The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh is a Young Adult/Fantasy book which I picked up thinking I’d take a chance on it. It’s the year 1347 and William finds himself collecting wood for the Abbey – as his one of his duties during the winter months since a fire killed his family and the monks at the abbey had taken him in.
Today however is the day that Will discovers he has the sight – the ability to see Fay creatures (Fairy’s, Hobs, etc) and he takes it upon himself to rescue an hob; caught in a trap and incredibly injured. He takes the big risk of taking the hob back to the abbey amidst the the highly religious monks.
It’s not long before Will has to come to terms with the fact that there’s a lot more to this world than he first thought and that there is a blood thirsty fay on the rampage.
I cannot tell you how much I loved reading this book. I read until I fell asleep and couldn’t wait to pick it up again the next night.
Will is such a kind soul – loving to all those around him, even if he may not actually like them very much. The bond he forms with the injured hob – who he later names “Brother Walter” (Hob wouldn’t give his name for fear of giving a human power over him) – is very sweet.
Brother Walter slowly warms up to him and starts revealing things about himself and his fellow Fay. In return Will answers the most awkward questions about the monks and their way of life.
Being set in medieval times – and during the winter too; the story has a very dark mysteriousness to it. Almost Gothic in nature. This is only deepened when the dark side of the Fay is revealed and you see the stark contrast to the light fay and dark fay.
The descriptions are beautiful – one can feel the cold as it’s described and sense the looming dread in the atmosphere. Even the monks whose day to day life is much the same have distinct personalities.
There are rather a lot of words used that are monastery specific dotted without the book however there is a glossary of terms in the back of the book to explain these as well as the abbey’s winter timetable (what the monks do each day) so if you feel a bit lost amongst the terminology don’t panic.
The Crowfield Curse is fantastic for it’s target audience (11-12 year olds) and adults a like. It’s just a fantastic book that feels so magical and mysterious – it pulled you in straight away.
I highly recommend this book and I can’t wait to read the sequel The Crowfield Demon by Pat Walsh.