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The Alchemaster's Apprentice (Zamonien #5)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,485 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
When Echo the Crat's mistress dies, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster. This fateful document gives Ghoolion the right to kill Echo at the next full moon and render his fat, which he hopes to brew into an immortality potion. But Ghoolion has not reckoned with Echo's talent for survival and his vast ability to make new friends.
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by The Overlook Press (first published August 31st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lydia Presley
Nov 14, 2009 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
The back of this book has a review by the New York Times Book Review with the words "Cheerfully insane..."

When I started this story I just didn't know if I could get into it. Walter Moers imagination is off the charts - it felt like I was being sat down and told a fairy tale with names being made up left and right. But then.. I was introduced to Anguish Candles.

Not normal candles, mind you - these candles suffer when they burn.. and they inch along..and they moan. And they are never put out of t
Jan 29, 2010 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Another winner by Walter Moers! This book follows Echo the Crat (a cat that can speak all creature's languages) as he is saved from starvation by the Alchemaster, Ghoolion. Ghoolion's proposal is to treat Echo to the most amazing culinary treats in order to fatten him up to then, well end his life to take his fat.

Not only does Echo find out a lot about Ghoolion and his love(s) but also about the inhabitants of Ghoolion's castle and the secrets of the house itself. His (one-month) life's mission
Dec 18, 2011 Cyrus rated it it was amazing
Giving this a pre-emptive 5 stars, though I am not done yet. Reviews call this a "children's book for adults," and I don't think that's too far from the truth. What makes it "adult" is not large-scale political troubles or the horrors of the human condition a la The Guy Who Wrote Wicked and Other Stuff I Don't Particularly Care For, but a willingness to go to places the Brothers Grimm might go, and the modern fortitude to make fun of their absurdity.

It's the sort of thing I'd love to read out l
Mar 01, 2015 Bine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es ist nicht mein liebster Zamonienroman, aber er war trotzdem natürlich mal wieder super. Vor allen Dingen war das Ende mal wieder super spektakulär und einfach nur schön. Vor allem auch die intertexutellen Bezüge machen den Reiz dieses Buches aus und auch die Nachwörter des Autors und des Übersetzers sind zum Schreien komisch und absolut lesenswert!
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Sep 06, 2015 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Se non avete mai letto Moers, non sapete cosa sia un libro geniale e fantasioso!

Arrivo al punto di dire che, per me, Moers ha più fantasia della Rowling stessa. Non prendetemi per eretica, la Rowling è la mia dea e colleziono edizioni di HP in tutte le lingue.. Ma Moers.. Diamine, Moers non è umano!

L'accalappiastreghe è un libro complesso e complicato, non fatevi ingannare dalla copertina né dalla dicitura 'libro per bambini'.. Qui come non mai considero assurda la catalogazione (non credo lo fa
Apr 12, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining yarn from Walter Moers.

This time, it is interesting to see Moers take his creativity into the realm of cooking. I am a picky eater who doesn't want to try much of anything, but his vivid imagery couldn't help but make me drool a little.

Furthermore, the lead character - a Crat - is a fun, protagonist. You are on his side right from the beginning, but there are moments where Moers wants you to think about why exactly you like this character...should you?

As always, I love whene
Apr 19, 2016 Nils rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gefiel mir besser als "Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher" aber nicht ganz so gut wie "Rumo". Auch bei diesem Buch kommt wieder Moers' Liebe zum Detail deutlich hervor, welche Segen und Fluch ist. Einerseits schätze ich die witzigen Exkurse und Erfindungen, andererseits zieht es sich dadurch häufig etwas. Wie immer ist die Exposition und Einführung in den Teil Zamoniens, in dem die Handlung stattfindet, sehr lang – nicht so lang wie in DSdtB, aber lang genug. Es dauert also mal wieder bis die Handl ...more
Kate Sherrod
May 01, 2013 Kate Sherrod rated it it was amazing
Every new-to-me Walter Moers book I pick up immediately becomes my new favorite Walter Moers book, and thus one of my favorite books, full stop. This has happened ever since I first stumbled across a somewhat battered copy of Rumo and his Miraculous Adventures several years ago at my local public library and wondered what the hell was going on with that. One is always going on with the mix of over-the-top imaginative fantasy, adorable illustrations, sophisticated plotting and outrageous wordplay ...more
Saskia Marijke Niehorster-Cook
Walter Moers is one of the most imaginative people I have ever read. His novels are full of quests and goals that take the reader along for an unmistakable ride that just does not stop till the book is over, and it is so addicting that you want to go back to the beginning and start all over again.
The Alchemaster is his latest novel, and though this time around we do not get to explore much of the world of Zamonia, the ride is nerve wrecking just the same. The main character in this book is a "
Feb 21, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The forth (translated, we've yet to see Hansel und Gretal in english) book in Walter Moers Zamonia sequence. This is different from the previous books as, following just one month in the life of Echo the Crat (exactly like a cat, except it talks) it avoids the pattern of the whimsical, if somewhat dark, travelogue.
After the death of his mistress and on the point of starvation, Echo signs a contract with the evil alchemaster to be fed magnificent meals for a month, before giving his life so that
Jan 11, 2012 KimBirds rated it really liked it
This was my second Walter Moers book, the first being The City of Dreaming Books. He's the MOST imaginative writer I've come across in a while, and I'll definitely be reading the rest of his books. But not only am I amazed at the creativity of Moers, I'm stunned by the translation into English. (Wish I had the translator's name here, but I don't.) The original German prose is filled with made-up words, and the English translation SOMEHOW manages to retain the author's intended impressions (at le ...more
Feb 17, 2011 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was full of surprises! It's the best kind of story, where you think you know exactly what's going on, and then there's a zig or zag in the road that catches you off guard. I've read 3 of Mr. Moers Zamonia novels now, and it fascinates me how each of the novels has had such a distinctive flavor to it. This book truly had the flair of an undiluted Grimm's fairy tale. It had all the horrific elements that you would want to have in a scary story, and it had a protagonist with an indomitabl ...more
Sep 28, 2015 Ravzeldinkov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
UN libro maravilloso, lleno de imaginación y giros inesperados. Un terror infantil hermosamente narrado sin ahorrarse detalles macabros y sin endulzar una historia para todas las edades. Muy entretenido y original.
Mar 06, 2016 Kylie rated it it was amazing
Walter Moers is an original. No one else writes quite like him. I'll start by saying that, yes, his books are huge. And they're a bugger to read lying down. But they're worth it. They are books full of imagination and fantasy.

If you've read Walter Moers other books, then you'll love this one. But it does have a slightly darker feel to it. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to a person new to the Zamonia series, purely because I think it might ruin your enjoyment of the other books, and give you di
May 11, 2009 Dieter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Auch das vierte Buch aus der Zamonien-Serie ist einfach überwältigend. Neben Höhenflügen der Phantasie bietet Moers auch sprachlich einfach Unvergleichbares. Die kulinarisch-alchimistischen Abenteuer Echos, eines Krätzchens (vergleichbar einem Kätzchen, nur kann es sprechen und hat zwei Lebern) im kranksten Ort von Zamonien sind unwiderstehlich. Man fühlt sich nachher jedenfalls, als ob man Erkenntnüsse (vom Baum der Erkenntnuss) gegessen hätte. Oder vielleicht Kaviar vom Tarnkappenstör, die die ...more
May 01, 2015 Boris rated it it was amazing
zalige mengeling van de zotte fantasie van Moers, culinaire geneugden, spanning en alchemie.
Apr 10, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it
Walter Moers is a zany and imaginative writer. He is WORDY, though - he has a tendency to let his imagination take him a bit far and get lost in a heady torrent of words, unleashing whole pages on descriptions of the flora found in a Zamonian greenhouse as an example. However, don't let yourself be put off from the book on that account. It DOES take some effort to finish because you're being hit with such a raging flood of information; you find yourself immersed probably more deeply in the autho ...more
Eva-Maria Obermann
Walter Moers ist mir einer der liebsten deutschen Autoren, der mit Zamonien ein magisches Reich erschaffen hat, in dem Blaubären, Lindwürmer, Wolpertinger und andere Sagengestalten leben. Sein Buch Der Schrecksenmeister hat mir ganz besonders Freude gemacht, denn anders als bei Rumo ist hier kein hundeähnliches Tier Held der Geschichte, sondern die Kratze Echo, die sich äußerlich von einer Katze nicht unterscheiden lässt. Doch Echo ist unsagbar intelligent, versteht jede Sprache Zamoniens und le ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second Walter Moers book the first being the 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear. I was impressed by this book and enjoyed reading it.

Set in the land of Zamonia Echo the Crat (not a typo, a Crat is a talking cat that can communicate with any living creature it encounters) is starving on the streets when he meets Ghoolion the villainous Alchemaster who rules the town with an iron fist. Ghoolion strikes a deal with the starving crat; he will take Echo in and feed him lavish meals for the n
Aug 21, 2014 Calimero747 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for all the fantasy fans out there! Walter Moers is a genius. It's magical, it's creepy, it's intelligent, it's funny and it's just fantastic. Read it!

Well, this book is a part of series, but it really doesn't matter where you start because the stories aren't connected. Aside from the fact that it's happening in the same world: Zamonia.

Echo is a crat, which is a very similar being as a cat except that he has two livers and can talk. Crats are also so clever, that they speak
Feb 14, 2016 Pvw rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A children's book about a starving cat that accepts to be sacrificed in an alchemist's experiment in exchange for one month of luxurious feeding. During its final month in the castle of the alchemist, the cat has encounters with the strangest creatures liks floating bedspreads, homunculi, living candles, a lethal white widow spider, a talking owl, and so on. Walter Moers has got an over-the-top fantasy, which does tend to get too much. After the fiftieth description of a certain magical room in ...more
Shashi Martynova
Dec 17, 2015 Shashi Martynova rated it really liked it
Мёрс в лучшем виде. По сравнению с Капитаном Синькой это камерная сказка, но от этого нисколько не хуже. И да, от нее все время хочется есть и в родимый вуз - там сплошная еда и "химия".
Dec 21, 2014 Calebtrask rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was marvellous, how Moers metamorphoses Gofid Letterkerl's tale, mixing his favourite Ojahnn Golgo van Fontheweg with Freiherr von Dillchic's "Suppe" and many other literary treasures into his potion. I like the antagonism of the Schrecksenmeister and the Schreckse very much - that's why I don't know at the moment, whether I agree with the alteration of the original end in "Spiegel, das Kätzchen". I would have wished that Eißpin ended that way, not the way Moers chose for him. Despite of this ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Sitzmak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book I love. As the cover says, it is a "fairy tale for adults" - completely fantastical. But more than that, it is totally unpredictable. I never had an idea where the plot was going. It reminded me of the first time I watched "My Neighbor Totoro" -- I was totally fascinated by the characters and the novel setting, and it didn't follow a predictable plot. It was so refreshing to experience something new.
Just at the very end I felt things got a bit strained, but the other ni
Brett Hoppough
May 11, 2014 Brett Hoppough rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Slow-paced as you discover all the quirks of Malaisea and a few of it's inhabitants. Interesting enough to overlook the sometimes tedious descriptions and lists of things.

I was worried that the ending wouldn't pull through but I ended up completely satisfied.

I loved the characters. There aren't a lot of them in the book, but that just leaves more time to get to know the few it focuses on. That's how I prefer my stories. Why get introduced to a hundred characters you never really care
Renata Hundley
Mar 04, 2014 Renata Hundley rated it really liked it
A very inventive and entertaining "fairy tale" story of Echo the Crat, who looks and acts like a cat with a photographic memory, two livers, and the ability to converse in any language - human or otherwise. Left to starve after his mistress dies, Echo makes a deal with the evil Alchemaster of Malaisea, Succubius Ghoolion. In exchange for the finest food, a safe roof over his head, and free rein to watch and learn the Alchemaster's secrets, Echo agrees to let Ghoolion kill him at the next full mo ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Exibiji rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolut fantastisch. Wer die Zamonien-Romane von Moers kennt, wird ein klein wenig enttäuscht sein, hebt sich diese "Märchen" doch stark von den anderen Titeln ab. Für sich alleine genommen ist dieses Werk jedoch von allerhöchster Qualität. Eine blühende Fantasie, ungeheuerliche Spannung von Anfang bis Schluss, unerwartete Wendungen und eine gehörige Portion Humor zeichnen "Der Schrecksenmeister" aus. Man fiebert mit Echo mit und hofft einfach auf ein gutes Ende. Und wieso musste ich nach der Le ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Peter rated it liked it
It is quite funny that I stumbled across this German author here in New Zealand. I loved his Captain Blaubaer stories and we watched it every Sunday.
The book is about a crat which basically is a very clever cat. He can speak any language and can memorize everything. He gets into a contract with an Alchemaster of a city which means he will lose his life soon at the hands of the alchemaster.
The story is nice fairy tale with all a fairy tale has to have. A wizard a sort of a witch, monsters and ta
Apr 17, 2016 Canem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Oben ist unten, und hässlich ist schön." - Motto der Ledermäuse

Solche skurril, lustigen Zitate gibt es viele in Walter Moers' Der Schrecksenmeister.
Wie immer in seinen Zamonien-Romanen entführt uns Walter Moers, oder besser gesagt: Hildegunst von Mythenmetz, in eine abenteuerliche, spannende, aufregende und skurril magische Welt.

Im Mittelpunkt dieser Geschichte steht unser Protagonist Echo, eine sympathisch naive Kratze und der Schrecksenmeister Eißpin.
Walter Moers weiß, wie man Charaktere förm
Beaux Cooper
Mar 13, 2016 Beaux Cooper rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults who love imaginative characters and plots.
There's a difference between a cat and a crat, such a difference it will leave you wondering which one your feline friend is.

Echo is a crat down on his luck - forced to live on the streets in an unkind neighborhood after his adoring mistress passes away. He's at the end, starved and beaten with no hope of survival... that is until he makes a deal with the town's Alchemaster: thirty days of living in gastronomical luxury in exchange for his life. It's a deal he is desperately willing to make unti
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Walter Moers was born in 1957 and is a writer, cartoonist, painter and sculptor. He has refused to be photographed ever since his comic strips The Little Asshole and Adolf were published, the latter leading him to be declared persona non grata by the political right in Germany. Walter Moers lives in Hamburg.
More about Walter Moers...

Other Books in the Series

Zamonien (9 books)
  • The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonia, #1)
  • Ensel und Krete. Ein Märchen aus Zamonien (Zamonien, #2)
  • Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures (Zamonia, #3)
  • The City of Dreaming Books (Zamonia, #4)
  • Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher (Zamonien, #6)
  • Die Insel der Tausend Leuchttürme (Zamonien, #7)
  • Das Schloss der Träumenden Bücher (Zamonien, #8)
  • Zamonien. Entdeckungsreise durch einen phantastischen Kontinent. Von A wie Anagrom Ataf bis Z wie Zamomin

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“Picture to yourself the most beautiful girl imaginable! She was so beautiful that there would be no point, in view of my meagre talent for storytelling, in even trying to put her beauty into words. That would far exceed my capabilities, so I'll refrain from mentioning whether she was a blonde or a brunette or a redhead, or whether her hair was long or short or curly or smooth as silk. I shall also refrain from the usual comparisons where her complexion was concerned, for instance milk, velvet, satin, peaches and cream, honey or ivory, Instead, I shall leave it entirely up to your imagination to fill in this blank with your own ideal of feminine beauty.” 18 likes
“This is wine," Ghoolion said solemnly. "Wine is drinkable sunlight. It's the most glorious summer's day imaginable, captured in a bottle. Wine can be a melody in a cut-glass goblet, but it can also be a cacophony in a dirty tumbler, or a rainy autumn night, or a funeral march that scorches your tongue.” 8 likes
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