Book review of Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
This is a book review of Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott. A book about a weirdly whimsical and secluded town with plenty of Tudor age secrets. Rotherweird is the first part of a trilogy.
I have humbly borrowed this blurp from the back of the book:
“1558: Twelve children, gifted far beyond their years, are banished by their Tudor queen to the town of Rotherweird. Some say they are the golden generation; some say the devil’s spawn. But everyone knows they are something to be revered – and feared.
Four and a half centuries on, cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I and still bound by its ancient laws, Rotherweird’s independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or it’s history.
Then an Outsider arrives, a man of unparalleled wealth and power, enough to buy the whole of Rotherweird – deeply buried secrets and all…”
Rotherweird was exactly what it promised! Weird. Have you read the tween books “The Uncommoners”, “The Raven Boys”, “A Place Called Perfect” or my reviews of books similar to those? Then you’ll have an idea of where to place Rotherweird. Except this one is for the older readers, like teens or adults who still like whimsical universes.
I enjoyed reading The Uncommoners and I thought myself luck for finding Rotherweird. I liked the blurp and it gives a good indication of the general vibe of the book.
Whimsical mysteries and extraordinary characters
There is such a rich plot in Rotherweird, without it being confusing. Most of these plots are mysteries in themselves and the characters of Rotherweird helped immensely in creating believable subplots. So many of the characters are complex and with depth and history anchored in the town.
At the time we set foot in Rotherweird, we follow a soon-to-be-teacher, the outsider as he tries to settle into his new home and job. The new colleagues and other citizens are naturally weary of him. So, it’s through his eyes that we are introduced to the town and its customs, which is a classic way of laying out a ‘new world’ for the reader.
Then, mysteries start to unfold one by one until we are swept up completely. Most of these mysteries are just as whimsical as the characters, and I love it. It’s hard to describe why, without spoiling too much, but there is an otherworldly and sort of Alice in Wonderland-esque vibe to some of it. At the same time mixed with a little dystopian/dark underscore.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was happy to find that it is only the first book in a trilogy!
Have you read Rotherweird or any of Andrew Caldecotts other books? What’s your favorite fictional place? Feel free to leave it right here in the comment section below!
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