Count Karlstein

by Philip Pullman

Other authorsDiana Bryan (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2000



Call number

PB Pul

Call number

PB Pul

Local notes

PB Pul




Yearling (2000), Edition: Reprint, 243 pages


In the mountains of Switzerland the wicked Count Karlstein plots to abandon his two orphaned nieces in a hunting lodge as prey for the Demon Huntsman and his ghostly hounds.


Original language


Original publication date

1982 (text)
1989 (illustrations)
1982 (published in Great Britain in "different form" by Chatto & Windus Ltd.)

Physical description

243 p.; 5.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member macfly_17
I like the fact that this story was told by several of the characters. The story was quite intense and fast-paced, so I had a hard time putting it down. I enjoyed the characters in the story - the good ones were good, and the bad ones were extremely terrible!
LibraryThing member Ardwick
Pleasant children's book about 2 sisters who are orphaned and taken to live with their uncle in his castle. They then find out that they are to be sacrificed to Zamiel the demon huntsman to pay for the deal that their uncle made. They are helped by their maid, her brother, a con man and his servant
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and their tutor and her maid., who all have their own stories which fit in with the main story.
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LibraryThing member theboylatham
Seven out of ten.
Count Karlstein makes an offer to the Demon Huntsman - his own two nieces. Can a lowly maid-servant, her brother and a travelling magician save the girls and sate the Demon Huntsman.An atmospheric and amusing short story with lots of interesting characters.
LibraryThing member mrindt
It's All Souls' Eve and Zamiel the Demon Huntsman has come to claim his prey! He's headed straight for Castle Karlstein, where the evil count has hatched an evil plan; he'll sacrifice his two young nieces to save himself.
LibraryThing member mstrust
The Count is evil, of course, and in charge of his two young nieces. They live in a Swiss castle surrounded by forests and snowy mountains and inhabited by Zamiel the Demon Huntsman, which is the perfect situation for the Count to rid himself of the girls.

Written in almost a folklore style, this
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story has a bit of the supernatural, a little tension, and some humor.
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LibraryThing member matthewbloome
The reading cast on this was wonderful. The story was fabulously suspenseful and enjoyable throughout. What a great story!
LibraryThing member RebeccaClareSmith
I read this quite a while ago and, whilst I remember liking it, I don't remember much about the story at all. Either I should reread it or it just isn't note worthy enough for me to remember.
LibraryThing member Evalangui
The plot makes zero sense. Not even the meta references save it.
LibraryThing member themulhern
Excellent gothic novel for young adults. Told in the first person by several characters, the kind and resourceful maidservant, the endangered young nieces of the count, the charming young ex-coachman, the resolute schoolmistress and explorer. There are lots of excellent sound effects, crunching
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snow, sounding horns, and so forth and the individual performers are excellent. The plot seems to become nonsensical at the end, but it may be that this is just part of Philip Pullman's faithfulness to his inspiration, the gothic novels of the time period in which the book is set. Pullman manages to get humour out of every narrators individual voice. However, I felt that the pratfalls of the cops as described by other characters were a bit too broad, almost like he put them in to entertain the less intelligent section of his readership.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
I read this aloud, a chapter or two at a time, with my husband and young teen son. There were funny bits, and exciting bits, but somehow it just didn't grab us. Maybe it works better as a solo immersion.
LibraryThing member Ling.Lass
A nice retelling of a European folk tale. Gothic in tone, but primarily a farce. It’s pretty funny, with a moment of real terror near the end. With beautiful stylized silhouette illustrations.
LibraryThing member soylentgreen23
A nice, friendly, fun adventure, told from different viewpoints - and so the perfect preparation for younger readers looking to branch out into the world of more serious multi-narrator epics. It might take a while to move from this to Bolano's Savage Detectives, mind.




(125 ratings; 3.4)
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