Marius and the Band of Blood (Tales From Schwartzgarten)

Marius Myerdorf has discovered his parents have been eaten by wolves. After an exhaustive search, there is one remaining relative who will take him in, saving him from the horrid prospect of the Swartzgarten Reformatory for Maladjusted Children. But his new life with his great-great-uncle Kalvitas, famous chocolatier and member of the prestigious Guild of Twelve, does not get off to the best start. Soon, Marius is plunged into a world of abduction, disguise, adventure and initiation into the infamous Band of Blood as they race against time to uncover the most devious plot Schwartzgarten has ever seen. The members of Guild of Twelve are being murdered one by one by an unknown evil force. And the orphans of the famous city are vanishing…

This story, like all the others in the Tales From Schwartzgarten series, is dark, twisted and scary, but hilarious. The characters are well defined and memorable. The plot line is exciting, creepy and fast-paced. Expect gasps and laugh-out-loud moments as you wind your way through the convoluted streets (and lives) of the city. This is the fourth in the series, but they don’t need to be read in order, which is a real bonus. Though there is reference to events and characters in the other books, the central focus is the city itself…and all the dastardly deeds that occur throughout its history. A brilliant and darkly humourous read in the style of Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket.