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Blood Red Snow White
by Marcus Sedgwick


Overview -

There never was a story that was happy through and through.

When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt.  Read more...


 
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More About Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
 
 
 
Overview

There never was a story that was happy through and through.

When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantically entangled with Trotsky's personal secretary.

Both sides seek to use Arthur to gather and relay information for their own purposes . . . and both grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from conflict with his beloved, but her Russian ties make leaving the country nearly impossible. And the more Arthur resists becoming a pawn, the more entrenched in the game he seems to become.

Blood Red Snow White, a Soviet-era thriller from renowned author Marcus Sedgwick, is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781626725478
  • ISBN-10: 1626725470
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 320
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-17
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

Books > > Action & Adventure - General
Books > > Historical - Europe
Books > > Romance - Historical

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

British children’s book author Arthur Ransome captured Printz-winner Sedgwick’s (Midwinterblood) imagination with his 1916 book, Old Peter’s Russian Tales. These stories, coupled with Ransome’s involvement in the Russian revolution as a journalist, inspired this multifaceted historical novel, written in three parts and originally published in 2007. The first section sets the scene of the social and political landscape leading up to the revolution; Sedgwick uses vivid, fairy tale imagery to describe historical events, such as a bear that represents the growing discontent among the Russian populace (“The bear, which by now was as large as the cathedral on Catherine’s canal, rose on its hind legs.... As it fell, it came apart. It disintegrated. It fell like brown snow, but each flake was a person”). The rest of the novel, written in episodic vignettes, is more straightforward in painting a man whose attachment to Russia seemingly stems from the love of the woman who would eventually become his second wife. Sedgwick’s admiration for Ransome is clear from the outset and bolstered by appended notes about where the novel dovetails with and diverges from real-life history. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Marcus Sedgwick explores muddy morality

British writer Arthur Ransome returns to Russia as a reporter during World War I but finds his job description somewhat altered after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Having built relationships with a variety of Bolshevik leaders, including Karl Radek and Leon Trotsky, Arthur is able to pass valuable intelligence to British officials. The Bolsheviks also make subtle offers and attempts to gain Arthur’s assistance for their cause. But the strongest temptation is Evgenia, Trotsky’s secretary and the love of Arthur’s life. Arthur wants to remain in Russia to be with her, but must stay in the good graces of both the British and the Bolsheviks in order to do so. Arthur straddles this line as best he can, until the turmoil becomes too great. The Bolsheviks struggle to maintain control of a fragmenting country while royalists gather forces and reclaim territory. In order to get himself and Evgenia out of Russia, Arthur must navigate this dangerous no-man’s-land between warring sides one last time. 

In contrast to most young adult historical fiction—especially war narratives—Marcus Sedgwick’s novel is refreshingly oblique. There is no clear good or evil side, or even a definitive right and wrong, but simply a well-intentioned character using his best judgment to help himself and others. The fairy-tale theme highlights this sense of paradox: Multiple stories, or truths, may exist about the same thing. With a challenging three-part format, beautiful language and a unique adult male narrator, this dazzling novel based on true events should be the next historical fiction young readers reach for.

 

This article was originally published in the November 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews