And so I have finished the final book on the Carnegie Medal Shortlist!
Midwinterblood is essentially a seven part narrative spanning from a time unknown (before the 10th century) to the near future 2073 with a golden thread running through the novel linking each story together. It focuses on a ritual sacrifice on the island of Blessed in 2073 and works backwards to the sacrifice of a King on the same island ten centuries earlier. On his death the King declares he will love his Queen for seven lives and each part of the novel tells the story of a different reincarnation of Eirikr and Melle, or Eric and Merle as they become known over time, and how they find one another in each life.
I realise I probably make Midwinterblood sound much more confusing than it actually is, but it is a fairly complex, yet enjoyable narrative. I loved how in each section Eric and Merle’s lives and their relationship is slightly different; from sibling relationships, to an old man who is rescued by a young girl to a girl whose family is reunited due to the actions of a man she has never met. Each story shows a new aspect of their relationship and each is heart warming and portrays how love can prevail and appear in the most unlikely of circumstances. Eric and Merle aren’t the only characters who reoccur and it was always interesting to try and work out how and why these other characters reappear. Undoubtedly by favourite part of the story was set in 1944 as it was unexpected and beautifully touching how Eric and Merle were connected.
Now for the most important question; do I think Midwinterblood is a winner? I have now read all eight books on the Carnegie Medal Shortlist and I am pleased that I have completed the Shortlist and all reviews before the winner is announced tomorrow. I still want Code Name Verity to win as it was my personal favourite and I LOVE wartime stories, but I have a feeling it won’t. If it is going to be beaten by any book I hope it is Midwinterblood as it is an original and clever story which held my attention and I just loved how all parts of the story were subtly connected and that each section gave us a deeper insight into the characters and yet the whole truth was not revealed until we had learnt were it all began. However I have a feeling Wonder might just sneak in and win it as it deals with issues that are more relevant to teenagers today. I say this and I could be completely wrong…I will have to wait until tomorrow!