Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.

I’ll be honest, when I picked this book up, I wasn’t expecting much from it. The cover made it look like just another in the long line of teen fiction (which it is definitely not), so I was reluctant to start reading it.

Whatever my expectations were, they disappeared within a few pages. Not only is this book not for teens, but it has a beauty of prose that really took me by complete surprise. The story arch is beautifully crafted. We come into the novel with no real idea of what’s going on. We meet characters who are a bit peculiar and we still don’t know what’s happening. It’s not until the third or fourth interconnected story that the reader starts seeing the threads which connect the characters across time.

The writing is beautiful, in particular the last half of the book, when we get taken back in time to the era of Vikings. The atmosphere plays a huge role in making this book as chilling as it is. It’s the kind of story you don’t forget, it digs inside you.

I definitely recommend this one for literary fiction lovers and for those of you who like a bit of creepy mystery as well.

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