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The Alchemaster's Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia by Optimus Yarnspinner (Zamonia, #5)
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The Alchemaster's Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia by Optimus Yarnspinner (Zamonien #5)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  4,153 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
Malaisea, the unhealthiest town in the whole of Zamonia, is home to Echo the Crat, a multitalented creature resembling a cat in appearance but capable of speaking any language under the sun, human or animal. When his mistress dies, Echo finds himself out on the street. Dying of starvation, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster, Malaisea's evil al ...more
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Published February 1st 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published August 31st 2007)
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Lydia Presley
Nov 13, 2009 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 14, 2011 Cyrus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 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!
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
Sep 03, 2015 Sylvester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was walking slowly through the Fantasy stacks at my favorite library, caressing the spines of the Walter Moers as I came to them, when I stopped in surprise and nearly fell over myself trying to snatch this book off the shelf before anyone else could. You see, not enough of Moers' books have been translated, in my opinion, and I have been bemoaning that fact since the last of his that I read - SO!! Joy! Joy! This was a bonus I hadn't expected.

And I was not disappointed. I loved the Crat.

Serena.. Sery-ously?
Aug 27, 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
Kate Sherrod
Sep 19, 2012 Kate Sherrod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 17, 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 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 09, 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
Apr 27, 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
Sep 23, 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.
Apr 26, 2015 Boris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
zalige mengeling van de zotte fantasie van Moers, culinaire geneugden, spanning en alchemie.
Shashi Martynova
Mar 16, 2015 Shashi Martynova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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".
Erin Britton
May 09, 2017 Erin Britton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Alchemaster’s Apprentice is chronologically the fifth of Walter Moers’ [or should that be Optimus Yarnspinner’s?] fantastical Zamonia novels although it is only the fourth to be translated into English [there still being no publication date for an English version of Ensel und Krete].

Malaisea, the least healthy place in Zamonia, is a city dominated by the Alchemaster Ghoolion, a sort of wizard-of-all-trades whose main passions in life are alchemy, taxidermy, controlling the Ugglies [Malaisea’
Angela Visalli
Sep 11, 2013 Angela Visalli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Malfrosto venne sempre più vicino, si fermò infine davanti al cratto, si chinò su di lui e l'osservò, a lungo e spietatamente. Il vento gli faceva fremere l'ossuto collare e gli occhi scintillarono di scoperta e maligna soddisfazione di fronte alle evidenti sofferenze d'una creatura in procinto di tirare il calzino. Il puzzo di ammoniaca e etere, di zolfo e petrolio, di acido prussico e essenza cadaverica penetrò come un fascio d'aghi affilati nel sensibile nasino di Eco, ma lui non si spostò d ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hab das tolle Hörbuch gehört
Mar 04, 2016 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great fantasy novel in all the best ways. I found myself comparing it a little bit to a Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman with a dash of Douglas Adams. Originally written in German, it definitely has the feel of a traditional fairy tale a la the Brother's Grimm.

The story revolves around Echo the Crat (yes, Crat, that is not a spelling error) who has been captured by the local Alchemaster of Malaisea, his name is Ghoolion, and Echo is being held and fattened up so that the Alchemaster can
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
Der kleine Echo, ein fast verhungertes Krätzchen, streift herrenlos durch die kränkste Stadt Zamoniens - Sledwaya - und trifft dabei plötzlich auf den Schrecksenmeister Succubius Eißpin, den legendenumwogenen, gefürchteten Tyrannen der Stadt. Die beiden schließen einen Vertrag ab: Eißpin wird Echo den nächsten Monat mit den ausgefallensten Leckereien verwöhnen und mästen, damit er beim nächsten Vollmond sein Fett auskochen kann, das er für seine alchimistischen Machenschaften benötigt.
Es folgen
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
Mike Keirsbilck
Just finished The Alchemaster's Apprentice, another exhilarating Zamonia tale by Walter Moers. In contrast to Rumo, The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear or The City of Dreaming Books. This time the story evolves around Echo the Crat - a feline creature that can speak every language known to man and animal. He's rescued from starvation by an Alchemaster - a master alchemist as it were. Though his rescue is somewhat overstated. In return for being thoroughly fed and amused for one month, Echo is t ...more
This is the third Walter Moers book I've read, and so far, I've enjoyed each one. I almost didn't finish this one, though. It starts off at an okay pace, but quickly slows down, and I started to lose interest. Trust me, when this happens, keep reading. A friend encouraged me to give it a little bit more time, and I'm so glad that I did. By the time I reached the halfway point, I found it almost impossible to put down.

The plot is simple: Echo the crat is starving to death after the death of his m
Beaux Cooper
Oct 14, 2015 Beaux Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
An English version of this review follows once I find the time for it.

Der Einfallsreichtum dieses Mannes ist wirklich unendlich! Nach "Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher" und "Die 13 1/2 Leben des Kaptain Blaubär" ist "Der Schrecksenmeister" mein drittes Buch von Walter Moers. Ich habe abermals jede Minute des Hörbuchs genossen.

Die Geschichte spielt in Zamonien und handelt von dem kleinen Krätzchen Echo (zamonische Kratzen unterscheiden sich von normalen Katzen dadurch, dass sie mit allen Wesen kom
This was another BEA grab I made. Really, I need to learn to be much more selective the next time around. Ok, so I thought the cat (which is actually a Crat) was cute. So I snagged it. Do you blame me? Could you resist? Plus it sounded like a really interesting world so I wanted to try it out.

And you know what, it was good. Actually, it was better than that despite how dense in description it was. And I mean really dense. That was why I stopped reading it. Not because I got bored or didn't enjoy
Feb 22, 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
Aug 09, 2010 Noctifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fantasy, humorcy
"Der Schrecksenmeister" ist das fünfte der von Walter Moers geschriebenen Zamonien-Romane und bildet meinen persönlichen Einstieg in diese abstrakte, überraschende und wunderbare Welt. Schon die ersten Zeilen zeigen, dass es sich beim "Schrecksenmeister" um ein eine Art literarisches Überraschungsei handelt: Als Leser weiß man nie, womit der Autor einen in der nächsten Zeile verblüffen wird.

Wir lernen Echo kennen, ein halb verhungertes Hauskrätzchen, das von den Bewohnern der Stadt keinerlei Unt
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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 (10 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)
  • Prinzessin Insomnia & der alptraumfarbene Nachtmahr (Zamonien, #9)
  • 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.” 21 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.” 9 likes
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