The Master’s Apprentice: A Retelling of the Faust Legend

Oliver Pötzsch, trans. from the German by Lisa Reinhardt. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 trade paper (568p) ISBN 978-1-5420-0998-0
This colorful historical pageant from Pötzsch (Sword of Power) purports to be the true story of the life of Dr. Faustus, the legendary scholar who sold his soul to the devil for knowledge and on whom Goethe and Marlowe based their plays. Johann Georg Faustus is born a bastard in Knittlingen, Germany, at the end of the 15th century. As children start going missing in his town, 16-year-old Johann is taken under the wing of Tonio del Moravia, an itinerant astrologer and magician whose interest in the natural sciences and other learning is strictly forbidden at the time. As the pair travels across Europe, Pötzsch paints a creepy, convincing portrait of an unenlightened age steeped in superstition, where science is feared as sorcery and humanism is persecuted as heresy. Though Tonio is clearly a Mephistophelean figure, this Faust retelling is notably devoid of anything explicitly supernatural, and Tonio’s relationship with Johann is both more and less sinister than the traditional relationship between Faustus and the devil. This engrossing riff on the legend will primarily appeal to those familiar with earlier versions. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 04/06/2020
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Compact Disc - 978-1-7997-4630-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-7997-4631-7
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