Something evil is happening in the lands surrounding Chantemerle castle. The dark waters that lap onto shore carry bodies in their wake and friendly men turn strange and aloof. Sir Odinell, Sieur de Chantemerle, has ridden to Blanchefontaine to seek the help of the enigmatic Maeve, and her young granddaughter, whose secrets have saved the lives of men.

“This grandmother is the sea, brother Odinell, the sea: she will go where she will, and nothing will stand against her, and she will wash your land clean of this filth.”

page 38

Several years after the horrific events of Something Red, wise Molly (as Maeve is known in Christian lands) and her band set out once more on a medieval quest in a story that mixes high fantasy with horror.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Whispers of magic, supernatural terrors, castles and knights– this is high fantasy set against the gritty realism of the thirteenth century and a great addition to our fantasy section.

Note: We received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (4 stars)

The Wicked is the rare sequel that surpasses its predecessor.

When I read Douglas Nicholas’s debut novel, Something Red I was impressed by the intricate detail, the medieval realism and the richly-imagined characters. At the same time, I struggled with a plot that was slow instead of suspenseful, that led to, in my opinion, a disappointing climax.

Without needing time to introduce and grow its characters, the plot moves much quicker. Nicholas’s skills as a poet beautifully render the medieval England countryside and his attention to detail enliven the story rather than slowing it down.

My love for his characters, including the young Hob, who is a bit older, has only grown. My curiosity about Molly’s past and her exile from her beloved Erin (Ireland) is teased by oblique and vague references.

I wouldn’t have said this after the first, but I will now. I hope there are more stories to be told for Molly, Nemain, Hob and Jack.

A review of Something Red is forthcoming. Can you read The Wicked first? Much of the book is character growth, and will come into play in The Wicked. Although the plots are seperate, I suggest reading them in order. Your choice.