Starting with the appropriately titled Midwinterblood, from now to New Year we're posting a series of seasonal book reviews - fantasy, crime, ghost stories....
Chilling Tale for Midwinter
review by Maryom
The story starts in the future, 2073, at the height of summer with endless day and no night. Eric Seven has travelled to Blessed Island to investigate the rumours that its inhabitants live forever but no children are born there.
He discovers a beautiful, seemingly idyllic place, without cars or crowds, but menace lurks beneath the postcard prettiness. It's also a place where Eric finds his preconceptions challenged - he can no longer communicate with the world at the touch of a button, the sun doesn't set and he falls in love at first sight with islander Merle. On Blessed Isle, though, things are not straight forward.There's no falling in love and living happily ever after as Eric and Merle find themselves part of a story that has been re-playing itself on the island for over 10 centuries since the king was sacrificed at Midwinter to save his people.
I've been working my way through Marcus Sedgwick's backlist for a while now and this, his most recent, is my favourite to date. Midwinterblood is a haunting, beautifully told story. The opening pages caught my imagination with the eerie, isolated island setting that put me in mind of The Prisoner and The Wickerman and the evolving backwards plot didn't disappoint. Definitely one to read again and again, as I'm sure there are nuances still to be discovered.
Midwinterblood is published as a teen/YA book but I'm sure there are many adults who would be equally mesmerised by it - I certainly was.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Orion
Genre - YA