Published: (This edition) Orion Children’s Books, April 2010
Length: 246 pages (paperback)
Where Did I Get It? Borrowed it from Liberty
Summary (from Goodreads):
Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded: Lord Valevine Otherhand is too busy trying to invent the unthinkable and discover the unknowable; his wife, Minty, is too absorbed in her latest obsession – baking; and ten-year-old Cudweed is running riot with his infernal pet monkey. Only Solstice, the black-haired, poetry-writing Otherhand daughter, seems to pay any attention. As the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail…
I suspect I may have fleas again.
I really enjoyed this book. Aimed at children probably 7+, Flood and Fang is narrated by a delightfully sarcastic old raven called Edgar and is littered with fantastic illustrations.
Every page has something to look at – tiny fleas bouncing on the top line, Edgar flying across the page dropping feathers behind him, Fellah the evil little monkey clambering up the side of the text – beautiful but simple black and white images that look like they have been drawn onto the pages just for your amusement.
The story itself was fairly simple; big creepy gothic castle with slightly mad family living in it, big slimy thing spotted in the grounds, kitchen maids going missing left right and centre – find the creature, remove it, everyone (but the eaten kitchen maids) lives happily ever after.
Knowing how it was going to go from the start didn’t make it any less enjoyable though, it was comfortable and easy to read, it made me giggle and it was a satisfyingly round little tale.
I love Edgar – his dry humor, stubborn nature and pride in all things raven-y made for a delightful veiw point that was very refreshing.
It was humourus without being patronising and the layout of the text and pictures was engaging without being irritating – a balance many Children’s novels get wrong.
I am definitely going to keep a copy of this around for when the kids get bigger, and may even splash out on the rest of the Raven Mysteries series for them (although I will have to read them first, obviously!)
My Rating: 4/5*