Monday, 29 August 2011
Review: Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick
Published: October 6th 2011, Indigo
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
My review: If you take my advice on one book this year, in fact, if you take my advice on one book ever, please make it Midwinterblood. This book is absolutely flawless and I was completely blown away by it. This is one of those books that I know I'll be talking about for a long time. I actually finished reading it a few weeks ago and it's still often in my thoughts. It's a complete winner.
Is there anything that hasn't already been said about Marcus Sedgwick's incomparable way with words? Probably not but still. He has a way of saying so much in so few words and a turn of phrase that I absolutely adore. The whole time I was reading Midwinterblood I was in a daze and the story is addictive.
We see Eric and Merle in various incarnations throughout the seven stories and each time their relationship embodies a different sort of love - we see them as mother and son, lovers, artist and muse and so on. The way the stories tie in together becomes more apparent as the novel progresses and I loved the motifs that were effortlessly weaved throughout each of the chapters, binding Midwinterblood together as a whole.
This book made me laugh, this book made me cry, this book made me want to purchase Sedgwick's entire backlist and race through it all in a matter of hours. I want to tell people about this book and see their reaction when they turn the final page, I want to read it again and again and enjoy it like I did the first time I read it. Honestly, this is a breathtaking book about sacrifice, identity and, most of all, love. Please read this book, it will leave your jaw on the floor, I promise.
First line: 'The sun does not go down.'
Read if you liked…: My Swordhand is Singing - Marcus Sedgwick
Total: 20/20 (Yes, I have FINALLY given a book 20/20)