Midwinterblood – Marcus Sedgwick
Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.
In 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, and 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.
Review: Have you ever gotten the feeling that a book was written specifically for you? Like, if you made a list of everything you love in a book, this one book could check everything off the list?
I think Midwinterblood is that book for me. It seriously has everything I want: a remote setting, a lot of death, history, elements of traditional ghost stories, unusual religions, a complex plot, excellent writing, and a whole lot of creepy weirdness. It’s even a composite novel, so it’s structurally interesting. I had planned on reading a few chapters before bed one night, and I ended up staying awake all night to read this. It’s a beautiful book and a new favorite.
Midwinterblood is about a Scandinavian island where the residents get reincarnated in different forms every time they die. It focuses on two souls, Eric and Merle, who search for each other in every life. Sometimes they are lovers, sometimes they are siblings, sometimes one is much older than the other, sometimes they aren’t even human. The novel is told in 7 parts and moves backwards. It starts in 2073 and ends before the time of the Vikings.
I love the way that the stories are linked together. There are a lot of reoccurring images and themes. The book starts out mysterious, but everything comes full-circle in the end. I liked the suspense of not knowing how Eric and Merle would connect in each story. In some stories, they’re together right away, but in others, it takes a while for their paths to cross. I loved trying to figure out the connections.
I know that this is a short review, but I really think this book is best if you don’t know much about it before you start reading. The plot is so intricate that everything I want to rave about is a spoiler. I guess I can say that my favorite section of the book is “The Archaeologist.” A team of archaeologists excavate the ancient mounds on the island and meet a strange boy who knows a lot but can’t communicate very well.
I’ve seen this book labeled as horror, but it’s more eerie than scary. It probably won’t give you nightmares. If you like weird books, you need to read this one. Immediately.*
*There’s a free chapter sampler on the publisher’s website, so you have no excuse not to start reading it immediately.