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THE CROWFIELD CURSE by Pat Walsh Kirkus Star

THE CROWFIELD CURSE

By Pat Walsh

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-22922-7
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

In 1347 at a country monastery, a wondrous mystery unfolds. Collecting firewood in a frozen forest, William finds an unfamiliar cat-sized creature wounded in an animal trap. It moans but also talks, so despite his neck hairs hackling at this incomprehensible being, William brings the hob home to the single sympathetic monk at Crowfield Abbey. As a servant, William’s treated badly there, but he makes do, and Brother Snail is kind. The dignified but privately vulnerable hob is only the first new thing in William’s world. A wealthy leper, a cold fay warrior and rumors of a dead angel pull William into grave danger—danger he witnesses in a bloody slaughter of woodland animals. Some evil is overt while some is difficult to identify, but William has a careful mind and a gentle core that serve him well. Walsh describes the environment with calm sensory detail, giving readers a palpably damp, frigid winter (though the abbey buildings could have used a diagram). Understatedly tender and mystical yet solid; it ends in temporary peace, with sequel potential. (daily abbey schedule, glossary) (Historical fantasy. 9-12)