Monday, 24 October 2011

Book Review: Midwinterblood

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Indigo (6 Oct 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1780620098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780620091

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.

Midwinterblood felt like several different stories of the same event…which basically it was. Sometimes a gothic horror, at others a tender romance, Midwinterblood takes you on a dangerous adventure with vampires, Vikings and forbidden love.

The story begins with Eric Seven, cynical journalist investigating the magical properties of Blessed Island where no one ages and there are no children. Eric struggles to keep his wits about him as he slowly succumbs to the…charm of the island and its inhibitors. When he meets Merle, it is love at first sight and even if he doesn’t understand it, he knows that it is right. What he doesn’t know is that he has met Merle before. Many times before. Sometimes as a friend, a mother or a lover. Their souls are connected, destined to find each other in each new life.

Marcus Sedgewick writes with simple, lyrical prose that somehow makes the horror he shows  bloody and beautiful all at the same time. His plot is genius, beginning the story a the end and working his way back. It could have been a disaster. Instead it was amazing.

Fan of Sedgewick’s edgy writing will love his latest work of triumph, and while this one in particular would be better suited for the older end of the YA spectrum, I have no doubt that adults of all ages will adore this book. I know I did.


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