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Having read some of Marcus Sedgwick's other books, and enjoying them, I decided to read "My Swordhand is Singing." It's set in the olden times, in a land of fokelore and superstition. The srory centres around a young boy named Peter and his father Tomas, a pair of woodcutters travelling round the country. Settling in a village on the outskirts of a forest, they find themselves under suspicion when people start turning up dead. Dead, and out for blood. Peter befriend a gypsy singer, and together they try to solve the mystery behind the walking dead.
The book is excellently written, Sedgwick painting a wonderfully dark, chilling picture of distrust, hostility and murder in a cursed village. Each and every character is believable and Sedgwick makes us feel for them. We feel sorry for Peter, with his alcoholic father and his unwanted nomadic lifestyle, and we are intreged by Sophia and her mysterious gypsy family. Even Tomas, Peter's drunken father, is pitied, as we learn move about his former life. Then there are the characters we are made to distrust, dislike, hate even. The old woman who runs the village, Anna, is an uncaring, evil old witch who we instantly dislike.
The book has had a very good reception: it won the Booktrust Teanage Prize in 2007, and I can see why. All in all, it is an excellent book, which I recommend to everyone who is interested in myths, vampires or just good, chilling tales.