The days between 27 December and New Year's Eve are dead days, when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our everyday lives. There is a man, Valerian, whose time is running out, who must pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago. His servant is Boy, a child with no name and no past; a child he treats with contempt, but who serves his master well and finds solace in the company of his only friend, Willow. Unknown to any of them it is Boy who holds the key to their destiny. But before that is revealed, Boy and Willow are held captive in the palace of the Emperor Frederick. Here they are plunged into a world of gilded finery and splendour. Beneath the golden veneer lies cruelty and madness. They are in terrible danger as they confront the whirlwind furies of the Emperor, the calculating ambitions of his confidante, Maxim, and follow a trail which will lead them to the murderous Phantom. THE BOOK OF DEAD DAYS and THE DARK FLIGHT DOWN are mesmerising stories of sorcery and desperate magic spanning dark cities, deadly courtrooms, and the threatening, frozen countryside.
The truth about Valerian's past, Boy's identity and many other shattering secrets are laid bare as the Book of Dead Days is opened for the final time...
Marcus Sedgwick has worked in children's publishing for ten years and before that he was a bookseller. He is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels. His first book FLOODLAND was hailed as 'a dazzling debut from a new writer of exceptional talent'. FLOODLAND won the Branford Boase Award for the best first children's novel of 2000. Marcus lives in Sussex and has a young daughter, Alice.