Monday, October 18, 2010

Witch Hill - Marcus Sedgwick

The fire in his house was a family tragedy that Jamie can't forget. Fire dominates his waking thoughts and his dreams. When his family sends him away to Crownhill to recover, they don't realize they are sending him to a village with its own dark history of witchcraft - and with ancient buried powers that are unleashed by Jamie's presence. A present-day boy, a seventeenth-century girl, and an ancient crone: for a single moment, their lives are fused by fire.

This was one of those books that I picked up randomly at the library. I had heard of Marcus Sedgwick, but hadn't read any of his work, so I figured that the 147 pages of Witch Hill would be a good place to start. After re-reading Ethan Frome this afternoon in preparation for an AP English test, I thought Witch Hill would be a refreshing read.

This book is definitely a quick read - it took me about an hour to read it straight through. Sedgwick's prose is fast-paced, but not rushed, and Jamie's first-person narration kept me interested throughout the book. One thing that bothered me, though, is how long it took me to figure out how old Jamie was. At first, I thought he was around twelve or thirteen, but it became clear later on that he was around sixteen. To me, it seems like it should be more obvious how old a character is unless there is some purpose for obfuscating their age, and in this case, there was no such purpose as far as I could tell. On the whole, though, I greatly enjoyed Witch Hill, and I will look forward to reading The Restless Dead, the only other Sedgwick book my library owns.


  1. It is really annoying when you cant work out characters ages! Its also annoying when I have trouble placing the time period which I sometimes have.

  2. That, too...I hate reading a book I think is set in a certain time and then finding out it's not.

  3. I've always heard good things about Marcus Sedgwick, but have never gotten around to reading anything by him.. until this week, when I picked up White Crow. I'm looking forward to it :)

  4. Clover- I hope you enjoy it!