Saturday, 12 April 2008

My Swordhand is Singing, Marcus Sedgwick

Amazing! I finished My Swordhand is Singing in 24 hours. The fun of reading an easy children's book! I didn't even spend all day reading. I started the book last night, did all my usual Saturday stuff today, then continued with it in the late afternoon, finishing it at about 0930pm.

I'd recommend this book for anyone seeking a simple and enjoyable escape. Set in Churst in the middle of winter, it is a story about a father coming to terms with a secret from his past and a son's coming of age, as they both confront a menacing evil in the form of "vampires" or the dead who return from the graves to terrorise and infect the Churst villagers.

The plot is straight forward and the writing refreshingly uncluttered. Despite the creepy subject matter, the scares are few and far between. Marcus Sedgwick instead relies successfully on mood and anticipation to build tension and suspense as the story unfolds. I think children will enjoy this fast paced story that reasonably does not delve too much into introspection or lengthy descriptions. It is also not too frightening or gory, so I wouldn't hesitate to let even my son read it if he wanted to.

I am pleased that I found several Marcus Sedgwick books on my trip to the library today. I borrowed The Book of Dead Days and The Dark Flight Down. I expect they will be equally quick and pleasant reads, and look forward to starting on them. I also found Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves' Interworld. Since there is a due date to return these books to the library, I will be reading them first. I don't think it will take too long to read them, so I can afford to put off reading The Dark Materials omnibus for a few more days.

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