"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Every once in a while a book comes along that is both magical and natural, compelling and mysterious, charming and edgy, confusing and clear all at the same time. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick is one of those books. It defies categorization, too. It is a little bit historical fiction with a strong thread of romance and horror running through it. It is definitely a mystery with a decidedly dystopian feel. I can't describe it in one sentence, a paragraph might not even be enough space to capture the essence of this very creative novel.

Sedgwick said when he saw the painting Midvinterblot (above) at The National Museum of Sweden in Stockholm by Carl Larsson (1915) he knew he had to write a story that tried to explain the action. In the painting amidst great pomp and circumstance a naked king readies himself to be sacrificed.

The story unfolds in seven interconnected stories from the present day to the distant past. Keeping the painting and the title of the book in mind, the reader know what is coming but doesn't know how, when, or even the why. They just know that each story ends a bit abruptly at just the moment or two before it is possible to figure anything out. The next story begins in the same setting but it isn't immediately recognizable. Not until the very last page do all the stories draw together. I even audibly exclaimed "oh" when it all came together for me.

Genius is one word I would use to describe the book. It would be worthy of an immediate reread to find all the clues dropped along the way that were missed first time through. Reading this book is a bit more work than the usual YA fare but so, so worth the effort. It is a 2014 Mock Printz selection for our district this year. I am very eager to hear what the students think of it. I can't wait to talk to someone else who has read it. It is one of those books that is so complex it will benefit from discussion.

Give it a go, and then come on back and let's talk!

Disclaimer: book checked out from my library.


  1. hi anne! you prob don't remember me/my blog but we used to correspond about book reviews back in 2010 when i was more active. anyway, i have my blog up & running again and just wanted to stop by and say hello and also wow this book sounds amazing...i have added it to my to-read list. so glad you are still in the blogosphere and looking forward to more reviews from you!

    PS: i featured you as a favorite blogger in this weeks' feature & follow over at parajunkee here :-)

    1. Welcome back to blogging. Thanks for the shout-out. I went over to your blog. It's looks like you are back in a big way.


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