way back to her time line. Fun and entertaining.

Sabine Martin – Die Henkerin

Another historical novel: this time a young woman witnesses the murder of her family and in order save herself she hides as a boy living with and learning to be an executioner. But than she meets the person who murdered her family and she has sworn to avenge them. It was a good read, though it was a little jumpy between different perspectives and times, it was still good to follow and interesting.

Die Zeitdetektive – Freiheit für Richard Löwenherz

The story about 3 time traveling friends who visit different times in order to learn more but then get caught up in an adventure. This is always fun and filled with interesting historical facts that I have either learned in school and long forgotten or that I really did not know. Well done and I think really great for kids.

Kai Meyer – Die Wellenläufer

The last audiobook this month is a fantasy adventure about pirates and two children who can walk on water. This is again another wonderful story that is great for children and that was fast-paced and fascinating. Who does not love pirates and who wouldn’t want to walk on water. Really enjoyable.

Master of Crows Radiance

So, after a quite successful June I had an even better July. It took me a little to get into the swing of things. I did not start to read until well into the month and I managed to read most of the books within a little more than a week. A little time off is something really beautiful. Well, in July I managed to read 7 books (two of them novellas) and listened to 4 audiobooks. A great month.

Books:

Grace Draven – Radiance

I have been circling this book for a while as it had great reviews so far. I was in the mood for some fantasy and I really enjoyed the story. Two people of different species were married in order to ensure peace and trade agreements between their two courts and both think the others are extremely strange and hideous to look at. The story was nicely paced, entertaining and the characters were not flat, though not fully developed either. Towards the end it was quite sexually explicit (which surprised me a little since I did not read anything before going into this book) but it was only short and did not dominate nor hinder the stories fluidity.

Maria V. Snyder – Storm Glass

I have loved the Study trilogy with Yelena and Valek. Now this trilogy focuses on Opal a character from the first trilogy. It was a good read, though it was a lot more annoying that Opal just seemed to stumble from one incident and accident into the next. She never saw things coming and her naivety was getting onto my nerves a little. Still, it was interesting and I am curious to see how it continues.

Grace Draven – Master of Crows

After Radiance was an enjoyable read and this e-book was quite a bargain, I started to read this. The story was OK, and the premise interesting. I liked the world creation, though I would have liked some more build up. However, this one was very explicit and centered a little too much around any form of procreation. If you are still under aged: don’t.

the assassin and the pirate lord The Assassin and the Desert

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Desert

I finally continued to read some Celaena Sardothien stories. Since the stories/novellas build on each other, I will not talk about the content. It was an interesting story with a few more or less surprising twist and turns. You could see them coming, but they were not obvious. It is interesting to see how she develops after what happened with the Pirate Lord and how things slowly change.

Nina Blazon – Laqua: Der Fluch der schwarzen Gondel

I needed some children’s adventure story and I picked up this gem by a German author. Two children have to spend time at their grandmothers in Venice and strange and evil things start to happen. An old force is trying to possess the children’s aunt. Can they stop worse from happening? A fun and entertaining read that made me want to go to Venice and start reading more adventure books set in Venice, yet I did not have any with me at the time.

Richard Stark – The Handle

This is a crime novel that was recommended and gifted to me by one of the members of my committee who attended the defense of my dissertation and since that was about crime series, we started to talk about crime fiction and the Parker novels. It was an interesting read from the perspective of the criminal. It was short, quick, entertaining, a little hard-boiled-esque, and a great in between novel. If you like the hard-boiled writers, give this one a try.

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Underworld

The next novella in the Throne of Glass series was as entertaining and again build up on the ones before. It was interesting to also see the emotional and personal struggle of Celaena to come to terms with who she has become and who Aborynn really is.

The Handle Nina Blazon - Fluch der schwarzen Gondel

Audiobooks:

Bastian Bielendorfer – Mutter ruft an

This book is somewhat of an experience report about the authors unique and yet sometimes surreal mother. It was a good book, although it took me some time to warm up to him. A nice audiobook for in between.

Marliese Arold – Magic Girls: Gefangen in der Unterwelt

I have read the first books in physical form and now I have come across the third book as audiobook. The story was captivating and thrilling (even more than the previous ones), there was a lot of mystery that is not yet solved, and it is closely connected to the previous book. I only had some issues with the reading – the voices in which some of the characters were read, were quite annoying.

Iny Lorentz – Die Kastellanin

This is also a second book in a series written by a German author or better a duo. It is a historical novel focusing on adventure, political conspiracies and murder. It was beautifully read and thus captivating. Enjoyed it very much.

Sabine Weigand – Die Seelen im Feuer

Another historical novel that centers around the witch burning mania in the middle ages. It was interesting to see how and why they were accused and burned. Sometimes it was a little descriptive for me, but I am very sensitive. So it might not bother someone with a tougher skin or stomach 🙂

So this is or better was my very long monthly summary or summaries in this blog. I am quite happy. I hope the next one will be as successful and I hope that I finally manage to get my blog up to speed again. I am currently also working on another project and it is a lot more complicated to keep track of things.

Audiobook Reviews/ Kurzrezi: Oliver Pötzsch – Die Henkerstochter und der König der Bettler & Die Burg der Könige

The following audiobooks are written by a German author and read in German, so the review will be in German as well. I don’t think this book will be published in English at all. The first book is a historical crime novel centering around an executioner and his family in the Middle Ages, who solve mysteries and murders. It is the third book in this series.
The second books is written by the same author but centers around political power struggles in a different place and time.

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Henkerstochter und der König der Bettler

Klappentext:

Ein Brief lockt den Schongauer Henker Jakob Kuisl nach Regensburg. Dort findet er seine Schwester und seinen Schwager tot in der Badestube. Sofort verhaftet ihn die Stadtwache als Verdächtigen. Kuisl ist in eine Falle getappt. Nun drohen dem Henker selbst Folter und Hinrichtung. Fieberhaft suchen seine Tochter Magdalena und der Medicus Simon nach dem wahren Täter … (Amazon)

Meinung:

Handlung: Diesmal sitzt der Schongauer Henker selber in der Falle. Er wird beschuldigt seine Schwester und seinen Schwager ermordet zu haben. Nun soll er gefoltert und hingerichtet werden. Seine Tochter ist die einzige die ihm noch helfen kann und sie und Simon machen sich an die Ermittlungen. Die Handlung ist wieder spannend, die Verwirrungen viele und die vielen Wendungen weisen auf eine Verschwörung größeren Ausmaßes hin. Der Spannungsbogen entwickelt sich langsam aber gleichmäßig und die Geschichte verliert nicht an Spannung.

Charaktere: Liebenswerte Figuren, die einem schon aus früheren Hörbüchern bekannt sind und interessante neue Charaktere, die aber leider etwas flach bleiben. Dafür erfahren wir hier mehr über die Vergangenheit des Henkers, die schon früher immer angedeutet wurde.

Fazit: Ein unterhaltsamer und spannender historische Krimi mit einen wunderbaren Sprecher.

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Burg der Könige

Klappentext:

1524. Die deutschen Lande werden von den Bauernkriegen zerrissen. Dem Adel droht der Verlust der Macht, dem Volk Hunger und Tod. Vier Menschen suchen ihre Bestimmung: Agnes, die Burgherrin der einst mächtigen Stauferburg Trifels, will ihr Erbe bewahren. Mathis, Sohn eines Burgschmieds, träumt von der Gleichheit der Menschen und schließt sich aufständischen Bauern an. König Franz von Frankreich strebt nach der Kaiserkrone. Karl V., gewählter deutscher König und selbst ernannter Kaiser, sieht seine Macht bedroht. Vier Menschen, vier Leben. Und ein Ort, der den Schlüssel zu ihrem Schicksal birgt: der Trifels. Legendäre Burg der Staufer. (Amazon)

Meinung:

Handlung: Diesmal nicht die Geschichte des Henkers sondern die der Tochter eines Burgherrin und Sohn eines Schmiedes in den Wirren eines Machtkampfes zwischen König Franz und Kaiser Karl V.
Auch hier ist die Handlung spannend und der Spannungsbogen entwickelt sich gleichmäßig aber stetig steigend. Dabei verliert die Geschichte trotz ihrer langsamen Entwicklung nicht an Fahrt.

Charaktere: Agnes und Mathis sind sympathisch und interessante Figuren und auch beide gut konstruiert. Beide stehen hinter ihren Entscheidungen und ihren Überzeugungen. Die Antagonisten sind überraschend, bleiben aber flache Figuren.

Fazit: Ein spannende Geschichte, die mir wieder einmal die Geschichte etwas näher bringt. Es ist schon erstaunlich wie viel man vergessen hat.

My Reading Month February

I continued to have a reading slump for pretty much the entire month of February which resulted in me reading one book. Yep, one book. However, I did a lot better on the audiobook front and I listened to eight audiobooks – although one was a children’s story that lasted only an hour. But lets start with my book this month.

Patrick Carman – Strengstens Verboten: Willkommen im Hotel Whippet/ Floors

After I finished a six-year project, I had a feeling that I might not be the fastest reader, but I had no idea it would take this long to finish one book. I chose a children’s adventure story because I wanted something easy and fun. Something that just washed over me and it did. I enjoyed the book. The story centers on Leo who lives in a unique hotel in New York which contains secrets floors, a duck elevator, a room with and 800,000 piece puzzle, rooms that have ponds in them or that have robots and many more great things. Leo discovers a box and is told he has about 2 days to solve the task given to him in those boxes. It was really a nice adventure story which is great for boys and girls alike.

Strengstens Verboten

Since I had a lot more patience to listen to audiobooks, I have managed quite a few. Time is never wasted on a train or walking to your next appointment. Anyhow, the audiobooks where a little heavy on the historical novel front and most of them have been written by German authors, but there are also some written by English authors,

Sarah Lark – Die Insel der tausend Quellen & Die Insel der roten Mangroven

This is book one and two in the family saga set in Jamaica right around the time of the slave revolts. It focuses on Nora who leaves her life in London behind after her fiance dies and makes her way to Jamaica, where she disagrees with her new husband’s attitude towards slavery and the slaves, yet succumbs to societal pressures. However, her curiosity and supposed friendliness can easily be misunderstood when the revolt takes place and she is caught in the middle of it all. In no time she looses everything that she has known and slowly starts to lose herself. The second book focuses on the next generation, yet I do not want to go into much detail since it will spoil the first one.
I liked both books. They were beautifully read which captivated my attention. I would not necessarily take anything for face value and since my cultural studies training kicked in, I had to take the story with a little grain of salt, but when I took my background out of the equation, it was good and entertaining.

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Henkerstochter und der König der Bettler

The third installment in series that focuses on an executioner and his daughter in the middle ages, was as good and exciting as the first two books. This is somewhat more of a crime story than a plain historical novel. The executioner is tricked and captured for the murder of his sister and her husband. His daughter comes to his aid and tries to uncover the truth to save her father from being executed. Therefore, they uncover a web of lies and secrets.
It was a great and entertaining audiobook. I thoroughly enjoyed it and could not stop. Great.

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Burg der Könige

Another book by the same author, but this time it had a different topic. Again this is set in the middle ages. A young woman is not compliant with the world around her, yet when her father dies she is forced to marry the man who killed him. Still taunted by dreams that started to appear when her falcon brought her a ring, she decides to uncover the truth behind those dreams and the purpose of the ring.
This an enjoyable book although I had some difficulties following all the different facts and historical figures. I am not that well versed in the history of the middle ages in Europe especially the part that is today’s Germany and France, so I was a little confused at times. Maybe it would have been easier to read this book or at least make a chart of all the names and historical figures. Towards the end I did remember some, yet I really need to brush up on some history.

Sam Thomas – Die Hebamme und das Rätsel von York/ The Midwife’s Tale

This historical novel was again focusing on crimes and was a little more crime fiction. I really enjoyed to listen to the book. It was again a whole lot of conspiracy to uncover that had not a lot to do with the murder in the first place. While here a midwife investigates, it becomes clear that nearly everybody has some secrets which they want to stay buried. Although to many groups seem to be mixed up in the murder, those intertwined narrative strands are nicely separated towards the end and it all makes sense despite the convoluted mass in the beginning. It was an enjoyable read.

Celia L. Grace – Die Heilerin und die Bruderschaft des Todes/ Saintly Murders

Again another crime story in a historical novel. While here a female healer is supposed to determine whether the dead monk was a saint, she uncovers that said monk was murdered. Trying to figure out what happened and what the other monks keep from her, she gets deeper and deeper into a crime that she might not be able to escape. Again a short and entertaining read. Not as good as the other one set in York, yet still good. I had a few problems relating to the main protagonist and to follow the story, but that might have been because I was in a very different head space when I was listening to this.

Die Zeitdetektive – Der Rote Rächer

This is part of a time travel series that focuses on three young kids who have discovered a secret door in the library that takes them to different places in time. This time they are taken to Rome where the gladiator games are taking place. Since the head game maker is attacked, the children try to uncover who the attacker is.
This series is really cute and short. An episode is about an hour-long. It is an adventure with historical facts thrown in between without being to didactic. Really good.

Sophie Jordan – Firelight: Flammende Träne/ Vanish:  A Firelight Novel

This is the second installment in the Firelight series. This series is about Jacinda who is a draki – a descendant of the dragons that can transform into a human. She is caged up in her pack because she is the first fire draki in a long time. While the leader of the pack wants to keep her for breeding (isn’t that charming), she meets a hunter (who hunts her), she falls for the hunter, and breaks many rules. And of course there is a dragon boy as well.
The first book was quite interesting. This one was a little slower and focused way to much on her inner problems, emotions, and turmoil, which was occasionally annoying. A little more action would have helped the book, but it was more of a bridge between book 1 and book 3 since that looks a lot more action driven than this one. But all in all, it was okay.