Midnight at the Imperial Court of Emperor Frederick III.
Well I did promise on Monday that I’d spend this year singing Marcus Sedgwick’s praises, and this is the start of that.
In the days following the harrowing conclusion to the previous book, Boy, has been taken in by Kelper and his friend Willow has been shipped off to an orphanage. It is clear, Boy, has much more hardship to suffer just yet.
Kidnapped whilst running an errand for Kelper, Boy finds himself a prisoner of the Imperial Court of Emperor Frederick III, subject to the whims and plots of the insane Emperor and his cunning and ambitious confidante, Maxim.
The Emperor and Maxim are after The Book, that caused so many problems during the Dead Days, wanting to plunder the books secrets for their own aims.
Kelper and Willow, must work together to help Boy, but what are Kelper’s motivations, and can Willow and Boy trust him?
As the story draws to a climax, all those involved have secrets to reveal and learn, and before the final night is out, lives will be lost, Boy will learn the truth about his origins and has to make a choice about this future.
I don’t think this one quite reached the heights of the previous volume, the storyline was not as gripping, and I felt the characters of the Emperor and Maxim, were a little too stereotypical. However, Sedgwick still conjures a satisfying and wonderfully dark and gothic atmosphere to wrap his tale in. Perfect reading for a chilly winters night.