Review Blog

Aug 22 2011

The Crowfield demon by Pat Walsh

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Chicken House, 2011. ISBN 9781906427634.
(Ages 10+) Highly recommended. Fantasy/medieval. Sent to the next town to ask the Lord to send his stone mason to the Abbey to have a look a the water damage in the church, Will is accompanied on his return through the woods by a young man he met in the town. But things are not what they seem, however, and the bread given to Will turns into a steaming mess of maggots the next day, so alerting Will, the hob, Shadlock and Brother Snail to the truth of who the boy was. Evil is about, the church is crumbling, and seems forever water logged, the hob sees things in the woods, Shadlock is uneasy and even Will is aware that something is wrong.
This is an exciting sequel to The Crowfield Curse, where Will worked with Shadlock to free his lord, Master Bone, from his terrible curse, and then dug up the angel buried centuries before in the woods, freeing it but engaging the wrath of the Dark King. But this is not a story of the Dark King's vengeance, rather the deeper, older world the Abbey was built upon, a malevolent force now invading them all.
Once the church within the abbey crumbles and falls, Will is given the job of clearing away the rubble with the stonemason and his crew. He feels the presence of something evil and the fallen angel seems very close. The cellarer, always Will's enemy, begins to have dreams in which Will is set to kill him, so Will is ever vigilant lest the other members of the Abbey view him with suspicion. But one night the demon vents his anger on the huddled monks within the church, killing one and injuring most of the others. The prior, who until now had thought that prayer was the answer, accepts that the alchemy of Lord Robert may hold the key and so William, Shadlock, Brother Snail and the hob go to see him.
The Medieval background is seamless in its depiction, readers learn quickly the day to day life of the Abbey, without ever feeling that the information is being imposed upon them. Every fact given is part of the story, a necessary piece of information given to show how these people live. I loved every word, and will watch eagerly for the third installment of this amazing trilogy by archaeologist, Pat Walsh.
Fran Knight

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