The Bone Magician
By F. E. Higgins
(Feiwel & Friends, Hardcover, 9780312368456, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 2, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Pin Carpue is on his own in the world. His mother is dead and his father is missing after being labeled a suspect in a rash of murders. Pin finds a job working for the local undertaker as a body watcher, making sure people are really dead before they’re buried. The body he’s supposed to be watching tonight is currently surrounded by three people engaged in a most unusual ceremony. An old man, a bone magician, and his young female assistant are waking a woman so her grieving fiancé can have one last goodbye with her. Pin can’t believe it will work, but then the dead woman sits up and speaks.
Pin is determined to discover how the magic works. He cannot believe they are raising the dead. He cannot believe his father is a murderer. Then Pin himself nearly becomes the killer’s next victim.
As this mysterious tale unfolds with delicious creepiness, Pin will learn more about the bone magician, the girl Juno, and a hideous creature called the Gluttonous Beast that is kept in a local tavern where people pay for a glimpse.
Once again, F.E. Higgins delivers a story that is full of intrigue and suspense.
F.E. Higgins is the author of The Black Book of Secrets and The Eyeball Collector. As a child, she once saw a ghostly apparition, and ever since then, she has been fascinated by the macabre. Born in London, F.E. Higgins now lives in a haunted house that dates back to the fifteenth century, in a small village in rural Kent, England.
Praise for The Bone Magician:"Higgins is a mastermind at creating a creepy world where children still maintain some sense of hope."--VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) “The cast of unusual characters and their interrelated stories carry readers along swiftly to an ending that begs for a sequel. Budding fans of Poe or Dickens will be entranced by this atmospheric novel.”--School Library Journal “This ‘paraquel’--meaning it takes place in the same world, but follows a different thread--to Higgins' excellent Black Book of Secrets (2007) drips with the same lightly fantastical, heavily Dickensian atmosphere…there is still no end of picaresque charms, creepy turns, and beguiling cast members..."--Booklist “In this standalone companion novel to The Black Book of Secrets, British author Higgins deftly balances the exceedingly harsh circumstances with wry humor, sly commentary on class issues, and a protagonist who has enough wisdom to recognize the fact that his optimism is perhaps misguided but who manages to retain it anyway.”--The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books
Set in Urbs Umida, where 'merely to be born was considered the first step towards dying', The Bone Magician . . . is a deliciously dark Gothic thriller-cum-Holmesian-whodunit, the writing so atmospheric that the fumes from the noxious River Foedus, where the murder victims end up, seem to seep off the page and swirl round the reader.—The Telegraph, UKYoung readers with a taste for the macabre will find it deliciously scary.—The Guardian, UK Praise for The Black Book of Secrets: “The story’s vaguely Dickensian atmosphere is exquisite . . . a smart, peculiarly thrilling book that is sure to appeal to readers ready to sidestep the goody-goody Harry Potters of adventure fiction.”—Booklist, Starred Review
“The Black Book of Secrets has it all: danger, adventure, theft, murder, body snatching, poisonings, a touch of humor, and enough mystery to keep you guessing until the very end. . . . An enjoyable story that begs for a sequel.”—PW Children’s Bookshelf, “Galley Talk”
“Higgins creates a fascinating novel peopled with colorful characters and imbued with clever plot twists . . . and the novel’s climax is both excellent and surprising.”—Voices of Youth Advocates
“Wonderful. Anyone looking for the next big thing has come to the right place. Higgins has created a uniquely grim fantasy world that more than holds its own with Dickens or Peake. Her characters are brilliantly realised and the story grabs at the reader with hooked talons.”—Eoin Colfer
“A fantastic debut . . . don’t let this book remain a secret!”—John Webb, Waterstone’s Children’s Fiction Buyer