By Author / Illustrator
Firefly Press Ltd
Paperback / softback
A magical story of snow and stars by Catherine Fisher. The Clockwork Crow is a mysterious gothic Christmas tale set in a frost-bound Victorian country mansion. When orphaned Seren Rees is given a mysterious package by a strange and frightened man on her way to her new home, she reluctantly takes it with her. But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, before the owner of the parcel finds her? The Clockwork Crow is a gripping Christmas tale of families and belonging set in snowy Wales from a master storyteller.
A beautifully designed cover and stars on every other page make this a lovely book to hold, and the story inside does not disappoint. Orphaned Seren is travelling to what she hopes will be her new home in Wales one cold evening before Christmas, when a tall thin man thrusts a parcel into her hands and disappears. Not knowing what to do with it, she arrives at the house still holding it to her. The welcome she receives is not what she has hoped for, and the family she longs for is not there. The housekeeper and the odd job man will not tell her why there is no-one else there. There is a mystery about the disappearance a year ago of the son, Tomos, which the clockwork crow - when she has re-assembled it - helps her to unravel. The story is set in Victorian Wales, in the run-up to Christmas, and the cold permeates every page. The housekeeper is not quite Mrs. Danvers, but the feeling that there are things that are not to be disclosed fills the reader with the sense of a mystery to be solved. The darkness in the story comes from the tale of The Family who take away children who then never grow old, but the speaking crow somehow takes away the fear that could engender. This is a truly magical story with an intrepid heroine who only wants the home that the ending gives her. Girls of 9+ will love this book! 200 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian
Suggested Reading Age 9+