The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pub. Date: September 2010
Age Group: 12 and up
Review: I had no idea what THE CROWFIELD CURSE by debut author Pat Walsh was about when I saw it’s beautifully illustrated cover sitting on the bookstore shelves, but as soon as I turned the pages I was caught up in the world of a winter wonderland and mystery of Old Magic.
The story takes place in 1347 where a teenage orphan named William Paynel lives within the confines of the secluded Crowfield Abbey with a cast of unique and strange monks. The story opens with Will in the woods just outside Crowfield. Will is busy gathering wood when he literally stumbles upon a hobgoblin that is caught in an iron trap beneath the snow.
William rescues the hob and secretly takes him to Crowfield where he can be mended by the Abbey’s medic and apothecary, Brother Snail. Will and the hob soon become friends which opens the door into a mythological and supernatural world of faeries and things that go bump in the night. When two mysterious strangers visit the Abbey, Will and the hop learn of a dark secret the monks have kept hidden behind the walls of Crowfield — known as the Crowfield Curse.
I enjoyed the charming story filled with folklore, supernatural elements, mystery, as well as Catholicism. Even though some parts were a little long and dragged out, the novel is a definite page-turner.
THE CROWFIELD CURSE is a fun novel for readers ages 12 and up. The characters are rich and imaginative, including Will who is courageous, brave and intelligent. Each of the monks have their own quirky characteristics and the hobgoblin is funny and charismatic.
I also liked the setting of the Middle Ages and the atmosphere which is magical and spooky at the same time. I could easily imagine what it would be like for Will to live at Crowfield Abbey.
The story ends on a positive note and is the first book in a planned two-part series. I will definitely read the second book, THE CROWFIELD DEMON when it comes out in April 2011 to find out more about the adventures of Will and the monks of Crowfield Abbey. The cover of THE CROWFIELD DEMON is just as magnificent.
I’m giving THE CROWFIELD CURSE 4 “Relaxing with a Good Book” retro pictures for being adventurous.
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