It may be white, but it’s still a bird. A crow, even. And I do find birds more threatening than many other creatures. On the other hand, there aren’t any birds in Marcus Sedgwick’s White Crow. At least I don’t think so.
And that’s just as well because this is a scary read. My heart bumped more and more as the book went on. It was never a case of giving up. It’s an easy read and a ‘must-continue’ kind of read. But a bumpety-bump sort of read.
There are three stories in this novel. One is an old diary from 1798, written by the vicar in Winterfold. He talks mostly about his new neighbour, fresh from Paris, with experience of the guillotine.
The two other tales are those of Ferelith and Rebecca, who are both young girls in Winterfold today. Ferelith is a strange girl who ‘befriends’ the lonely and angry Rebecca when she moves in for the summer. Ferelith is friendly and nice when it suits her, and quite sinister at other times. Rebecca’s father has work related problems which caused them to move to Winterfold, and which seem to accompany them there.
Ferelith takes a lot of interest in the ruins of the big house where the Frenchman lived. Far too much interest. She wants to try things out with (on) Rebecca. And who is Ferelith really?
It’s the hottest summer in living memory, but the chill in the soul is something else. This is the kind of book where the reader willingly assumes that nothing will be well at the end.