When I was planning my R.I.P. III [intlink id="926" type="post"]reading pool[/intlink], I’d completely forgotten that I had a stack of Marcus Sedgwick’s to read. That was very nearly a mistake as he writes some fantastically atmospheric books that are just perfect for the challenge. So when I came across them whist turning the TBR pile over a little, I eagerly pulled them to one side to start reading.
First up, was Witch Hill.
Twelve year old, James Fraser (Jamie) is haunted by the fire. A family tragedy that will stay with him forever.
He goes to live for a short time with his aunt, in the small West Country village of Crownhill, both to give him space to get over the traumatic events of the fire, and allow his parents to repair the family home.
But life is about to get even more terrifying for Jamie. When an evil old hag, somehow manages to get into his dreams, and then there’s the girl. A sacred victim of a seventeenth-century witch hunt, whose presence Jamie can sense all around.
As the story races to it’s scary conclusion, and the dark secrets of Crownhill and its witches are revealed, Jamie must face his very worst fears, if he wants to survive and free himself from the horrors of the past.
The more I read Marcus Sedgwick’s books the more impressed I am. He creates some brilliantly dark worlds that always feel ‘real’, and you can really sense the amount of research and work he puts in to get this just right, and without this ever overpowering or leaving the prose ‘dry’.
We learn the girls story, from the snippets and reports, that Jamie discovers and which is also cleverly interwoven with Jamie’s own story.
Bit by bit we begin to realise the connections between the events surrounding this girl and Jamie’s own horrifying dreams, Sedgwick takes both stories and masterfully builds the suspense right up to the frightening conclusion in this wonderfully spooky book.
Perfect for young teens and older.
Buy, Witch Hill from Amazon.