Genre: Gothic Fantasy
Synopsis: Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded: Lord Valevine Otherhand is too busy trying to invent the unthinkable and discover the unknowable; his wife, Minty, is too absorbed in her latest obsession – baking; and ten-year-old Cudweed is running riot with his infernal pet monkey. Only Solstice, the black-haired, poetry-writing Otherhand daughter, seems to pay any attention. As the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail…
200words (or less) review: I bought this because of the opening sentence:
I suspect I may have fleas again.
Seven words and I knew I couldn’t leave the shop without it. It’s a clear voice and the more Edgar (an old raven suffering from said fleas) tells us about Otherhand Castle and its occupants the more I fell in love with this book. I absolutely adored the writing. Not to mention all the various occupants of Otherhand Castle and the little chapter introductions.
Flood and Fang is the first book in the series. Edgar is the protector of the castle and unfortunately the Otherhand’s are “all so very stupid, even for people” (see what I mean about the writing!) which means they need a lot of looking after.
Throughout the book there are drawings relating to the story, normally I’m not that much of a fan pictures, especially if the story is amazing in its own right, but in this case I thought Pete Williamson’s illustration really captured the characters and added not distracted from the story.
I was in reading heaven from the very first page and will certainly be visiting Otherhand Castle again.