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King Ottokar's Sceptre (The Adventures of Tintin) Paperback – June 30, 1974

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: The Adventures of Tintin: Original Classic
  • Paperback: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 30, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316358312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316358316
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.2 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Political unrest in Europe in the late 1930s influenced Herge when he wrote King Ottokar's Sceptre, in which Tintin and absent-minded Professor Alembick travel to Syldavia to try to avert a confrontation with neighboring Borduria. The history Herge creates for his fictional Eastern European country is complex and fascinating, and a locked-room mystery and cross-country pursuit make for one of Tintin's more entertaining adventures. Syldavia and Borduria would return in later stories, as would one of Herge's most memorable characters, Bianca Castafiore, the "Milanese Nightingale" renowned for her rendition of the "Jewel Song" from Faust. --David Horiuchi


The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn: Synopsis

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is the first in the series of 3D motion capture films based on the iconic character created by Georges Remi, better known to the world by his pen name, Herge, and is due for release in 2011. The film stars Jamie Bell as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig as the nefarious Red Rackham. Bell and Craig are joined by an international cast that includes Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook.

The Adventures of Tintin (also known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn[4] in the United Kingdom) is a 2011 American performance capture 3D film based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé (Georges Remi). Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of the original comic books: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham's Treasure (1944).[5] Spielberg first acquired rights to produce a film based upon the Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé's death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the films. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital is providing the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film.[6] --Wikipedia --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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TinTin is the best comic book ever.
Kindle Customer
There's a few allusions to the threat of the real life Nazi regime, which is interesting giving the time it was first written.
General Breadbasket
On one of those strolls with which Tintin often commences a new book, the reporter notices a mislaid book on a park bench.
darragh o'donoghue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on May 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
In which an escapist Ruritanian fancy turns into an ominous allegory for Nazi aggression. On one of those strolls with which Tintin often commences a new book, the reporter notices a mislaid book on a park bench. He returns it to its owner, the chain-smoking, Freud-lookalike Professor Alembick, an expert on seals (of the heraldic variety), who is about to visit the Balkan principality of Syldavia to look at some rare treasures. When Tintin notices some sinister types hanging around the Professor's apartment, and what seems to be a conspiracy plotting in a Syldavian restaurant, he decides to accompany the Professor. On the eve of their departure, a phone call to Alembick is interrupted by screams, but all seems normal as they leave for Klow, the Syldavian capital. Except that now the short-sighted academic can see sheep from thousands of feet in the air, and no longer smokes.
This extraordinary and unique entry in the Tintin canon is priceless for a number of reasons, the foremost of which is the utterly convincing creation of a non-existent realm so consistent in its internal details you can't believe it's not real. Central to this is the travel brochure Tintin reads on the plane to Klow, reproducing in three dazzling full-length pages the history, geography and culture of this great country, including the most amazing pastiche miniature illustrating a medieval battle and an account of the incident that accounts for the importance of the titular sceptre, Byzantine in their colour and beauty. Syldavia is a Ruritanian realm of benevolent monarchs, toy-soldier uniforms, quaint rituals, emblems and customs, all under threat from modernity in the shape of totalitarian imperialism.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Simon Foster on August 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Every now and again you need something uncomplicated to read, and Tintin always does the job for me. King Ottakar's Sceptre would have to be my favourite.

Tintin finds a briefcase on a park bench, returns it to its rightful owner, and gets mixed up in a plot to overthrow the king of a small east European state. Who is behind the plot? Why are they after Tintin? And can Tintin warn the king in time?

I wish life was more like Tintin. I remember going to the local library when I was young and checking out Tintin books. One a week, we were allowed. They had Tintin, Asterix, and a few Lucky Lukes I think, but maybe I'm remembering that from a French exchange I did in school. I never really got into Asterix, but Tintin was different. Interesting adventures, detailed plots, cunning twists. His world is a simple place. People say what they feel. They don't play games. They don't say they're going to call and then don't. They don't leave their mobiles off when they said they would be in for you to call. If there's a problem, you know somehow you can solve it, and you don't end up feeling like you're wrong all the time. There aren't any messy work pressures, no relationship complications, no girlfriend issues, there's just a boy and his dog solving a crime. I grew up thinking things would be like that, but I was obviously wrong. I wish the world could be more like it is in the books, in basic colours and with a happy ending. But it's not. It's all grey areas and murkiness and there's not a lot you can do about it. Except read the books, and hope, and try and imagine what things would be like. So if you feel lost and alone and it's another long night and you can't get to sleep because you can't stop thinking about everything, why, what, where, when, who - then trust me. Tintin is the answer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Tintin's adventure in the Balkans perhaps doesn't have the same exotic allure as his excursions to the Andes, to Tibet, to the Sahara or the Moon, and consequently King Ottokar's Sceptre is somewhat underrated among the Tintin collection. Hergé however puts no less effort into his research and his creation of a political background for the state of Syldavia, going as far in this book as to include a brief brochure laying out the troubled history of the nation that comes across as realistic and authentic, giving the story a little more political depth.

The story doesn't skimp on action and intrigue either, Tintin's investigative nose getting him into a lot of trouble when he refuses to take the hint and mind his own business. Returning a lost briefcase found in a park to a professor in the study of ancient seals, Tintin gets wind of something suspicious going on related to Syldavia and volunteers to accompany the professor on his visit there acting as his assistant. Even Professor Alembick starts behaving strangely as the trip commences, but before he can act on his suspicions, Tintin finds himself ejected from the small aircraft while they are on their way to the capital Klow.

The story's plot to overthrow the King of Syldavia is a product of the time of its writing, King Ottakar's sceptre being originally serialised in the Petit Vingtième from August 1938 to August 1939, the situation between Syldavia and Borduria reflecting the Anschluss of Austria by German forces in March 1938. It's no coincidence then that the name of the author of this plot, Müsstler, is made up of a combination of Mussolini and Hitler.
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More About the Author

Hergé, one of the most famous Belgians in the world, was a comics writer and artist. The internationally successful Adventures of Tintin are his most well-known and beloved works. They have been translated into 38 different languages and have inspired such legends as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He wrote and illustrated for "The Adventures of Tintin" until his death in 1983.
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King Ottokar's Sceptre (The Adventures of Tintin)
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