I picked this book up for The Girl, as it sounded her kind of thing. Bit of a mystery, a little bit dark – and I thought I’d give it a quick read beforehand, just to make sure I knew that she’s enjoy it.
It was excellent and we both really loved it. It is definitely dark for a kid’s book.
It is set in the mid-14th century andfollows Will, a 15 year old orphan who lives at Crowfield Abbey, alongside the monks – working for them to earn his keep.
The story starts slap bang in the middle of the action when Will has stumbled across an injured creature whilst he is out in the forest collecting firewood. he realises this is no ordinary animal – especially when it starts talking to him. It turns out to be a ‘hob’ – a creature of the fey. And the mystery and magic doesn’t stop there.
Will soon finds himself deeply involved in ancient and dark aspects of Crowfield that he never knew existed – having to deal with invisible creatures, a fey king, the mortality of angels and real magic amongst them. His life is turned upside down, and everything he believed is brought into question.
This is so beautifully written, deeply atmospheric and haunting even though it’s not a ghost story. You really feel transported to the 14th century and the austerity of it, and the monks’ existence. They are not moved to paternal kindness towards Will (apart from the wonderfully evocatively named ‘Brother Snail’) which feels rather harsh on a young orphaned lad, but that is part of what makes this an exceptional book.
Part 2, The Crowfield Demon is already out, so we will both be reading it soon!