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I knew right from the first chapter that this was going to be my eerie-fest of the month. I mean honestly, the story starts with… well. You’ll just have to find out.
Tomas and Peter are humble woodcutters, burying themselves in the woodlands outside of Chust, a small town hemmed in by the darkness of the great forest. They share everything in the sparse area, except for the past behind one secret. A long wooden box belonging to Tomas. Peter is never allowed to look within his father’s box, but as strange occurences herald the coming of the winter, the contents prove more important than he ever could have known. A man of Chust is slain… and then another… and then another. In horribly gruesome ways. But no one will acknowledge it as a terrible magic until the coming of the gypsies. Peter and an enigmatic, alluring Gypsy girl enter into several long deep nights of terror and discovery in a story of vampires, night queens, and deep winter.
I LURVE a good scary book. Personal favorite is Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Anyway, ze town librarian recommended I pick up this slim Sedgwick volume and take it for a ride in the days before Halloween, to usher in the fool spookiness of the season. And I did. And it was awesome. I’ve never read any Sedgwick books before, but his writing style was beautiful and full of incredible descriptions of the night. Plus, he did some incredible research into vampire legends in the bleak landscapes of Eastern Europe. And what could possibly be more awesome than zombie-esque vampires? Other than zombie-esque werewolves of course.
The writing style was detached, but you still felt for the characters. Reading it like a classic fairy tale, if not an incredibly dark one. I cannot recommend My Swordhand is Singing for people weak in the knees, weak at heart, or at all unnerved by bloody death scenes. I was just a little jumpy after tucking in *cough* two in the morning *cough* after the conclusion. But. Completely and totally worth it. I might have even cried a little at the end.
Definitely a recommendation, although I kind of have the feeling this is the sort of book you love or hate. Just make sure you have time to read it all in one night. Preferably while not alone in the Transylvanian forest. 6.7 out of 7 Epic Magical Swords! Plus. Awesome cover.
Inter-Library Loaning Every Other Sedgwick book I can find,