The Crowfield Curse
Chicken House 2010
Taking place in England in the middle of the 14th century, The Crowfield Curse draws on a lot of the rich mythology/folklore of England. The story begins when William, a servant at Crowfield Abbey, is gathering wood for the abbey's many fireplaces to keep it warm during the harsh winter. While he's out in the forest, he hears some unidentified creature crying out in pain. He searches for the poor thing, and comes upon a hob with his leg stuck in an iron trap. He soon releases it, then proceeding to take it to Brother Snail, a healer monk living at Crowfield. After disposing of the trap and finishing his daily work, he returns to Brother Snail's hut and talks to the hob. William had never seen such a creature before, because he thought they were only to be found in myths. William soon finds out that he has the Sight, the rare ability (among humans) to see magical creatures, such as the hob, that are known as fays. The hob begins to telll William of a great disturbance in the surrounding area, especially among fays. Later on, William finds out about several visitors that are planning on staying at the Abbey. However, their arrival is what triggers the real action of the novel. Dangerous secrets are being uncovered in the forest ,known as Foxwist Woods, that surround the Abbey, and no one can foresee the coming events that could mean life or death for everyone involved.
William is unwittingly propelled into the events that follow, and as he struggles through, almost completely ignorant of what is really happening, he has to try to protect himself and those around him from a great evil. Wonderful book. You slowly begin to learn more and more about English mythology, and as more is revealed about this, it becomes easier to piece together the gaps in the plot that William doesn't know about. A sequel is, in my opinion, inevitable :)
Rating: 4 Better than most