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Paperback My Swordhand Is Singing Book

ISBN: 1842555588

ISBN13: 9781842555583

My Swordhand Is Singing

(Book #1 in the My Swordhand is Singing Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

$4.69

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. WHEN TOMAS AND HIS SON, Peter, settle in Chust as woodcutters, Tomas digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut, so they have their own little island kingdom. Peter doesn't understand why...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Tell not a breath of how I met my death

Long ago, vampires weren't romantic or alluring -- they were undead horrors that stalked nightmares rather than personal fantasies. And Maurice Sedgwick gives vampire stories a bit more horror in "My Swordhand is Singing," a hauntingly atmospheric little novel full of snow, shadows and icy terror. While the first half is rather slow, Sedgwick makes up for that with heavy dollops of Transylvanian folklore, sword-swinging action, and plenty of chilling moments -- think of it as an antidote to all the drippy "Twilight"-style books. Peter and his father Tomas live in a the rural village of Chust, where Peter makes ends meet by chopping wood and Tomas drowns his sorrows in slivovitz. But after burying a suicidal woodsman (who also had a HOLE through his chest), strange things begin to happen around the village. Though Tomas is scornful of their superstitions of tar and garlic, rumors began to fly of dead loved ones returning to visit the living -- and Peter's friend Agnes claims that the Shadow Queen has returned. And when another man dies, Agnes is chosen for the Wedding of the Dead as the bride, and forced to stay in a secluded hut for several weeks. But when she vanishes, Peter learns of the undead creatures that are growing in number through the town -- and of his father's past as a soldier/vampire hunter, with a Turkish sword that can slay the vampires. But with the village turning against him and his gypsy ally Sofia, giving them only a little time to destroy the bloodthirsty undead... or be destroyed by them. "My Swordhand is Singing" has the flavor of a classic horror story meant to frighten you out of your socks -- it has blood and snow, black wedding dresses, gypsies and ghastly white-faced undead who lash out against the living. What's more, Sedgwick steeps the entire story in traditional Eastern European lore and history -- the Nunta Mortului, King Michael of Wallachia, and an old Romanian ballad called the Miorita. The biggest problem is that the first half is rather slow and not very horrific. But the second half definitely makes up for that -- Sedgwick packs it with bloody-mouthed vampires, foul-tempered hags, coffins scrawled with hateful rants, human sacrifices, and bloody battles with the undead. His prose shimmers with icy poetry as well ("Agnes's mourning dress wafted around her, making her look like a black ghost against the snow"), even during the nastiest moments. His vampires are especially creepy -- they're bloody-mouthed, bloated corpses who seethe with rage and discontent, which they direct at the living. They're kind of zombiesque, except smarter and harder to kill. Peter is a pretty likable hero -- he's genuinely brave, kind, and determined to save even the people who treat him like garbage merely for being a foreigner. Tomas is handled with more care, being a surly alcoholic who drowns his sorrows in local booze, but finally regains the courage and strength to fight the undead again. And while it initially seems

Four star horror book!

First off, the title is intriguing, isn't it? It grabbed my attention right away. Of all the books on the library shelf, my eye fell to this one because of its original title. I usually don't read horror often anymore, but it seemed worth the chance and I was not disappointed. I finished it in one long afternoon on the front porch, and can recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of a scare. The story flows well, the characters are easy to get to know and to like (or dislike!) and you get to care about what happens, thus, you cannot put the book down until it's done. The author was able to paint a picture of this remote village and of the people living there, and I could really visualize this place and it's inhabitants quite easily. Take a chance and get scared!

Careful, Clean and Chilling

My Swordhand is Singing is a well crafted and quick read that will chill you to the bone. Sedgwick tells the story providing history and background for the characters in his own time resulting in a style that is not condescending to the reader. The plot moves quickly without dwelling on any one event or emotion for too long leading to an experience that pulls the reader in and pushes them along to the frightening and exciting climax of the story. Well worth the read.

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

Marcus Sedgwick's MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING is a dark novel with a heavy emphasis on thick, snowy forests of Eastern Europe, gypsies, and superstitious town folk. It is the perfect setting for a scary story, but it is also much, much more. Tomas and his teenage son, Peter, are a pair of traveling woodcutters with a mysterious past that settle down in the village of Chust one winter. Before long a string a deaths strike the village. Peter is perturbed by the villagers' strange reactions to the occurrences. When he asks Tomas about them, his father brushes away his questions as silly folk lore. However, Tomas is also doing his own share of strange things, like digging a trench around their home and filling it with moving water. When Agnes, a girl Peter likes, is symbolically married to a dead man and shut up in a remote hut, Peter tries to rescue her and runs into a monster. Sedgwick takes pains to distance his tale from the gentleman bloodsucker that Anne Rice and authors like her have embedded into pop culture. The word "vampire" is never mentioned and the vampires, themselves, have varying appearances throughout the novel. He does a great job at weaving various and sometimes seemingly paradoxical pieces of folk lore. This gives the story a great sense of immediacy and realism. Sedgwick also shifts the focus from vampires to people who have to deal with terrifying occurrences at home. The buildup of the growing atmosphere of fear and denial will have readers biting their fingernails. Marcus Sedgwick seems to take a lot of risks in writing this atypical, historically rich vampire novel. Central to the story line is not the relationship between a human and vampire or a girl and a boy (a la Buffy and Angel), but a wounded relationship between father and son. While this may seem terribly uncool, the realism of this relationship is what grounds the novel and makes the more fantastical elements more believable and scary. Reviewed by: Natalie Tsang
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