Friday, 7 October 2011

Book Review: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

MIDWINTERBLOOD by Marcus Sedgwick

Released:  6th October 2011
Publisher:  Orion Books
Review format:  Uncorrected manuscript proof
Source:  UK Book Tours - with thanks!

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. Beautifully imagined, intricately and cleverly structured, this is a heart-wrenching and breathtaking love story with the hallmark Sedgwick gothic touches of atmosphere, blood-spilling and sacrifice.

Synopsis from Goodreads.
Midwinterblood had me hooked from page one and I finished it in just under a day. Seriously, I just could not put this book down! The writing just flows beautifully and is very easy to read.

The book is split into seven parts and an Epilogue. Each part moves back in time through the ages until we reach the 10th Century and after that ‘time unknown’. Each age that we pass through also coincides with a particular phase of the moon - The Flower Moon, The Harvest Moon, The Hunters Moon and so on. This works really well, and after a couple of chapters you start to see a pattern, but you don’t find out the full story until you’ve read the Epilogue.

Midwinterblood is the first novel by Marcus Sedgwick I’ve read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the start of the book we are in the future, in 2073 and we learn about Eric Seven, the main character as he arrives on Blessed Island. Eric is a journalist and has come to find out more about the creepy, remote island and find out whether the rumours are true. On the island he meets Merle who has lived there all her life and Eric feels like he already knows her from somewhere. There is this instant attraction, but Eric doesn’t believe in that love at first sight rubbish and doesn’t understand why he has a desperate need to spent time with her.

Blessed Island was really creepy. For one, it is the only place in the world where a specific kind of orchid grows which has special powers. There are also no children on the island and the residents themselves are just so strange. Without giving the story away, I can’t really tell you more than that.

With human sacrifices, vampires and vikings, Midwinterblood definitely had it’s gory moments, but it also had me under it’s spell and I would most certainly recommend this YA novel to all my readers.

My rating: 4 stars


Samantha Young said...

Ooh this sounds amazing. I read Revolver by Marcus Sedgewick and fell in love with his atmospheric writing style. Thanks for the review and the heads up. Adding to my tbr pile :-)

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

Sedgwick is one of my favourite writers. This one took me a little while to appreciate, and while it's not my favourite, it is very good!