Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood

I’m a far-ranging reader, happily reading a picture book one minute and a book for adults the next.  Professionally, being a 4th grade teacher and reviewer, not a librarian, I tend to read only YA that really intrigues me for one reason or another and I have to shamefully admit that until now what I’d heard about Marcus Sedgwick’s books — that they were dark and creepy — did not make me want to read them. But recently, I saw something interesting about his latest, Midwinterblood, just as a copy showed up in the mail and so I took it home to read.

Wow.

The book has an unconventional structure that someone told me is like Cloud Atlas, but while it does have a sort of similar time sense, I’d say it is otherwise completely different.  Beginning in 2073 on the island of Blessed, it moves back in time, with an epilogue connecting back to the book’s start. There are seven stories in total, all set on the island, heading back and back and back through time. And by way of these distinctive narratives we are startled to encounter characters we have already met in the earlier stories, characters who care, hate, most of all, two who love throughout eternity.  Separately these are ghost stories, love stories, and even something that might be termed dystopic. Playing on tropes of folklore, horror, myth, historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction, Sedgwick imaginatively weaves something highly original and completely compelling. While Midwinterblood is its own distinct thing, mulling it over now, I think of Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch Three Times and the stories of Margo Lanagan.

Most of all, it is gorgeous. Highly recommended.

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3 Comments

Filed under Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, YA

3 responses to “Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood

  1. Zoe

    I read this just last month, the first book I’ve read by Sedgwick, and it certainly beguiled me. It drew me in almost without noticing, but days after finishing it, I was still caught up in the lives of those explored in the novel. Lovely to read you enjoyed it too.

  2. Anne Stockwell

    I’m looking forward to reading this. I read Revolver some time ago and liked it very much. And yes, it is dark.

  3. I don’t usually like dark and creepy, either. But Wow! This book blew me away.

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