Title: MidwinterbloodAuthor: Marcus SedgwickPublisher: IndigoPublication Date: 6 Oct 2011Synopsis from Love Reading 4 KidsIn 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumor 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.
This is my first foray into the YA world of Marcus Sedgwick the only other book I have read of his is Flood and Fang – review here. I must say this will not be my last; I have heard amazing things about Marcus Sedgwick’s writing and was not in the least bit disappointed.
I will admit that I started the book without reading the synopsis; I only saw the word soul mates mentioned and knew I had to read it. So there I was reading away thinking myself so clever for working out that the story featured reincarnated souls of Eric and Merle when I decided to read the synopsis and there it was in black and white that yes indeed they were the souls of Eric and Merle reincarnated *headesk*. I always pray for a happy ending – the words They All Lived Happily Ever After – would be a dream come true for me. So I was rooting for Eric and Merle to have their happy ending right from the start.
The way in which the book is divided into 7 sections alongside Eric’s name being Eric Seven is very clever and implants the idea of the seven lives immediately. The timeline for each story works its way back to the first incarnation of Eric and Merle before returning to the present day. The ingenious use of details from within each story woven into the next showing their origins were an utterly magnificent piece of storytelling.
Amazing use of what can be imagined as Norse Mythology woven into the plot re-enforced by the remote island scenery. The name of the island itself is significant within the plot. The way in which the name of the island is significant at each point in time. The meanings of the name at the different time periods in history added to the plot and helped the imagination of the dialects. Although the pronunciation remained the same the meanings and spelling were so very different. Amazing.
The different forms of love are cleverly portrayed – parent and child, siblings and lovers. The different types of love we are capable of isn’t something that I often think about but this aspect of the book really had me analyzing relationships.
I am probably going to show my lack of intellect now by telling you that I didn’t really understand the ending. Don’t get me wrong I appreciated it and the completeness it provided to the story. But I didn’t really understand why it had to be that way and it was completely bittersweet. Not an ending you will forget in a hurry. A chilling tale.
If you are looking for masterful storytelling then this is the book for you.