Win £500 in book vouchers by helping us with a 7 minute reader survey click here.

make the most of Lovereading win prizes desmond elliott 2017

Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
  

Blood Red, Snow White

NewGen - YA Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2007.

The true story of master storyteller Arthur Ransome provides the background for this large scale and absorbing story. As a young man, Ransome was a journalist and, some thought, a spy, in Russia at the time of the enormous upheaval of the Russian Revolution. What he sees and how he feels about it is captivatingly described in this well written story.

Costa Book Awards 2007 Judges' comment: "A colourful cast of characters takes the reader on a fascinating journey into world history. Ambitious, unusual, informative and powerfully written."

Synopsis

Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

Set at the time of the Russian Revolution, the end of a centuries old dynasty, the rise of the Bolsheviks sent shockwaves around the world. This is the story of one man who was there. It's real history - about the riches and excesses, the glory of the Russian nobility, Nicholas and Alexandra, their haemophiliac son, Alexei, notorious Rasputin, Lenin and Trotsky who ruled from palaces where the Czars had once danced till dawn. The man was real too, his name was Arthur Ransome. He was a writer, accused of being a spy, perhaps even a double agent, and he left his wife and beloved daughter and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman, Evgenia.

Fictionalising history and blending it with real life, part i is told as a fairy tale. Wise and foolish kings, princesses, enchantresses (characters more suited to fairy tale than reality), wishes and magic, Russia with its vast cold plains and mighty cities, its riches and poverty, all play a part in the downfall of the Czars and rise of the new order. Part ii is about betrayal - Ransome the spy, bleak and threatening. Part iii is a love story, a fairy tale, ending - of Ransome's love for his daughter, Tabitha, and for Evgenia.

Reviews

'a mesmerising retelling of Ransome's time in Russia during the Revolution, and should appeal to adults as well as Sedgwick's loyal band of teenage readers.'
Danuta Kean, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

'masterly account of the Russian Revolution, seen through the fictionalised eyes of the author Arthur Ransome ... a doomed love story of power and passion.' Amanda Craig, THE TIMES

'It is fairy tale, love story and historical narrative innovatively woven together in an ambitious construct that will appeal to intelligent readers of 13+.' Dinah Hall, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

About the Author

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

The Kiss of Death is published in paperback in April 2009, and picks up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big one - a project I've been working on for so long my head hurts.” – Blood Red Snow White, which was first published to considerable acclaim in 2007.

2009 saw Marcus turn his attention to books for younger readers with the launch of a humorous new series: The Raven Mysteries, narrated by a grumpy raven, Edgar. Titles are Flood and Fang, Ghosts and Gadgets and Lunatics and Luck.

In his spare time, he is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels! Marcus lives in Sussex with his wife and his daughter, Alice. Finally Marcus is also a drummer, and at the moment he plays in two bands: visit www.garrett-music.tv, and www.internationalbandofmystery.com to find out more.

Q&A with Marcus Sedgwick

Many of your novels are inspired by history and by myth and legend - have these areas always been a fascination of yours since childhood and if so how did this passion come about?
Yes, I always loved myths and legends - I used to read and re-read two books from the library - one a big illustrated edition of Greek Myths and the other Old Peter's Russian Tales. I don't know why I was fascinated by these stories, but maybe simply because I find them to be more glamorous than contemporary stories...

Apart from writing what are your passions?
I love music, both listening to it and playing it (I'm a drummer). A day without music is not a proper day... I also love travel and try to travel as much as I can manage.

Where did the idea come from for The Raven Mysteries?
It was a single line, the first line in the book in fact. I'd had it for ages but didn't know where I was going to use it until the character of Edgar came along: "I suspect I may have fleas again".

The Raven Mysteries are full of humour and mad-cap action, which is quite different from your novels for older readers. Was this a conscious decision of yours when setting out to write this series?
Absolutely, and it was great fun. After writing a few hardcore goth books, it was great to let my hair down with these stories. And it gave me fresh impetus to go back to the next YA novel, Revolver, with renewed determination to be gloomy!

Where and when do you write?
I write at the weekends, and mostly in the study in my loft, but also sometimes I travel to write - eg much of Revolver was written on trips to Sweden.

What age did you first start writing and when did you think that one day you'd write a novel that would actually be published?
I started to write as a teenager a bit, but properly when I was in my mid-twenties. It took a few years to think it might actually happen!

With both your publisher and author hat on, what advice can you give would-be children's authors in getting published?
The most important thing is to know your market! Who do you think your book is going to be read by? What else is out there that's like it? Are you writing something that will sell?

The historical context of most of your novels must mean a huge amount of research prior to writing each book. What does this involve and how long does it take?
It varies from book to book but it's not a chore as I love to do research. It's easier than actually writing the things! For Revolver, the research spanned about 16 months, of little trips here and there and lots and lots of reading!

What was your inspiration for Revolver ? Finding an empty shell casing on the pavement in St Petersburg. It was a long way from there to the finished book but that was the start of it.

What was your favourite book as a teenager? Without question, the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

If you got into Doctor Who’s tardis, where (or when) would you go?
Great question, impossible to answer. So many amazing things to go and see – the building of the pyramids, a Viking boat putting out to sea, Man Utd winning the European Championship in 1968…

Who would you choose to be if you could be a celebrity for the day? Matt Bellamy on any day with a gig.

If you were invisible for a day what would you do? I’m invisible most days, so nothing much would change.

10 things you didn't know about Marcus Sedgwick

1 - I have an embarrassing middle name, but I'm not going to tell you what it is
2 - I am learning Swedish
3 - As well as playing the drums, I play bass guitar
4 - My grandfather invented the hydraulic tipper truck
5 - I have a pet raven called Edgar, though he doesn’t say much, eat much, or indeed, move much. There’s a possibility that he’s stuffed, I guess.
6 - I’m extraordinarily sleepy right now.
7 - I represented England (Juniors) at Fencing.
8 - I totally love football.
9 - I'm allergic to red peppers
10 - I believe there is only one radio or TV station worth listening to: Radio 3.

Author photo © Kate Christer

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

26th July 2007

Author

Marcus Sedgwick

More books by Marcus Sedgwick
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.marcussedgwick.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Orion Publishing Co

Format

Hardback

Categories

NewGen - YA Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9781842551844

Lovereading always comes up with great suggestions and has introduced me to enjoyable books and new authors to discover.

Gaynor Passmore

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools