schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
[personal profile] schneefink
I recently reread one of my favorite fantasy series as a kid, the Märchenmond books by Wolfgang and Heike Hohlbein. (I only ever knew of three books, I recently found out that there is a fourth one but with a different main character. I haven't read it yet and I don't think I want to.) The title means "fairy tale moon", though the English translation is "Magic Moon," which for some reason sounds hilarious to me.

I was worried I wouldn't like the books anymore, but I reread them anyway because I had ideas for these characters for h/c bingo. (No idea why they came to mind after so long. Now after rereading I've discarded the original idea but I have another one, let's see if anything comes of it.) Unsurprisingly I don't like them as much as I did, but I can still see why I loved them and enjoy some elements, good enough for me.

As I half expected, I didn't much like the main character, who always becomes unexpectedly extremely wise in the last fifteen pages and makes a great speech; the special fighting skills were pretty much a given. Especially books 2 and 3 required a lot of work to ignore how silly the central conflict premise was so one could enjoy the rest of the plot. In all three books I really liked the secondary characters, they were a lot of fun. There were continuity problems from each book to the next, I did not expect that to annoy me as much as it did.
All in all I don't regret rereading the books, but probably won't do it again, at least not anytime soon.

Book 1, Märchenmond: I forgot that Kim is a science fiction fan who flies into Märchenmond in a spaceship! The whole "Märchenmond is his 4-year-old sister Rebekka's playground/world" also makes more sense in hindsight: of course a four year old girl dreams of talking badgers and her teddybear and a golden dragon and a city like gold and rainbows. Kart said Boraas took Rebekka to lure in Kim, maybe prophecy-related or maybe because Kim has superpowers in Rebekka's mind? Kim starts to change as soon as he makes his way to Märchenmond (he suddenly acquires a history in space battles etc.), it's unclear how much. The secondary characters are great, Ado and Gorg and Kelhim and Rangarig and Priwinn. I also really liked the twist at the end, and it should work nicely as h/c material. You & everyone you love were dead, congrats now you're alive again, what next.
What I didn't notice as a kid: I can remember exactly three female characters. Kim's mom, who logically only appears before he goes to Märchenmond; Mrs. Tak, the badger mother, who gets maybe two lines; and Rebekka, the damsel in distress, I don't think she says anything. Actually I think there may be two or three ladies in the Rainbow King's garden who get one sentence each while trying to persuade Kim to stay with them. It would make sense if it was Kim's fantasy world, he's a 13-year-old boy, but Rebekka's? Maybe at this point Kim already changed it.
Another problem I did not have back then: I've watched so much Critical Role, it's really hard not to read Gorg's name as Grog all the time.

Book 2, Märchenmonds Kinder: So do the Steppe Riders use weapons or not? Hmpf. It was nice to see Priwinn again though, if very different.
The central conflict here is more nuanced and interesting than the black/white of the first book, though it shows hints of wanting to be a metaphor that just falls apart however one looks at it, selective perception is key. Again, interesting secondary characters: Bröckchen and Jarrn and Peer etc. Btw, calling a giant lizard "Lizard" (in a German book) and a tree person "Oak" is boring (though I'm not sure I noticed when I first read the books.)

Book 3, Märchenmonds Erben: The literal generation war was so far-fetched that it was hard to take seriously. There are even more hints this time that Märchenmond reflects Kim in his real life, and puberty is rough, no question (I kind of feel sorry for Rebekka since apparently they share? Not sure if still), but still.
Spinne and the elf Twix were just as much fun as I remembered, and Kai just as arrogant. I was looking forward to meeting Sturm again, but I did not remember how much that poor boy suffered. He's been sent away from his family for being incompetent, he has an "accident" (that it later turns out someone else arranged) and feels that he's responsible for the war and for the slow death of the world, and on top of that he's caught in a truly diabolical torture machine by the dwarves *shudders* I'll just imagine that he'll be very happy and successful in the future.

In apartment news, most of the construction site is gone! Originally it said end of July, so logically I expected it to last until the middle of August, and it finishing earlier than announced was a happy surprise.
Eva moved out today :( She'd only been here for three and a half months, but apart from DD she was my favorite flatmate so far and I'll miss her. We already found the next person, she'll move in in August. She seems nice too, but at least at her initial visit I found it not that easy to get into a conversation flow with her, I hope that'll get better and we'll get along well. We already know that she doesn't bake, that's a downgrade right from the start ;) DD and I decided to bake more often (and also make more lemonade), I hope we'll actually manage to keep to that.

Date: 2017-07-23 03:46 am (UTC)
zombieallomorph: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zombieallomorph
I used to love Hohlbein as a kid too (although to be fair, if you're German-speaking and love fantasy, it's kinda hard not to have Hohlbein as main source for your regular fantasy fix). It doesn't surprise me that there weren't any significant female characters. All in all, he's a pretty conservative writer. I don't reread a lot in general, so I don't think I'm ever going to touch his books again, but it was cool to read about your opinion as an adult!


schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)

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