Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Book of Dead Days - Marcus Sedgwick

It's entirely thanks to Kelly at Big A, little a that I began reading Marcus Sedwick's books, as she sent me his The Foreshadowing to read and review for The Edge of the Forest. I looked him up online and then went rushing to the library for other books by Sedgwick. His duology
The Book of Dead Days
and The Dark Flight Down is very popular.

Can a Faustian pact ever be avoided? And if it can, what will be the cost? The Book of Dead Days is an historical fantasy novel in which a nameless boy, known as Boy, searches for a way to help save his master Valerian from his Faustian bargain, and for clues to his own past.

Valerian is a stage magician in Korp's Theatre. There he presents many illusions, with Boy as his assistant. But their lives change irrevocably during the Dead Days, that strange period between Christmas and New Year. Valerian is desperate to find an ancient and very powerful book which he believes contains the answer to avoiding his fate. Boy, and his friend Willow, go with him in search of the book, which Valerian believes is hidden in the grave of one Gad Beebe. Whilst they're in the largest of the city's graveyards, Valerian is attacked by graverobbers and his arm is broken. Boy and Willow get him home with some difficulty, and Valerian tells them his story: fifteen years ago, he made a Faustian bargain in order to win the heart of the woman he loved. Will Boy, Willow and Valerian find the book in time ? Where has Valerian's friend Kepler disappeared to ? Just who or what is The Phantom, the being that is going around killing the City's inhabitants ?

4 comments:

Sheila said...

I enjoyed this book, but I thought that "The Dark Flight Down" was better.

Michele said...

I don't think I preferred one over the other - I just enjoyed them both !

Anjali said...

In my opinion, "The Book of Dead Days" was the better of the duology.

The relationship between Valerian and Boy went beyond that of just master and slave, and the end chapters really got me. I fell in love with Sedgwick's characters and Valerian's character. It all just clicked.

I think "The Dark Flight Down" had its quirks, but didn't seem to carry the real 'omph' that the first book had. (The ending made me laugh at the irony, really.)It was a good read all the same, though.

cunningham_5_claire said...

I just recently read the book and I thought it was amazing :)

I liked it so much I'm doing my personal study on it :P

Not read the second one though. Is it good?