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"The Foreshadowing" by Marcus Sedgwick

 The Foreshadowing          
Marcus Sedgwick
July 2005
Orion Children's Books
284 pages


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       "I was five when I first saw the future.
        Now I am seventeen."


        It is 1915. War is raging on the the Continent. It is eating up families,
        swallowing young lives. In Brighton, Sasha Fox is fighting her own battle.
        Like the prophetess Cassandra, the girl is plagued by visions of the
        future. In her mind's eye, the mud and thunder of the battlefields is
        all too real. She can see the writhing corpses of the soldiers,
        the twisted remains of humanity laid to waste, as the ravens pick
        over the detritus. But worst of all, she can see her own brothers in
        midst of the carnage. Edgar and Tom have been caught up in the
        rush to war, and now Sasha must race to bring them home before
        her foreshadowing becomes reality...


       » "The Foreshadowing" won the North East Teenage Book Award
           for 2005. It was also shortlisted for several other regional awards,
           and the American Library Association included it in their list of
           the Best Books for Young Adults 2007...


       The Gnome says

       Now here's a book that almost foreshadows itself. The UK hardback
       edition sports a fantastic, portentous dustjacket. It's a close up of a
       raven's wing, overlaid by a tangle of silver barb wire, and it's sets the
       mood, right there, before you've even turned to the first page. This is
       going to be dark...

       Then, of course, there's the author's familiar signature above the title.
       The publishers - Orion - have branded all of Marcus Sedgwick's books
       with his distinctly stylized moniker. And if you're familiar with his work
       you know immediately what you can expect to find inside. Yes, this is
       going to be special...

       All this expectation, and you haven't even started reading!

       But the author doesn't disappoint. The short, tight chapters draw you in
       to a mesmerizing story. You're led back in time to the era of the Great War,
       and in to the home of a divided family. Onwards we're pulled, through
       Sasha's waking nightmares as a field nurse, and into the blasted
       trenches of the Somme. Sasha is a girl obsessed, fighting to get to
       her brothers midst a sea of men and boys and mud and despair.
       There's such a cloying claustrophobic atmosphere here; great bloody
       clods of it. It blocks your nose and chokes your throat. By the time we
       get to the climax at High Wood, we're left grasping at empty pages
       - literally - there are chapter headings bereft of any text. All Sasha's
       words have been sapped from the page by the exertions of the story.

       Aiding the feel of the piece, we have the author's own brooding illustrations
       at the start of the story's two distinct parts, and a raven's feather beneath
       the numbered chapters - counting down as we go. So we turn the
       page - just have to keep turning -  to find out what happens.
       Can Sasha prevent the foreshadowing?

       Oh no, no, no. You thought the Gnome was going to tell you
       how it all ends, didn't you? - Well, you won't find any such spoilers
       here. Suffice it to say, Sedgwick fans will lap it up, and newcomers
       will be hooked. You know, the author's whole body of work continues
       to impress. "Floodland", "Witch Hill", "The Book of Dead Days"
       and its sequel - they sit as one fantastic collection of stories to rival
       the likes of Alan Garner. Yes, we can foresee a future in which these
       are considered classic works of genre fiction...



       Signed copies of the this hardback were available at the time of
       publication, and they make an already special book even more
       "The Foreshadowing" signed edition


      Buy this book

   The Foreshadowing             The Foreshadowing
      UK hardback edition...                The paperback edition...


      On the web

      The Foreshadowing
      A micro-site for the book...

      Marcus Sedgwick
      The author's home on the web...

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