HAGEN’S CURSE

AUTHOR – JAMES EMMI

PUBLISHED IN – 2006

PAGES – 198

SPOILERS AHEAD.

I hadn’t read a historical novel in a long while so here it is. I received a digital copy of the book from the author who wanted people to read and review.

The story starts off nicely in a town called Hagen. The vocations pursued by the people of the town are already fixed. One has to follow what his bloodline calls for. There’s Jon Von who helps out Hans Heckler, the town’s acclaimed baker. Hans follows the same recipes as his ancestors did, never wanting to create anything new. Jon quits his job with Hans due to his lack of interest in making newer recipes and goes to Anika (I love that name), the beekeeper of the town who has an interest in baking. The story then proceeds with Anika creating a marvelous cake and presenting it in the competition during Easter which easily defeats the same old cake that Hans always produces. Anika also happens to be the Han’s ex fiance. Their fallout was a result of Han’s father refusing to let Anika bake a cake for their wedding, thereby establishing that she will never become a baker. Despite being married and 20 years younger than Anika, Jon Von is in love with her.

So far so good. That’s part 1. It was pretty predictable. It was part 2 which had me going further into the story. The second part was a stark contrast to the first one. It follows the story with Hans discovering the relationship between Anika and Jon Von. He avenges a plan to get the recipe of the cake out of Anika which involves pushing her into court for witchcraft. There is a lot of torture involved and unexpected killings.

For me, it was a pretty easy read. I hardly took 3 hours to complete it. I enjoyed the style of writing. It was nice. What I do have to complain about is the lack of depth of the characters. Somehow, despite having ambitions and feelings, the characters fall short of making an impression on the reader. Also, adding sensual arcs to the characters was a pretty bad move. Using sex as a filler felt really naïve. The plot is great, no doubt. I wish the book were longer for the characters to discover their purpose in the storyline properly. Since it is Emmi’s first book, he probably could improve his writing on those aspects.

How is it September already?

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