In the bitter cold of winter, something evil is stirring. Livestock are attacked in the dark night, and the dead return to terrorise their loved ones. Woodcutter Peter is intrigued, but his father, Tomas, insists that they leave well alone. Then a band of gypsies arrive, insisting that Tomas is the only one who can save the village. What secrets has the old man been keeping? And what does he hide in the long, battered box, whose contents Peter is forbidden to know? Set in the seventeenth century, My Swordhand is Singing is a heart-rending story of loss and redemption, inspired by the original vampire folklore of Eastern Europe.
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My Swordhand is Singing In the bitter cold of winter, something evil is stirring. Full descriptionReview:
"Sedgwick has taken early vampire legends and masterfully crafted them into this dark tale! I can't wait for my 11-year-old to get her teeth into it." Daily Telegraph "Expertly reseached and beautifully written, this is a heart-stopping story, which had me mesmerised from beginning to end." The Bookseller "best enjoyed with the doors and windows firmly bolted ! His story is a journey into a beautiful gothic painting". The Telegraph "One of the books of the year." Sunday Times "This novel has all the components of gothic horror: love, loss, regret and a touch of the supernatural! The story is a pleasure to read as it has purpose and path and not a word is wasted". Carnegie Judge 2007 "The pace of the story seeps us through the fear and superstition of the frozen village and out and away with the travelling people as Peter starts his new life." Carousel "Chilling" Amanda Craig, The Times "A gem of a spooky tale that will chill event the warmest blood! the 7th novel by Marcus Sedgwick and it is his best yet. Vampire stories have been told for centuries and My Swordhand is Singing can confidently take its place amongst the finest. It is a simple, macabre tale that is as fresh and alarming as a drop of blood on a bank of white snow." South China Morning Post "The undead are at the centre of this atmospheric tale, but Sedgwick wisely avoids calling them vampires, a term which too readily conjures the capes and pointed teeth of cartoon graphics. The threat -- not spoken of by the village people, but all too evident in the fears, the closed doors, the garlic and buckthorn stakes -- is all the more powerful for being understated." Linda Newbury, TES "Remarkable for its sense of atmosphere, fear, menace and foreboding Sedgwick's new novel gives insight into the legend and lore surrounding modern interpretations of the Vampire." Books for Keeps "A beautifully written, atmospheric, gothic fantasy. By cleverly delving into vampire myth and Eastern European superstitions, Sedgwick maintains tension, pace and mystery throughout the book" INIS "'A great story with all the brooding atmosphere you'd need and expect from the subject matter. Sedgwick manages to bring something quite fresh to the vampire theme -- should appeal to a broad range of readers, including many adults." Readingzone "Sedgwick's elegant, concise prose crates just the right slightly menacing atmosphere for this moving story! Perfectly pace, with every element spot on. Highly recommended." Yabookscentral.com
Effective gothic horror with a mystical touch. In 17th-century Europe, young Peter and his alcoholic father, Tomas, have settled down for longer than their transient life usually allows. They live in a vast forest, cutting wood for nearby villagers, but are always estranged. An eerie sense of menace haunts the area. Two bizarre and gruesome murders in a short time couldn't be due to wolves, but Tomas insists that whispers of supernatural danger are mere superstition. Then, because one victim was unmarried, Peter's friend Agnes is forced into a Wedding of the Dead and stowed away for 40 horrifying days of symbolic mourning. Visiting her cabin secretly, Peter confronts the chilling truth: Undead corpses are rising from graves, killing and recruiting more and more humans. Led by new friend Sofia and her Gypsy caravan, Peter and his historically unreliable father find that their only hope lies in a singular old sword and an ancient song with lyrics confronting the emotional essence of the zombie-vampires. Underlying tenderness, overt chills. (author's note) (Fantasy. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)
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