Friday, 10 August 2012

My Swordhand is Singing By Marcus Sedgwick

My Swordhand is Singing
Series: My Swordhand is Singing #1
Release Date: 26th July 2006
Publisher: Orion
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208

Synopsis: In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust and settle there as woodcutters. Tomas digs a channel of fast flowing waters around their hut, so they have their own little island kingdom. Tomas is a man with a past; a past that is tracking him with deadly intent. As surely as the snow falls softly in the forest of one hundred thousand silver birch trees, Father and son must face a soul-less enemy and a terrifying destiny.

Review: I wasn't sure what to expect when I began this book. It sounded interesting but I didn't know if it would hook me. I started it and after settling in and learning the setting and back story of the characters it became an enjoyable read. Sedgwick does his own unique twist on Vampires which is very interesting. I loved how lots of different ideas from folklore and history were pulled together in the book to create these new terrifying vampires. Another great thing about this book is how the characters grow and how their relationships develops. It was very heartfelt and real to read. That was the strongest aspect of this book.

The book joins Peter and Tomas, father and son after they move to the small village of Chust. Building a house outside the village makes the pair seem suspicious, but Tomas has his own motives for doing so. His past is following him and it's finally caught up. All the lies he has told his son are about to blow up in his face. Rumours spread around the village that the dead are rising and visiting their loved ones. Nobody knows what this is about better than Tomas but still he keeps everyone in the dark. Peter is thrown into the middle of the chaos and only his father can make things right, before its too late.

Peter was an interesting character, he was young and innocent. He didn't know of the horrors of the world. His father had kept them hidden all his life. Peter is woken up one day to the terrifying creatures and it's then he has to become more responsible and do something about it as his father refuses to help. Peter learns of his fathers past and realises that there is much he doesn't know about him. Things begin to fall into place, the constant moving, the box his father brings everywhere, he realises that his father was doing all this to keep him safe.

Tomas was a troubled man. His youth was full of glory but that all turned sour. He was jailed, after escaping he found a wife but she died giving birth to Peter. Tomas trying to forget his past turns to drink and doesn't look back. He wants to keep Peter safe but also to keep him in the dark. There are things out there that nobody should see.

We see the father-son relationship develop throughout the book. From the start we see that Tomas hits Peter when he is drunk. Peter has learnt to cope with it. When Peter learns the truth about his father he's annoyed but realises his father was doing it to keep him safe. The sacrifice at the end that Tomas makes shows how much he loved his son despite everything. He never meant to hurt him or keep him innocent, he just wanted him safe from harm. He'd lost so many other people, and Peter was his last hope. Ahh, it was rather heartbreaking the end. This relationship was so raw and real and it developed so well.

My Swordhand is Singing is a interesting take on the Vampire legend that will leave the reader sleeping with the lights on. It's got some action that keeps the reader on their feet but it also has an emotional punch that makes the reader feel so involved. I really enjoyed this book and I've already started the sequel!

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