Author(s): Marcus Sedgwick
The days between 27 December and New Year's Eve are dead days - days when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our everyday lives. There is a man, Valerian, whose time is running out, who must pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago. His servant is Boy, a child with no name and no past; a child he treats with contempt, but who serves his master well and finds solace in the company of his only friend, Willow. Unknown to any of them it is Boy who holds the key to their destiny. Set in dark threatening cities and the frozen countryside in a distant time and place of the author's making, 'The Book of Dead Days' conjures a spell-binding story of sorcery and desperate magic as Valerian, Boy and Willow battle to stop time and cling to life. Beautifully evoked, dramatic and emotionally powerful, this is a real page turner.
'THE BOOK OF DEAD DAYS' was longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. Almost 7000 copies sold in hardback. THE DARK HORSE, Marcus Sedgwick's third novel, was shortlisted for Guardian Children's Book Award 2002, the Carnegie Medal and also the Blue Peter Book Award. FLOODLAND, his first novel, won the Branford Boase Award in 2001, acknowledging Marcus Sedgwick as 'an exceptional new talent'. Works in publishing and is known to many booksellers. 'Award-winning writer Marcus Sedgwick is an innovative and evocative voice in childrens fiction. If you haven't already, get hold of his latest books. The Dark Horse is a haunting tale of magic and mystery based around the coast of northern Europe. Marcus' new hardback, The Book of Dead Days, is an exquisitely dark Faustian drama set among the shadows of an ancient city. The vivid characters and enthralling storytelling make this an un-put-downable adventure. " Joanne Owen, Borders Bookshop.
"In a wonderfully dark, atmospheric tale of power, corruption and betrayal, Marcus Sedgwick manages to keep the reader guessing until the very end. A real page-turner with a truly chilling twist." Booktrusted News (Booktrust), Issue 6 "Set long ago in dark times and brought to life through evocative, strongly visual writing, this novel is packed with drama, mystery and intrigue." -- Wendy Cooling The Bookseller, 18 April 2003 "Against the stinking, freezing background of an underworld set in a timeless past, this is a dark melodrama kept sharp by surprise." -- Julia Eccleshare Guardian, 5 July 2003 "An exquisitely dark Faustian drama set among the shadows of an old European city. The finely drawn characters and enthralling story-telling make this Sedgwick's greatest work to date." -- Joanne Owen, Borders Bookshop Bookseller Buyer's Guide Highlights, 11 June 2003 "...has a very real sense of place. ...The hero of this beautifully paced and sometimes blood-soaked adventure is Boy...and there's a very tangible sense of evil in Sedgwick's tale too, along with the careful blending of "real" magic with the seemingly magical effects of encroaching technology...After just a few pages, you know you're in safe hands with Sedgwick.Here is a macabre melodrama inventively told". -- Philip Ardargh Guardian, 19 July 2003 "Sedgwick has created a world as dark and compelling as the story he tells." Mail on Sunday, 20 July 2003 "The Book of Dead Days marks a shift to fuller, more descriptive writing than that in Sedgwick's earlier books, but there is no loss of subtle menace and power." Independent, 28 July 2003 "You'll just have to read it for the twist." Times Educational Supplement, 1 August 2003 "Sedgwick has created a wonderfully tight novel which understands its own boundaries and is able to utilise them to its advantage. ...Sedgwick's plotting is tight and ingenious... Sedgwick too has a wonderful way of revitalizing the myth and making it more accessible, bringing the essentials to the fore but having it remain almost Dickensian in the telling. Rather than merely retelling, the essentials are represented and told in an engaging fashion. The Book of Dead Days is a gripping read..." SFRevu "The Book of Dead Days is to be commended for the beauty of Sedgwick's turn of phrase." Dreamwatch "The Book of Dead Days is to be commended for the beauty of Sedgwick's turn of phrase." Dreamwatch
Marcus Sedgwick has worked in children's publishing for ten years and before that he was a bookseller. He is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels. His first book Floodland was hailed as 'a dazzling debut from a new writer of exceptional talent'. Floodland won the Branford Boase Award for the best first children's novel of 2000. Marcus Sedgwick lives in Sussex and has a young daughter, Alice.