Thursday, 12 April 2012

White Crow - Marcus Sedgwick

White Crow is set in Ferelith's tiny home town of Winterfold which, like so many places in the UK is by the coast and been dragged underwater by the sea. This is a somewhat gothically beautiful process, as the sea drags the graves from the churchyards, skeleton by skeleton. Ferelith is a mystery girl with a chilling presence in the plot, the chapters she narrates entitled after songs such as P!nk's "I'm not dead".

Rebecca (another part of the tri-narrative) arrives into the rotting town without knowing what to expect, she is here with her father, a former policeman with a very public, tainted past. Rebecca  instantly snatches reader's hearts and sympathies whilst tying up all three narrative and perspectives into a tight and fascinating story where the dark secrets of Winterfold's past tumble into the 21st century.

Dr Barrieux from the outside is a Christian; a rector, no less. He is rector of the church in 1798, and is living in Winterfold Hall, and his part of the tale is told through rough diary entries. It is through these that we learn of the doctor's longing to hear first-hand accounts of what the dying see in their last moments: angels or devils? He takes his studies to horrifying feets, but his subjects never come back to tell him what they saw.

White Crow is a gripping and engrossing piece of gothic fiction. Three narratives make the story really something quite spectacular and the variety in narratives is very assorted: a mad man, a mystery girl and a 'normal' onlooker. With shocking discoveries and emploring details 'White Crow' is a must read.

Three stars

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