Book Title: The Midnight Swan (available here)
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publication Date: October 2020
Most Suitable For: Years 4/5
The Midnight Swan is the third novel in Catherine Fisher's The Clockwork Crow trilogy. Our main characters are Seren and Tomos and we join them on their quest to restore the Clockwork Crow to his former human life. Seren discovers a peculiar alleyway where all manner of weird and wonderful knick knacks are being sold. The purchase of a carved box and the discovery of a green ink pen are the triggers for a magical adventure, all leading to the restoration of the Crow to human form once more.
The cantankerous, huffy crow, kind and selfless Seren and tentative, but at times impetuous, Tomas provide rich layers of character that give this story plenty of bite. Seren might be brave and altruistic but she carries her own worries and fears that add an extra dimension to the plot. The Crow is frosty and gruff but there is love and warmth in his heart. It was this complexity that I particularly liked.
At times I felt as if I was reading an Enid Blyton style romp with cheerful, amiable characters who speed along through their adventure with endless positivity and ‘cracking’ ideas. But there is a much darker side to this story with twists and turns and sinister, fairy like creatures who are determined to make mischief. It is the quest to defend the family home of Twylyth Teg from the wicked Fae that conjures up the peril that will keep most young readers turning the pages but might have a few trembling in fear.
The rich descriptions of the story’s settings are vivid and as the children venture into a bewitched forest, the imagery is quite stunning. Without giving away any significant details, the ending is one that will give the story a warm glow and good will overcome evil - providing a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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