The Dark Flight Down

by Marcus Sedgwick

Wendy Lamb Books, September, 2005.
Hardcover, 230 pages.
ISBN: 0385746458
Ages 10 and up

The Dark Flight Down by Marcus Sedgwick The Book of Dead Days readers were introduced to a darkly gothic world in which Boy was the assistant to the magician Valerian, who is now dead. Now owned by the mysterious Kepler, Boy is determined to learn the secrets of magic for himself. But before he can retrieve the ancient book that he believes will reveal all, he is captured and imprisoned by the completely mad Emperor Frederick III, who wants the book to discover the secret of immortality. Boy finds an ally in Maxim, the Emperor's right hand man, who has been ordered to find a way to make the repulsive Emperor live forever. Meanwhile, a frightening Phantom haunts the dungeon where Boy is being held and is terrorizing the City with its bloodlust. When the ancient magic book resurfaces and Boy's long-lost childhood friend Willow returns to help him, events take a very strange turn. All of Boy's questions will be answered by the ancient book, but they may not be the answers that he was hoping for.

Marcus Sedgwick has created a dark and chilling atmosphere peopled with very interesting characters. Many of them are unpleasant, but Boy is a hero worth rooting for. With intricate plot twists and excellent characterization, The Dark Flight Down is a compelling, dark, magical coming of age story.

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This review was published in the December-January, 2005 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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