His servant is Boy, a child with no name and no past; a child he treats with contempt, but who serves his master well and finds solace in the company of his only friend, Willow. Unknown to any of them, it is Boy who holds the key to their destiny.
Set in dark threatening cities and the frozen countryside in a distant time and place of the author's making, The Book of Dead Days conjures a spell-binding story of sorcery and desperate magic as Valerian, Boy and Willow battle to stop time and cling to life. Beautifully evoked, dramatic and emotionally powerful.
©2003 Marcus Sedwick; (P)2004 Orion Publishing Group Ltd
I own this in paper, a secondhand copy, and I have to hope that the unabridged version isn't as terribly dull and shallow as the abridgement done for the audiobook. That said, the combination of a drastically-shortened narrative and the great talent of Sir Derek is all that kept me listening to this particular book long enough to endure to the end of the story. The characters are mostly flat and uninteresting, the plot dull and repetitive and the locations and atmosphere poorly described.
I gave the whole audiobook a 2-star rating on GoodReads. I might have let Sedgwick have 2 stars for the story here, except that my 5-star rating for the performance, the best but only good thing about this audiobook, would have brought the overall rating up to 3 stars, had I done that, and I didn't wish to mislead anyone in such a way.
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