by Douglas Nicholas
Emily Bestler Books, $16.00, 315pp
Publication Date: June 18, 2013 (reprint)
As noted in last month’s review of The Wicked, I enjoyed the second book in the series so much I went looking for this one, the first in the series. All I can say is “wow!”. While Douglas Nicholas is an accomplished poet, this is his debut fiction novel and what a debut it is.
Set in northwestern
during an unnaturally cold thirteenth century winter this starts out as historical fiction but delves soon into fantasy. Told from the viewpoint of Hob, a young apprentice we meet Molly, an Irish healer and musician, her granddaughter Nemain and her lover Jack. As they begin their journey across the
Mountains, hurrying to beat a blizzard, they soon feel they are being stalked by some unseen evil. Stopping first at a monastery, then an inn and finally a castle it becomes clear that an unknown creature is following them and they must defeat it or die.
This is a page turner, I was going to read a few chapters before bed and the next thing I knew the sun was up and I had finished a superb fantasy. Rich in historical detail with characters that you will remember long after you finish the book I cannot recommend this highly enough. While both novels easily work as stand alones if you have not yet read The Wicked I suggest reading Something Red first to enhance some of the surpises that come along. This series is a keeper and I cannot wait for more. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon