- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; UK ed. edition (29 May 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141035838
- ISBN-13: 978-0141035833
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.3 x 18 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 946,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Rupert of Hentzau (Red Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 29 May 2008
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Rufus Wright's reading of the sequel, Rupert of Hentzau, centres on the villain of the earlier piece. Interestingly darker than Zenda, it draws a more complex picture of Rudolf and Rupert and raises ambiguous moral issues. Great escapist listening. --Christina Hardyment, The Times
Hope's first novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, set in his fictitious kingdom of Ruritania, was a Victorian bestseller. This equally exciting sequel presses all the topical royal romance buttons. Give it to Granny. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Anthony Hope (pseudonym of Anthony Hope Hawkins) was born in London in 1863. While practicing law, Hope also experimented with creative writing, and he published his first novel, a political satire entitled A Man of Mark, at his own expense in 1890. With the publication of his most famous novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, in 1894, Hope abandoned his legal career to write full-time, penning the short story collection, The Heart of Princess Osra (1896), and the Zenda sequel, Rupert of Hentzau (1898). He died on July 8, 1933.
Top Customer Reviews
This book picks up the story some years later. The King is now a paranoid wreck, and Rupert is endlessly scheming to get his revenge. The theft of a letter between the Princess and and Rassendyll gives him the opening he needs, and once again Rassendyll must act to save the throne of Ruritania, and, more importantly, the woman he loves.
Re uniting the team of the loyal young Fritz von Tarlenheim, the stout and cunning Colonel Sapt and the resourceful Rudolph Rassendyll, pitted against the daring Rupert, this is another classic read. Full of romance, chases, fights, desperate missions against impossible odds and daring escapes, it's a nonstop action thriller. Hope once again writes with a clear narrative style that makes the characters live, and not mere plot devices. The action sequences are compellingly and clearly written, and leave one quite breathless with excitement.
As with `Prisoner of Zenda', this is a thoroughly gripping read, which will help get young readers interested in books, and appeal to older readers looking for a decent bit of escapism. A true original, I can't recommend this (and `Prisoner') highly enough.
Our favourite characters - Fritz, the wonderful Sapt - are brought back, not to mention the rather dashing Rupert himself who is a far better villain than Michael was in the first book.
Personally, unlike the other reviewers here, I found this slightly better than the original, since it feels tighter and with greater emotional depths than the first book. The zest and buoyancy of the first book is still present, but it has a darker and more elegiac tinge to it here. Recommended.
Plot - 2/5
Written from the point of view of Fritz von Tarlenheim rather than Rudolf Rassendyl as in The Prisoner of Zenda, it is interestingly structured. We see the return of all our old friends from the previous book and also, of course, the return of one of the most fascinatingly calculating villains in literature. Each scene is played out as we learn what happened next in each sub-plot from the people who witnessed the events. All the way through we are given teasing hints as to what will happen next. This is both a good thing and a bad thing as it makes us want to read on to find out if our ideas as to what happens next are correct, but also makes the story very predictable when we find out that we are indeed correct. Having said that there are some shocks along the way that I was simply unprepared for and didn't expect in the slightest. For me it was a thrilling book to read but was spoilt by the ending; not the way the ending was written but what actually happens at the end.
The sequel to Hope's more famous work does not have the simple swashbuckling appeal of The Prisoner of Zenda. Using Fritz von Tarlenheim as the narrator immediately signals that all may not end happily. I found the structure of the book, where each chapter is described in terms of reported events interesting, but this does lose some of the immediacy of the action. I did find, however, that tension is built up well.
The characterisation is excellent. We are given some more depth to characters who appear in the first book. Rudolf is the classic hero - brave, noble and resourceful, and you could not wish for a better villain than Rupert - calculating, audacious and devilishly handsome.
I can understand the disappointment expressed by other reviewers in terms of what happens. Without giving the plot away, my feeling was that, with the emphasis on honour, fate and destiny, that there was no other way out. And, at the end, I was still left wondering. What had Rudolf decided? And did he, in some way, influence his own fate?
Overall, I think that Rupert of Hentzau is well worth reading but potential readers should bear in mind that the tone is darker than The Prisoner of Zenda - the book and certainly the film adaptations.
Finally, I must say how much I love the design and production of all the Pengiun Red editions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read this as a 12 year old following on from the Prisoner of Zenda and thoroughly enjoyed it for all it's romance and swashbuckling derring do. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
I loved the prisoner of Zenda so much, I'm so pleased the story continues. Amazing listening - brilliantly read and a gripping yarn.Published on 12 Jun. 2011 by R. Cooke
If you have enjoyed reading the Prisoner of Zenda then I think it would be worth your while reading this sequel. Otherwise, probably not. Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2009 by Adrenalin Streams