27—The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers

Overlook Press, 2007

Echo the Crat (a cat who can talk and who understands all languages) lives in Malaisea and is homeless and starving. He encounters the wicked Alchemaster who offers to take him in, keep him entertained, feed him as if he were a king but, at the end of 30 days, Echo must agree to let the Alchemaster kill him and extrude his fat. 

Knowing he only has a few days to live in his current condition, Echo agrees. He is scooped up by the Alchemaster and taken to his castle. After a few days of rest and good food, Echo begins to explore his environment. He makes friends with a large bird (Theodore) who lives on the castles roof, reaches an agreement with a colony of vampire bats who live in the castles attic and has sundry adventures all of which lead him, in the end, to defeat the Alchemaster.

Moers use of language is reminiscent of Roald Dahl. This is a terrific story, well written and well told.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene