An original interpretation of the timelessly fascinating vampire myth, and a story of father and son, by award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick. Winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter, Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust. Despite the villagers' lack of hospitality, they settle there as woodcutters. But there are many things Peter does not understand. Why does Tomas dig a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut so they live on an isolated island? Why does Tomas carry a long battered box everywhere they go - and refuse to tell Peter of its contents?
When a band of gypsies comes to the village, Peter's drab existence is turned upside down. He is infatuated by the beautiful gypsy princess, Sofia, and intoxicated by her community's love of life. He even becomes drawn into their deadly quest - for these travellers are Vampire Slayers, and Chust is a community to which the dead return to wreak revenge on the living.
Stylishly written and set in the forbidding and remote landscapes of the 17th century, this is a story of a father and his son, of loss, redemption and resolution.