The Crowfield Curse (Crowfield Abbey #1)

 
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The Crowfield Curse (Crowfield Abbey #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 01, 2010
ISBN
0545229227
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An angel is buried behind the abbey! It's 1347, and Will, an orphan boy, lives and works as an apprentice of the Crowfield monks. Sent into the forest to gather firewood, he stumbles across a trapped, wounded creature no bigger than a cat.The little goblin shares a terrible secret: Buried deep in the snow behind the monastery is an angel. But, Will wonders, how can an angel die? And what does this angel have to do with the history of Crowfield? When two cloaked strangers show up and start asking questions, Will is drawn into a dangerous world of Old Magic.

Editor reviews

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A boy with the Sight unearths a terrible secret
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
The builders of the great cathedrals and churches of medieval England left us proof in the stones they carved of their belief not just in angels and saints, but in demons, sprites and the ancient spirits of Britain. Theirs was not an age of doubt, nor of reason, but of faith a faith in God to be sure, but also a residual, slightly uncomfortable faith in all manner of things, both seen and unseen. This is the world of The Crowfield Curse, a wonderful new book by first time author Pat Walsh, a world inhabited by angels and hobgoblins, lepers and wise women, monks and fairy warriors.

Set in England in 1347, The Crowfield Curse tells the story of William, an orphaned boy taken in by the monks of Crowfield Abbey. One night, he rescues a trapped hob, a small, sharp-featured solitary fay with reddish fur and a long tail, and in so doing discovers that he has the Sight, the rare ability to see fairy beings. Soon afterwards, a leper musician cursed with eternal life and his fairy servant arrive at the abbey and begin asking questions about a dark secret the holy brothers would sooner forget. Inexorably, William is drawn into a conflict between the Seelie and Unseelie (good and evil fairy) Courts, a conflict which takes him into the darkest, most haunted corner of the forest and leaves him open to the wrath of the Unseelie King.

Ms. Walsh, an archeologist, provides more than enough historical detail to give her work a spine of realism. The abbey Will lives in, the monks and their duties, the buildings in which they live, work and pray, the liturgical hours that govern their day are all richly and accurately described. This gives even the most fantastic elements of the story an underpinning of truth, which makes them all the more believable and frightening.

Aimed at 8 to 12 year old readers, The Crowfield Curse manages to be dark without being depressing, to be hopeful without being sugary. The story ties up enough loose ends to be completely satisfying and yet leaves just enough ends flapping around that another story about William and his hob seems ready to begin. I, for one, cant wait to read it.
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