Published by Square Fish on February 25th 2011
A mysterious young man has come to a small Highland town. His talent for wood carving soon wins the admiration of Maddie, the weaver’s daughter. Fascinated by the silent carver, she sets out to gain his trust. But there is an evil presence in the carver’s life that cannot be controlled, and Maddie watches her town fall under a shadow. One by one, people begin to die. Caught in the middle, Maddie must decide what matters most to her—and what price she is willing to pay to keep it.
Set back in history, Maddie lives in a time where women are burned or hung for being witches, where people still believe magic is a live. When a traveler comes to town, she falls in love for the first time, but there's a secret surrounding his appearance, involving the death of a few villagers. Maddie will have to decide how much she will risk for love.
There were some scenes in the novel that are so well written that they are frightening. Dunkle does a marvelous job of melding beautiful scenery with a myth that is both gruesome and evil and the result is terrifyingly wonderful. Definitely a book you won't be able to put down once you start reading.
Maddie has an innocence and openness about her that I fell in love with. She's starting to come into herself, she's not a girl for fancying the boys around town and she wants something different from every day life.
Paul is the strong silent type at first. Staring after her in a way that is almost creepy, but after you learn more about him, you can tell why he was anxious to stay silent. I really enjoyed his character.
The creepy evil… I won't go much into it, but yeah, I was definitely creeped out. Dunkle is a stunning writer who really captures the visuals in her novels.
Final Verdict: Definitely recommended for those who like things a bit more frightening. Fans of The Monstrumologist will really get into this book I believe.