Midwinterblood

midwinterblood against red background with floral pattens on diagonal corners Earned myself a library fine for holding onto this book for far too long

Midwinterblood is one of those books that sits somewhere between young adult and adult. Some would argue if it straddles the fence then it really should be adult, while others would say its been earmarked for teens so why try to alleviate its position. I am part of a third group who feels the damn book should be read by whoever is interested.

Sitting somewhere in the world between fantasy, magical realism and fairytale, this is not a book for those who prefer linear storytelling. Told through seven short stories, each featuring a an Eric and a Merle, we start in the future and work our way backwards. The stories stem from fated love but aren’t always presented via romance. We follow seven moons, the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter’s moon and the blood moon. In some stories Eric and Merle don’t meet. In others, they do with negative outcomes. I suppose, some might read it as a comment on the ideas of fate and destiny.

This is a difficult book to review, though an easy book to enjoy – provided you enjoy the art of storytelling rather than a simple path to a convenient ending. I read it to see where their story had begun, and while it was a gradual build-up of sorts, there were surprises. The tone is dark and macabre for the most point, sustained well throughout, despite transitions between stories and characters.

I was pleasantly surprised with the authors range and capability in capturing a wide variety of voices. From a 7-year-old girl to a seasoned fighter pilot and again to a caustic farmer. The writing was brilliant. I’ve added Marcus Sedgwick to my authors to read more of in the future.

Read it if you enjoy a good yarn, a short story with substance or a clever mind bend. I think anyone above the age of 12 could find joy in these stories.

Four stars*

Written by Marcus Sedgwick