It has been a while since I have been in the world of Seren and the Clockwork Crow so it was with great excitement that I re-read the first two books after being approved via NetGalley for an ARC of The Midnight Swan. Yes, this can be read as a stand-alone, but to really appreciate the story and how the tales of Seren, Tomos and the Clockwork Crow unfold it is well worth taking the time to enjoy the Clockwork Crow and the Velvet Fox before The Midnight Swan.
After twice rescuing Tomos from the Tylwth Teg all is well at Plas-Y-Fran. The house is calm and Seren, Tomos and the rest of the residents are living happily surrounded by Denzil’s protective charms to keep out ‘Them’. They have even taken the time to celebrate together at the Summer Fair. But the Tylwyth Teg are never far away and Seren finds herself drawn to a box emblazoned with a swan and a message that could be the answer to the Crow’s problems.
When a green fountain pen that Tomos finds turns out to be cursed they realise too late and the pen has invited in the very people that they are so desperately trying to keep out. With everyone in danger and Seren fearing that she may be sent back to the orphanage she makes the bravest decision of all…
Catherine Fisher has turned out yet another magical mystery that will keep readers guessing right until the end. The Midnight Swan is well-paced and will keep readers in that uncomfortable yet exciting place, shrouded in mystery and suspense and with just the right amount of spooky. As soon as I began reading, I was once again swept away by Fisher’s delightful prose and I immediately felt like I was back with old friends. Like the two previous books, The Midnight Swan is full of magical objects, mysterious beings and folklore. I love the two lines rhymes at the start of each chapter that give a taste of what is to come.
With characters facing constant peril, the reader is always wondering will they, won’t they make it. There are plenty of twists, turns and troubling truths. I have been desperate to know the truth about the Crow, and Fisher has unveiled this beautifully. The Crow has lost none of his irritable demeanour and is back at his bossy and demanding best. Seren is a plucky heroine who is loyal to those she cares about. Her loyalty is tested to the absolute limits this time around as she has to decide whether to sacrifice herself to save someone else. Woven within the tale are strong messages about friendship, family, belonging, empathy and resilience. Many of these messages come out through the actions of Seren and the choices that she makes.
This is a genuine page-turner. Fisher’s writing keeps you on tenterhooks and I read the book in one sitting. It was unputdownable. I love this trilogy and recommend it to readers of 8+.
With thanks to Netgalley and Firefly Press for the advanced reader copy.