Paperback - 2014
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Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined--this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice by a three-time Printz Award Honoree.

" Reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas . . . stark, suspenseful writing. " -- School Library Journal

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.

This title has Common Core connections.

A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013

Praise for Midwinterblood:
"A story that's simultaneously romantic, tragic, horrifying, and transcendental is more than enough to hold readers' attention, no matter their age." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Part love story, part mystery, part horror, this is as much about the twisting hand of fate as it is about the mutability of folk tales. Its strange spell will capture you." -- Booklist, starred review

" The Time Traveler's Wife meets Lost in this chilling exploration of love and memory . . . Haunting, sophisticated and ultimately exquisite." -- Kirkus, starred review

"Sedgwick's prose is unadorned yet melancholic. . ." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books , starred review

"Sedgwick's prose is taut, careful, and chilling." -- The Horn Book, starred review

"Reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas . . . stark, suspenseful writing." -- School Library Journal

Novels by Marcus Sedgwick:
Saint Death: A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border.
Blood Red Snow White: A gripping, romantic adventure novel based on the true story of Arthur Ransome's experiences with love and betrayal in war-torn Russia.
The Ghosts of Heaven: A Printz Honor Book! Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect four episodes, from prehistory through the far future.
She Is Not Invisible: When her father goes missing, a blind girl talented in identifying patterns and her brother are thrust into a mystery.
Midwinterblood: A Printz Medal Winner! Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined.
White Crow: A scary, thought provoking novel about secrets that are better left buried.
Revolver: A Printz Honor Book! A taut frontier survivor story, set at the time of the Alaska gold rush.

Graphic novel by Marcus Sedgwick, art by Thomas Taylor:
Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter: A rip-roaring romp full of hairy horrors, villainous villains, and introducing the world's toughest monster hunter--Scarlett Hart!

Publisher: New York : Square Fish, 2014
ISBN: 9781250040077


From the critics

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IndyPL_SteveB May 24, 2019

A fine piece of writing, more complex and interesting the deeper you go into it. The book is a collection of seven short stories about a Scandinavian island, but the effect is that of a novel. The first story is almost horror, set in 2073, as a reporter, Eric Seven, travels to Blessed Island to find out whether the rumors about a mysterious flower which confers long life are true. As he meets the people who live there and becomes attracted to the beautiful Merle, he begins to forget why he came. Each subsequent story takes place at an earlier time: 2011, 1944, 1902, etc. back to an unknown time when Vikings lived on the island. Each story helps to explain some part of what we witnessed in the first story and what we witness in each story down the line.

*Midwinter Blood* is carefully written for the connections between the stories, yet each is moody and haunting. It’s the sort of book that gives you dreams for days afterwards. Also, a well-done audio book, with atmospheric narration by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Mar 22, 2018

I love this book, and I accidentally read it in one sitting.

Nov 15, 2017

I checked out this book because the synopsis reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Cloud Atlas, which also deals with reincarnation and love across the ages. While it was similar, I was not as impressed. Beginning in 2073 and working backwards, the book is divided into 7 loosely-connected sections, each telling of the relationship between two lovers, friends, or siblings on a northern island. The names of 2 characters are recycled throughout. My favorite stories are the early 20th century reclusive, old painter and the mother and child who befriend him and the 19th century ghost story. MIDWINTERBLOOD is a haunting fairy tale and contains enough suspense to keep you turning the pages quickly. However, I would become engrossed in a story only to have it end quickly. The love between the characters seems stilted, and I only felt emotionally invested in a few of the characters. Overall, though, it was a unique, provocative tale that I am glad I read.

amandarobinson Oct 19, 2016

I loved this novel. It's a collection of 7 stories, but they're deeply connected. I wouldn't call it a collection of short stories, though. It *is* a novel. Beautiful and poetic writing, very creative concept and wonderful storytelling. While this book is categorized as a teen fiction book, I highly recommend it to adults, too! It combines historical fiction, horror, fantasy, and the paranormal in one wonderful book. A quick read, and the story will linger in your mind long after you're finished! One of my favourite reads this year.

Aug 07, 2016

This collection of short stories that are actually totally connected is so good. The writing is amazing and every story was unique enough that it was enjoyable but not so unique that I couldn't recognize the connections to the rest of the book.

Jun 27, 2015

interesting story telling, but hard to really get into the characters

forbesrachel Jan 25, 2015

Journalist Eric Sevens seeks to uncover the mystery of Blessed Island, but before he can come to understand what he's discovered...Thus begins a tale of two love-bound souls, reborn over and over again. Throughout Eric's and Merle's lifetimes, love comes in many forms, including one between a parent and child, lesbian lovers, and siblings. As the story progresses we travel further into the past, delving deeper into this island's dark secrets, as well as discovering all the connections between lifetimes. While trying to connect the dots is quite engaging, the significance of repeating names, lines, objects, and events often eludes us until the appropriate moment. Even with reoccurring elements, Midwinterblood never feels repetitious. Each story has a different tone binding us to that particular experience; we get the tale of a pilot from World War II, a ghost story, and the facts behind legends. As for the whole, there is a great deal of tragedy, but it never overwhelms thanks to the hope created by such a strong bond. The author's interesting approach to the themes blessing and sacrifice is also worth noting. Over such a large swath of time, the island goes through many changes: language morphs, the spellings of names differ, and while new structures are built, the space retains its function throughout. Midwinterblood is singular in the variety of its storytelling, beautiful in its descriptive language, and deeply satisfying in its interconnected tale of eternal love.

This one won the Printz so it isn't exactly flying under the radar, but it definitely deserved the award. These seven stories are creepy and strange and come together in a wonderful way.

Feb 27, 2014

It was okay, but I really question the marketing of it to teens. Not because of content but because of the characters and situations. It just didn't seem like YA to me.

Feb 10, 2014

Pay close attention as you read this novel. There are so many threads to connect, you will be sorry when you get to the end if you didn't! This Printz winner is beautifully written, moves along at a fast pace and has characters you immediately care about, even though you are introduced to them quickly in each of seven short segments that take place on the same island, but years and even centuries apart. It is all tied up in the end, but not so neatly that it doesn't leave you thinking....Worth a re-read to take it all in.

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ArapahoeKate Aug 06, 2019

ArapahoeKate thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 27, 2015

crmarshall thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Nov 11, 2013

seaigoto16 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

SPL_Childrens Mar 07, 2013

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Aug 07, 2016

So, it is

JCLChrisK Jun 08, 2013



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Jun 27, 2015

seven different stories in seven different time periods. of seven different love stories/tragedies


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