Thursday, December 5, 2013
YA Pick: Midwinter Blood
by Marcus Sedgewick
Roaring Brook Press
Magical, mysterious, macabre, and mesmerizing, Midwinterblood tells seven stories that are intertwined with the quiet island of Blessed and its strange curse. Powerful and commanding storytelling by Marcus Sedgewick will have readers completely enraptured by his captivating spell.
Journalist Eric Seven travels to a remote Scandinavian island for a story. The islanders, it is said, live forever and never age, but there are not children anywhere. Eric falls for the enigmatic Merle, a woman who seems so familiar, yet he knows he has never seen her before...or has he? Tor, the island's leader, allows Eric to stay and finds a cottage for his use. As Eric explores the island, he is sure he has been there before. Everything is new and strange, yet feels old and familiar. Eric is bone tired and soon dreams haunt his sleep, and a painting hides the secret of the island.
Other stories revolve around the painting and the island. The story of a plane wreck and a pilot. The story of an archeologist who discovers ancient bones from the Viking era. The story of a painter, the story of a vampire, the story of brothers who both loved the same woman, the story of children sired by another, and the story of the island's curse.
Midwinterblood is a beautifully crafted novel that showcases Sedgewick's talent as a storyteller and a magician--he is able to weave separate stories of each individual into the larger story of the island and of lives relived. Love is stronger than the bonds of time and stronger still than the evil curse. The island cannot hold true love prisoner and eventually the right individual will arrive and change the island forever.
Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. Average readers may struggle with the concept of the seven stories, but good readers will love this novel. Midwinterblood will surely be on everyone's must reads and favorites lists and is likely to be nominated for many state's awards.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)