Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour 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, 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. Beautifully imagined, intricately and cleverly structured, this is a heart-wrenching and breathtaking love story with the hallmark Sedgwick gothic touches of atmosphere, blood-spilling and sacrifice.
I’ve been told that Marcus Sedgwick is a bit of a Rock Star in person and if his books are anything to go by then I have no doubt in my mind that his rock status is safe. I’d been told many times just how great his writing is and it wasn’t until this book came up on the UK Book Tours that I decided to dip my toe into this writers pool of work. The book goes over several generations, time periods from the future to distant past and lives but the setting remains the same, The Blessed Island. With touches of Lost in the strangeness of the paradise, the island holds secrets in its people and history that lingers over this story. Each short story jumps further and further back in time as we slowly piece together the mysteries of the island and the secrets within it that have touched each lifetime, how and why. Each tale is like a bubble of the past that you get to jump into and explore and Marcus Sedgwick makes the past come alive with the characters and his style of deliciously elegant writing.
I just loved this book because it appealed to the romantic and the supernatural mystery enthusiast in me. It’s a love story that for use starts in 2073 as Eric and Merle have a bold attraction to each other that has a sense of danger and passion but for no clear cut reason as to why. It’s intense and dramatic and as each phase ends at a high drama moment we are left reeling and clinging on further into the past to discover the truth in Eric and Merle as we meet them to start with. The common links and symbols in each tale are like little breadcrumb clues left by the author to follow as we go and try as work out the mystery of the dragon like flower that holds magical potent power and healing qualities, the continual appearance of names and figures in the past on this one island and bonds that seem to last generations.
To start I was wary of the jumps in the time frame because you really connect to the characters you meet only to have to leave them behind. Sometimes without much resolve in their story line and questions that haven’t really been explained much less answered but with patience comes results. We gradually piece together the answers in the past and the threads in the island’s woven legends show their colours and how the lives of Eric and Merle are more than just the people we meet in 2073 at the start.
This darkened romance with an outstanding twist is brutal in its attack on your emotions and senses and I cherished every page. I want to read all of Marcus Sedgwick back catalogue as soon as I can after reading this one book. I can’t believe I haven’t started reading his work sooner because it’s brilliant. The writing is like a song that haunts you mind for days to come and even with the dark overtones and gothic like style there is light and hopefulness in the telling. All that’s left for me to do is to try and hold out till pay day to buy more of his books.
Awesome Trailer to keep you hooked til the release date:
Published by Orion Publisher's imprint Indigo and is available here and at all good book shops from 6th October