02 June 2008

Book Banter -- My Swordhand is Singing

Title: My Swordhand is Singing
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Length: 200 pages
Genre: YA horror
Plot Basics: In the old woods of Eastern Europe outside the village of Chust, Peter and his father Tomas work as woodcutters. As the deep of winter descends on the village, a rash of strange deaths reignites legends of the Snow Queen and perhaps a darker evil. With the help of gypsies, Peter and his father must face this menace in this retelling of an early vampire legend.
Banter Points: Word Nerd wonders if there's something about writers named Marcus... Sedgwick definitely takes his place in Word Nerd's mind as a writer to watch along with Marcus Sakey and Markus Zusak. Kudos to Sedgwick for once again making vampires scary, and not the almost-human type of character roaming around a lot of popular fiction. Word Nerd wasn't that familiar with this particular early vampire legend, but that didn't detract from the story. In fact, it rather helped to keep the story moving. It was the title of this book that got Word Nerd to pick it up and Sedgwick did a good job of waiting until the end of the story to make the title click.
Bummer Points: Word Nerd would have liked this book to be scarier, but perhaps for its intended YA audience, it's scary enough. Also, Sedgwick writes these ridiculously short chapters that broke the action up too much.
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you are a vampire fiction fan, try this one out. Or, if you like YA fiction with some substance, it's a good read.

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