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Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick(1968- )
Marcus Sedgwick works in children’s publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He writes fantasy, historicals, and thrillers. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. He lives in Sussex and has a young daughter, Alice. Here’s Marcus Sedgwick’s website.

The Dead Days

The Dead Days — (2003-2005) Young adult. Publisher: The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are dead days, when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our lives. A lot can happen in the dead days. A magician called Valerian must save his own life within those few days, or pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago. But alchemy and sorcery are no match against the demonic power pursuing him. Helping him is his servant Boy, a child with no name and no past. The quick-witted orphan girl Willow is with them as they dig in death-fields at midnight, and are swept into the sprawling blackness of a subterranean city on a journey from which there is no escape.

Young adult fantasy book reviews Marcus Sedgwick The Book of Dead Days, The Dark Flight DownYoung adult fantasy book reviews Marcus Sedgwick The Book of Dead Days, The Dark Flight Down

The Book of Dead Days: Marvelously atmospheric

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The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick

The "Dead Days" are what author Marcus Sedgwick calls the time between Christmas and New Year's Day, on account of their quiet, mysterious atmosphere; an idea drawn from various mythologies that hold that certain days of the year mark the time when doors to the spirit world open to those of the living. The Book of Dead Days is set entirely within the five-day period between December 27th and December 31st in a sprawling turn-of-the-century city where experiments in electricity and magnetism are indistinguishable from magic and superstition for most of the populace.

A nameless Boy is apprenticed to the magician Valerian, assisting him in his stage illusions that are popular enough to keep food on the table for both of them. Boy has only a rudimentary understanding of how most of the tricks work, but is gra... Read More

The Swordhand

The Swordhand — (2006-2008) Young adult. Publisher: In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust and despite the inhospitability of the villagers settle there as woodcutters. Tomas is churlish — taciturn at the best of times. He digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut so they have their own little island kingdom. Peter doesn’t understand why his father has done this, nor why, all his life they’ve moved from place to place, or why his father carries a long battered box everywhere they go, and why he is forbidden to know its mysterious contents. But when a band of gypsies comes to the village Peter’s drab existence is turned upside down. He is infatuated by the beautiful gypsy princess, Sofia, intoxicated by their love of life and drawn into their deadly quest. For these travellers are Vampire Slayers and Chust is a dying community — where the dead come back to wreak revenge on the living. Amidst the terrifying events that follow, Peter is stunned to see his father change from a disillusioned man, old before his time, to the warrior hero he once was. Marcus draws on his extensive research of the vampire legend which permeates traditions throughout the world and sets his story in the forbidding and remote landscapes of the 17th century. Written in his usual distinctive voice, this is also the story of a father and his son, of loss, redemption and resolution.

Marcus Sedgwick My Swordhand is Singing, The Kiss of Death YA fantasyMarcus Sedgwick My Swordhand is Singing, The Kiss of Death

My Swordhand is Singing: Refreshingly old-fashioned

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My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick

Are you sick of wannabe vampires who sparkle rather than self-combust in the sunlight, and who mope around high schools instead of stalking the terrified living in order to slake their never-ending thirst for blood? I know I am, which is why I thoroughly enjoyed Marcus Sedgwick's My Swordhand is Singing, a vampire tale that does away with modern interpretations of lovelorn emo-vamps and instead draws upon the oldest known records of these creatures in order to shape its chilling story.

My Swordhand is Singing is set in Eastern Europe (most likely Transylvania, though this is never specified) in the early 17th century. Peter and his father Tomas have only recently settled on the outskirts of the village of Chust, lending their services as woodcutters, and are still treated as ou... Read More

The Kiss of Death: Fantastically original and exciting

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The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick

Though generically named, The Kiss of Death is a fantastically original and exciting novel, full of blood, danger, thrills, mystery, and legions of the undead. It is sequel of sorts to My Swordhand Is Singing, in that it features Peter and his father's sword from the previous book, though here the attention turns to two new protagonists. Perhaps it's better described as a companion piece to its predecessor, as although it's not necessary to have read My Swordhand is Singing, familiarity with who Peter is and his experiences in his own story will add a certain weight to his doings here.

Best described as a Gothic horror-mystery, The Kiss of Death begins with a letter addressed to persons unknown, detailing the writer's desire to murder its recipient.... Read More

More books by Marcus Sedgwick

The Raven Mysteries — (2009-2011) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded: Lord Valevine Otherhand is too busy trying to invent the unthinkable and discover the unknowable; his wife, Minty, is too absorbed in her latest obsession — baking; and ten-year-old Cudweed is running riot with his infernal pet monkey. Only Solstice, the black-haired, poetry-writing Otherhand daughter, seems to pay any attention. As the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail… First in a brand new six book series of tales of mystery (with a touch of goth-froth) for 9 year olds from bestselling author, Marcus Sedgwick. With quirky black and white line illustrations from new talent, Pete Williamson. www.ravenmysteries.co.uk

Marcus Sedgwick The Raven Mysteries 1. Flood and Fang 2. Ghosts and Gadgets 3. Lunatics and Luck 4. Vampires and Volts 5. Magic and Mayhem 6. Diamonds and DoomMarcus Sedgwick The Raven Mysteries 1. Flood and Fang 2. Ghosts and Gadgets 3. Lunatics and Luck 4. Vampires and Volts 5. Magic and Mayhem 6. Diamonds and DoomMarcus Sedgwick The Raven Mysteries 1. Flood and Fang 2. Ghosts and Gadgets 3. Lunatics and Luck 4. Vampires and Volts 5. Magic and Mayhem 6. Diamonds and DoomMarcus Sedgwick The Raven Mysteries 1. Flood and Fang 2. Ghosts and Gadgets 3. Lunatics and Luck 4. Vampires and Volts 5. Magic and Mayhem 6. Diamonds and DoomMarcus Sedgwick The Raven Mysteries 1. Flood and Fang 2. Ghosts and Gadgets 3. Lunatics and Luck 4. Vampires and Volts 5. Magic and Mayhem 6. Diamonds and DoomMarcus Sedgwick The Raven Mysteries 1. Flood and Fang 2. Ghosts and Gadgets 3. Lunatics and Luck 4. Vampires and Volts 5. Magic and Mayhem 6. Diamonds and Doom


Raven Boy & Elf Girl — (2012-2015) Ages 8 and up. Publisher: From the creators of the Blue Peter award-winning Funniest Book with Pictures “Raven Mysteries” team, this is the first in a humorous and magical adventure series, “Raven Boy And Elf Girl”, perfect for readers of 8+ about Raven Boy and Elf Girl’s magical, humorous and creepy adventures as they battle to save the world. Eep… the adventure begins! Raven Boy has short black spiky hair, amazing night vision and can talk to animals. Elf Girl is light of foot, sharp of mind and… elfish all over. She hadn’t expected to meet Raven Boy; it’s not that often someone falls out of the trees and squashes your home flat like Raven Boy did. Before they know it they are plunged into some very strange, creepy, altogether spooky and hilarious adventures as they save their world from trolls, ogres, witches and things that slither and slide in the fiendish forest.

children's fantasy book reviews Marcus Sedgwick 1. Fright Forest 2. Monster Mountains 3. Scream Sea 4. Dread Desertchildren's fantasy book reviews Marcus Sedgwick 1. Fright Forest 2. Monster Mountains 3. Scream Sea 4. Dread Desertchildren's fantasy book reviews Marcus Sedgwick 1. Fright Forest 2. Monster Mountains 3. Scream Sea 4. Dread Desertchildren's fantasy book reviews Marcus Sedgwick 1. Fright Forest 2. Monster Mountains 3. Scream Sea 4. Dread Desertfantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews


Stand-alone novels:

Marcus Sedgwick FloodlandFloodland — (2000) Ages 9-12. Publisher: What if the sea began to rise… and rise… until the land began to disappear? A brilliant futuristic fantasy by an acclaimed new writer. Global warming has caused the sea to rise until cities are turning into islands and civilization is crumbling. Ten-year-old Zoe discovers a small rowboat and keeps it a secret until she sets out alone on the great sea to find her parents. She lands on tiny Eels Island, where she must survive in a nightmarish world run by wild children, and stand up to its boy-leader, Dooby. Zoe and a boy called Munchkin escape from Eels Island and cross the sea to the mainland, where they find not only Zoe’s parents but a new family and a new world.


Marcus Sedgwick Witch HillWitch Hill — (2001) Ages 9-12. Publisher: The fire was a family tragedy that Jamie can’t forget, even in his dreams. And now there is something terrifying happening to him in Crownhill, the village where he’s been sent to get over his problems. Something to do with an evil old witch who gets into his nightmares, and a frightened girl, the victim of a long-ago witch hunt, whose presence lingers on. As the dark secrets of Crownhill are revealed Jamie has to confront his worst fears in order to free himself from the horrors of the past. Marcus Sedgwick weaves extracts from reports of a seventeenth-century witch hunt into a tense and brilliant novel.


Marcus Sedgwick The Dark HorseThe Dark Horse — (2001) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Sig is a boy in a coastal tribe, the Storn, long ago in a northern land. On the day of the wolf hunt, the life of the tribe changes forever, for Sig rescues a small girl, more like the wolves who shelter her than a human. Sig’s family adopts her. They name her Mouse, and Sig becomes a loyal brother to this girl with disturbing powers and a secret past. One day Sig and Mouse find a mysterious box on the beach, and a stranger, a magician, comes in search of it — and of Mouse. The shocking discovery of Mouse’s true identity brings to life a terrifying legend and leads to war, betrayal, and Sig’s coming of age as he struggles to save his tribe.


Marcus Sedgwick The ForeshadowingThe Foreshadowing — (2005) Young adult. Publisher: It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun. 17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don’t do that kind of work. But as the war begins and the hospitals fill with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the hospital confirms what Sasha has suspected — she can see when someone is going to die. Her premonitions show her the brutal horrors on the battlefields of the Somme, and the faces of the soldiers who will die. And one of them is her brother Thomas. Pretending to be a real nurse, Sasha goes behind the front lines searching for Thomas, risking her own life as she races to find him, and somehow prevent his death.


Marcus Sedgwick Blood Red, Snow WhiteBlood Red, Snow White — (2007) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Set at the time of the Russian Revolution, the end of a centuries old dynasty, the rise of the Bolsheviks sent shockwaves around the world. This is the story of one man who was there. It’s real history — about the riches and excesses, the glory of the Russian nobility, Nicholas and Alexandra, their haemophiliac son, Alexei, notorious Rasputin, Lenin and Trotsky who ruled from palaces where the Czars had once danced till dawn. The man was real too, his name was Arthur Ransome. He was a writer, accused of being a spy, perhaps even a double agent, and he left his wife and beloved daughter and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman, Evgenia. Fictionalising history and blending it with real life, part i is told as a fairy tale. Wise and foolish kings, princesses, enchantresses (characters more suited to fairy tale than reality), wishes and magic, Russia with its vast cold plains and mighty cities, its riches and poverty, all play a part in the downfall of the Czars and rise of the new order. Part ii is about betrayal — Ransome the spy, bleak and threatening. Part iii is a love story, a fairy tale, ending — of Ransome’s love for his daughter, Tabitha, and for Evgenia.


Marcus Sedgwick White CrowWhite Crow — (2010) Young adult. Publisher: A modern gothic thriller. Some secrets are better left buried; some secrets are so frightening they might make angels weep and the devil crow. Thought provoking as well as intensely scary, White Crow unfolds in three voices. There’s Rebecca, who has come to a small, seaside village to spend the summer, and there’s Ferelith, who offers to show Rebecca the secrets of the town… but at a price. Finally, there’s a priest whose descent into darkness illuminates the girls’ frightening story. White Crow is as beautifully written as it is horrifically gripping.


Midwinterblood Marcus SedgwickMidwinterblood — (2011) Publisher: What would you sacrifice for someone you’ve loved forever — told in seven parts and spanning ten centuries, this is a cleverly constructed, beautifully crafted love story with elements of thriller and the supernatural. Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar even when you’ve never been there before, or felt that you’ve known someone even though you are meeting them for the first time? In a novel comprising seven short stories each of them influenced by a moon — flower moon, harvest moon, hunter’s moon, blood moon — and travelling from 2073 back in time to the dark of the moon and the days of Viking saga, this is the story of Eric and Merle who have loved and lost one another and who have been searching for each other ever since. In the different stories the two appear as lovers, mother and son, brother and sister, artist and child as they come close to finding each other before facing the ultimate sacrifice. Beautifully imagined, intricately and cleverly structured this is a heart-wrenching and breathtaking paranormal romance, but it also has the hallmark Sedgwick gothic touch with plenty of blood-spilling, a vampire and sacrifice.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsShe is Not Invisible — (2013) Publisher:  Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsA Love Like Blood — (2014) Publisher: I’ve chased him for over twenty years, and across countless miles, and though often I was running, there have been many times when I could do nothing but sit and wait, and so now I am only desperate for it to be finished. In 1944, days after the liberation of Paris, Charles Jackson sees something horrific: a man, drinking the blood of a murdered woman. Terrified, Charles does nothing. His inaction grows to haunt him, until a chance re-sighting of the man years later leads him to meet, then lose, the love of his life. And over the decades that follow, his search for the elusive killer grows into an obsession for truth — and for revenge — that can only end in destruction. A LOVE LIKE BLOOD is a dark and compelling thriller about how a man’s life can turn on a moment; about a cat-and-mouse chase across a continent and many years; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about blood.


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