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Something Red
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 England 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 Penne 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

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