Blood Red Snow White
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fairy Tale
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 3 Stars
It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out - the Russian Revolution has just begun...
Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales.
Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.
Blood Red Snow White is a fantastically detailed account of one of Russia's most important times in history - the Russian Revolution. The author uses a unique writing style to tell the story - the novel is divided into three sections, each with their own story and part of history. The way each part is written was intriguing and very different from anything I've read before - especially when it comes to historical fiction. It almost seemed like the story is written as a fairy tale or folk tale and is being told to the reader by a storyteller. This gives the book a completely different feel than any other writing style I've come across. I'm not even exactly sure how to describe it. It's one of those things that you just have to experience for yourself in order to understand. It took me awhile to get used to the narrative style - and I have to admit that part of my reading experience was marred by this issue. I couldn't really get into the story as I would've liked - it felt like I was being read a story instead of being able to put myself inside the character's world. It's not a bad thing at all - just not something that I prefer in my reading. Aside from this, every other aspect of the book was wonderful. The incredible attention to detail and the descriptive accounts of these major historical times really brought it all to life for me - even if I couldn't insert myself into the story. I could practically close my eyes and see each of the scenarios playing out before me. I'm not a huge history buff, but I enjoy the occasional historical fiction - and this one was perfect. Definitely recommended for fans of historical literature - especially dealing with Russia.
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Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Heart of Another" - inspired by Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Of his story, Sedgwick says, "This was one of those stories that I thought might be a novel originally but actually was much better suited to the tight form of the short story. I had the initial idea some years ago but was just waiting for the right ingredient to come along. Poe's story, as well as his own fascination with technique, provided that final piece of the puzzle."
He used to play for two bands namely playing the drums for Garrett and as the guitarist in an ABBA tribute group. He has published novels such as Floodland (winner of the Branford Boase Award in 2001) and The Dark Horse (shortlisted for The Guardian Children's Book Award 2002).