During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized.
An intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting world full of mysterious and fascinating characters— shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and knights—where no one is safe from the terrible being that lurks in the darkness. In this extraordinary, fantastical world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous.
Read an Excerpt
THE WHEELS WERE SOLID disks as high as Hob himself, and the wood was warped a little and wet with the snow now coming down hard and clinging in patchy lumps to the rims. The main wagon had the aft right wheel fast in a drift, and as Hob added his slight frame to the stamping, cursing struggle to free it, his foot plunged to the ankle in a depression filled with a freezing gruel of snow and mud.
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Reading Group Guide
A haunting blend of history, fantasy, and suspense, Something Red takes readers deep into the dark woods of thirteenth-century England, where something vicious is lurking. Hob is a boy on the verge of manhood, making his way through the woods with a small troupe: Molly, a middle-aged Irishwoman highly respected for her healing powers; Jack, her strong and silent partner; and Nemain, Molly’s granddaughter. Molly leads this adopted family and their wagons across the Pennines mountain range, but they soon come upon evidence of unmistakable evil. What kind of beast could slash and tear so gruesomely at human flesh and take out an entire inn full of robust men and the fiercest guard dogs? With fear rising in their hearts and the heavy snow beginning to fall, there is no more time to run or hide—the evil must be conquered, and in the process, long-held secrets revealed.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The setting plays such an important part in Something Red. Discuss the ways in which time and place affect the action and plot twists see more