In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust and despite the inhospitability of the villagers settle there as woodcutters.
Tomas digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut so they have their own little island kingdom. Peter doesn't understand why his father has done this, nor why his father carries a long battered box everywhere they go, and why he is forbidden to know its contents.
But when a band of gypsies comes to the village Peter's drab existence is turned upside down. He is infatuated by the beautiful gypsy princess, Sofia, intoxicated by their love of life and drawn into their deadly quest. For these travellers are Vampire Slayers and Chust is a dying community - where the dead come back to wreak revenge on the living. Amidst the terrifying events that follow, Peter is stunned to see his father change from a disillusioned man to the warrior hero he once was.
Marcus draws on his extensive research of the vampire legend and sets his story in the forbidding and remote landscapes of the 17th century.
Written in his usual distinctive voice, this is also the story of a father and his son, of loss, redemption and resolution.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 240 pages, 12 Line Drawing(s)
- Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
- Publication Date: 03/05/2007
- Category: General
- ISBN: 9781842555583
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Review by CaroTheLibrarian
Set somewhere in Eastern Europe, sometime in the past, Peter is a young wood-cutter who travels around with his father, Tomas. When they settle in the village of Chust, Peter soon realises that all is not as it should be. The dead don't seem to be staying in their graves.The snowy forests are beautifully described and the tension builds as the reader is caught up on a gothic tale of vampires and gypsies. Highly enjoyable (if that's the right word for a rather dark and chilling read!)