MURKMERE by Patricia Elliott

MURKMERE

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Lush gothic fantasy in a culture where religion is based on the Birds of Light and the Birds of Night. Fifteen-year-old Aggie, summoned to work on the gloomy, threatening estate of Murkmere Hall, leaves her humble village behind. She’s appointed companion to Murkmere’s mistress, a girl her own age named Leah. Leah and her guardian read books that the political-religious Ministration considers blasphemous. Aggie fears for their souls, even more so when the discovery of an old swanskin heightens Leah’s possibly sacrilegious obsession with the mere’s swans. A corrupt steward and the master’s ever-worsening health speed the story along. Aggie’s loyalties and beliefs shift as evil religious leaders throw Leah’s future into grave danger. Suspenseful pacing matches dramatic events and symbolism. Aggie’s occasional hindsight voice and an unfortunate author’s note strike the only (rare) distracting notes of over-dramatization. Wonderfully atmospheric and moody—on the border between fantasy and fiction. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-316-01042-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2006




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