23 October 2016

BLOG TOUR: Blood Red Snow White

Today is the last day of The Fantastic Flying Book Club's blog tour of Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick. I hope you enjoy and if you want to take a gander at the other post in the tour click on the banner above and  it will take you there.
Enjoy x

by Marcus Sedgwick

Pages: 320
Publisher: Macmillan Children's 
Publication Date: October 25th (first published July 6th 2007)
ISBN: 1626725470
Received From: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group


There never was a story that was happy through and through.When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantically entangled with Trotsky's personal secretary.Both sides seek to use Arthur to gather and relay information for their own purposes . . . and both grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from conflict with his beloved, but her Russian ties make leaving the country nearly impossible. And the more Arthur resists becoming a pawn, the more entrenched in the game he seems to become.


Blood Red Snow White was not what I was expecting! I feel like I say this a lot about books but this one was understated, effortless and enchanting. From the first page it had me hooked with it's beautifully crafted story telling and I didn't want to put it down. 

It is the story of author and journalist Arthur Ransome, who was a writer during the first world war. It is based around fact with Sedgwick using his artistic licence to interpret it into a story you won't be able to get enough of. It follows Arthur as he embarks on a journey to the heart of the Russian revolution, looking at how he deals with the devastating circumstances surrounding him and the beauty of a breaking country. He is torn between two sides, Red and White, and becomes dangerously entangled to a Bolshevik woman in a time of uncertainty. Can he escape the war without loosing everything he has come to love or will the chaos and destruction of Russia in the early 20th century destroy his chance at happiness? 

"There never was a story that was happy through and through, and this one is no different"

The book is split into three parts, each with a slightly different approach to writing. The first part is told like a fairy tale, it depicts the war in Russia like it is a child's story with a starving bear and an old man and his two grandchildren. It has this magical feel to it which is beautiful and effortless to read. The first part sets the scene for the second, which is all set in a single night in Moscow. To explain what has happened in the country since part one we get flashbacks to key events but the section itself is based around the night Arthurs life takes a dramatic turn, leaving us as the reader wondering if he is truly safe in Russia anymore. The third and final part is quite simply a continuation from that night, it is told like any other story with everything happening in concession. By this point in the book you are hooked and the slight change in writing style sees you through to the very last page seamlessly. I've never read a book that tells one story and in three different ways and it was a refreshing change of pace that I found really enjoyable to read. 

As a character Arthur Ransome is an interesting one. He is both naive and wise. He is a character that has seen the horrors of war but chooses to believe in fairy tales. Arthur sees the world in a different way to how you would expect a man living at the heart of a bloody war and it makes him as a character all the more endearing. Of course he has his moments where the bleakness of his situation starts to take route but he's never down for long. He's a man that will do whatever he needs to do, he learns from his mistakes and he is everything I wanted him to be any more. 

""Oh, Arthur, will you ever live in the real world?"

Overall I adored this book. It is a fairy tale stained in blood. It has you hooked from the first page with a writing style that is one of the most beautiful I have ever read. Even in the darkest moments the love between Arthur and his Bolshevik girl lights up the page with an air of hope. It isn't my usual kind of book but it was so enjoyable to read and I can not recommend it more. 

"Home is where you can be with the one you love."

Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is  British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several booksincluding Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Daysboth of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe AwardThe most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Heart of Another" - inspired by Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Of his storySedgwick says, "This was one of those stories that I thought might be a novel originally but actually was much better suited to the tight form of the short story. I had the initial idea some years ago but was just waiting for the right ingredient to come alongPoe's story, as well as his own fascination with techniqueprovided that final piece of the puzzle." 

He used to play for two bands namely playing the drums for Garrett and as the guitarist in an ABBA tribute group. He has published novels such as Floodland (winner of the Branford Boase Award in 2001) and The Dark Horse (shortlisted for The Guardian Children's Book Award 2002). 

Prize: Win a set of Marcus Sedgwick's booksBLOOD RED SNOW WHITETHE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN and MIDWINTERBLOOD (US Only)