In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a ritual sacrifice takes place.
It echoes a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child forbidden lovers, victims of a vampre, they come close to finding what they’ve lost. But can love last forever?
For a short book, Midwinterblood sure packs a punch. It’s equal parts chilling, intriguing and mesmerizing. And definitely different; it’s slightly off beat from the typical reincarnation plot making it all the more alluring.
It is comprised of 8 short stories scattered through the centuries, linked by Blessed Island and the strange flower that grows there, and by Eric and Merle and the strength of their love. The stories begin in the future and then go back in time so that as the years fall back, things slowly begin to slide into place.
Midwinterblood freaked me out and shocked me. It’s not the type of horror that will make you feel grossed out or keep you up at night, but its a spooky and dark story all the same. And not only because of the subject matter; rather it’s the execution that lends the story its chilling nature. The writing is immaculate, sparse yet emotive, leading up to chilling reveals.
The novel is inspired by the painting Midvinterblot by Carl Larsson. It is always fun to imagine what was taking place in the moments surrounding the scene frozen in time and Sedgewick does just that. I have included the image at the bottom of my review (if you’ve read the book, look what the priest is wearing around his neck!!)