Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

Flood and Fang

Marcus Sedgwick

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Orion Childrens

Published : 2009

Copyright : Marcus Sedgwick 2009

ISBN-10 : HB 1-84255-692-4
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-84255-692-4

Publisher's Write-Up

Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded: Lord Valevine Otherhand is too busy trying to invent the unthinkable and discover the unknowable; his wife, Minty, is too absorbed in her latest obsession - baking; and ten-year-old Cudweed is running riot with his infernal pet monkey. Only Solstice, the black-haired, poetry-writing Otherhand daughter, seems to pay any attention. As the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail...

First in a brand new six book series of tales of mystery (with a touch of goth-froth) for 9 year olds from bestselling author, Marcus Sedgwick. With quirky black and white line illustrations from new talent, Pete Williamson.

Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Meg Plummer (181009) Rating (7/10)

Review by Meg Plummer
Rating 7/10
The only children's books I've read in the past few years have been Harry Potter, and read aloud ones to small children. From that view point Flood and Fang is not going to be easy to review, because its not aimed at the same age group or market as Harry Potter, nor is it the type you'd read to small children. Having said that it would be difficult to establish which age group it was aimed at.

First of all I loved the illustrations and layout of the book. The fact the pages looked almost water splashed added to the atmosphere of the tale. The ending of each chapter, showing Edgar's empty cage, made it look as if he'd flown off and wanted you to follow on to the next bit, which I did and loved. I wasn’t so keen on the precursor to each chapter though, but then that's a subjective comment and the author's style. But I did like his style!

I loved the fact he'd put in so many pointless bits, like the cake tins. They just sparked the imagination and got me wondering what the significance of them was and where they were leading. There was no significance, which just added to the magic and charm of the book even more. As adults we are always pinned down to keeping to 'what is necessary' and yet as children are told to use our imagination. This book is the perfect tool for imagination and the frivolities throughout are just that - frivolities, but ones that keep the imagination ticking over. Oh how lovely to see all logic challenged and thwarted. Who wasn’t wondering why they didn’t just open the doors and windows to let out all the water - only to find out later the castle was preventing them doing just that. What child wouldn’t sit and listen to the story (yes I do think it is a read aloud book for an older junior class, and would be wonderful as a book for adult and child to read aloud together) and wonder why on earth they didn’t open them sooner?

The story, told from the view of Edgar the raven, was cleverly and creatively done and I loved the fact he added little disappointments as well as triumph into his narrative, like not being as young any more and how he'd managed to make a near crash landing look like it was intentional. It made an amusing book almost comical. There was some truly inspirational bravado and buffoonery very cleverly interwoven throughout the entire book. But I was disappointed in the ending. It was so quick and just 'ppff' - over in a flash.

The author used a lot of words not many adults use in their vocabulary today, let alone children. As I came across these words I couldn’t make up my mind whether I liked that or not. For an intelligent child I would hope they'd go and look them up and extend their vocabulary by using them, that I liked. But to others I could see them being intimidating and may put some children off finishing the book.

Overall I liked the book, thought it different, enchanting and reactivated my imagination charmingly. In parts I felt it was a little disjointed, but overall that added to its attraction. My neighbour's eleven year old daughter is reading it now, so I shall be interested in reading her review and discussing the book - after she's written it.

And one last comment: up until senior school we are all encouraged to 'use our imagination' to draw pictures and write stories and then, in senior school, told to 'stop daydreaming'. We're given imagination for a purpose and this really tickled mine. More adults should read more children's book and reactivate that wonderful gift of imagination that's put on the back burner for most of our double figure years. Nicely tickled Marcus!
Meg Plummer(18th October 2009)
Author of Fecundity!

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends