The Kiss of Death

The Kiss of Death

3.64 (492 ratings by Goodreads)
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A dark and gothic novel of vampires and 18th Century Venice, filled with mystery and intrigue. A captivating story of love and loss, THE KISS OF DEATH is a stunning companion volume to the bestselling MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING. Peter's ongoing search for the Shadow Queen leads him to Venice - the fabled city with lapping waterways, crumbling magnificence, dark, twisting alleyways and surprising piazzas. A city whose beauty disguises many ugly secrets. The Shadow Queen is there, gathering strength, recruiting a new army of the Undead for a final confrontation. Marko and Sorrel meet in Venice for the first time. They must uncover the mystery of what has happened both to Sorrel's father, who is plagued by a strange madness that prevents him from sleeping, and to Marko's father, a doctor, who has mysteriously gone missing after travelling to Venice to help his old friend more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 22mm | 158.76g
  • Hachette Children's Group
  • Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 1842556894
  • 9781842556894
  • 310,557

About Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick is a full time author. His first novel, Floodland, won the Branford Boase Award for the best debut children's novel of 2000. Since then his books have been shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Costa Book Award, the Carnegie Medal and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Find his website at and follow him on Twitter more

Review quote

With his formidable skill, Marcus Sedgwick renders Venice the most perfect backdrop for this intensely gripping vampire action THE BOOKSELLER Vampires never go out of fashion ... a class act. Mary Hoffman, THE GUARDIAN A tremendously atmospheric novel of great sophistication ... Vampires are hot property in children's books at the moment, but you're unlikely to find classier treatment. Jill Murphy, THE BOOK BAGshow more

Review Text

With his formidable skill, Marcus Sedgwick renders Venice the most perfect backdrop for this intensely gripping vampire action THE BOOKSELLERshow more

Rating details

492 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 21% (103)
4 36% (175)
3 32% (156)
2 10% (50)
1 2% (8)

Our customer reviews

Now this is a proper novel about vampires - and they don't even make an appearance properly until later in the book. It's also a proper book about Venice, set during the end of the winter carnevale - approaching the start of Lent, when Venice becomes a masked city of revellers. Marko, a doctor's son, comes to Venice after receiving a strange letter from his father Alessandro, who had travelled there to attend an old friend Simono, a glassmaker, who was seriously ill. When he arrives, he finds his father has disappeared, Simono has gone mad and his daughter Sorrel is at the end of her tether, worried that her father will die and that their house is cursed. Strange things are happening in and around Venice involving a band of celebrants with a strange tattoo.They will come to a head during the festival when the new Doge takes his seat, and it seems that Simono is somehow involved in these events. It becomes a race against time for Sorrel and Marko, (who as you may expect, begin to fall for each other) to solve the mystery and to find Alessandro. This Gothic 18thC Venice in winter is wonderfully realised. You can smell the stench, hear the water constantly lapping on the piles, and feel the damp and gathering dread in the fog. It's also all the better for the vampires coming from Eastern Europe folklore, rather than any modern romantic interpretation. This is a sophisticated novel for teens steeped in a sense of time and place, and a cracking good more
by Annabel Gaskell
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