by Jon Mayhew
Release date: April 4, 2010
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, young adult

A wonderfully exciting, dark, and gruesomely gothic middle-grade chiller, set in Victorian London. Perfect and pacy entertainment for both girls and boys of 8+.

For orphan Josie, life is good with Cardamom, the great magician who took her in as a baby and with whom she now performs her astounding knife-throwing act. But then three mysterious ‘aunts’ turn up – taking over the house and transforming into vicious, giant crows, in thrall to evil Lord Corvis. With his dying breath, Cardamon tells Josie to ‘seek the Amarant – and Mortlock’.  So begins a terrifying quest for Josie and her newly discovered twin, Alfie, the undertaker’s mute, who soon realize that the legendary Amarant is a plant with power over life and death, which Cardamon, Corvis and Mortlock first discovered many years ago in Abyssinia.

But Cardamon had another secret. Mortlock was buried alive – with the Amarant – and now only the final destruction of the plant can quench Corvis’s growing powers and evil plans.  Braving a circus of the living dead, and a terrifying encounter with the Amarant in a graveyard where Mortlock certainly does not ‘rest in peace’, Josie and Alfie will need all their courage and skills to save themselves and the world.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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