Atria/Emily Bestler Books, Sep 18 2012, $25.00
Winter strikes harsh and early leading to heavy snows making passage in northern England increasingly difficult. Irish medicine woman Mistress Molly leads her small traveling troupe south. Recent recruit thirteen year old orphan Hob navigates the trek. Molly learns from the crows and from patrons at places they rest that a terrible horror stalks the countryside.
Their journey to the warmer climate ends when a vicious storm and a rockslide leaves the troupe stranded. Molly leads them to Blanchefontaine where they seek and receive shelter. However, Molly, Jack, Nemain and Hob realize that this Norman castle with so many knights also hosts the Beast that has frightened the countryside.
Something Red is a great Middle Ages fantasy in which the varied people (and others) that the travelers meet bring to vivid life thirteenth century northern England. The suspense builds up nicely as the audience anticipates the confrontation between the troupe and the malevolence. Douglas Nicholas places the setting deftly in a “locked” castle wondering who will walk away alive.