historical · sci-fi / fantasy

Review: Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick; Julian Sedgwick

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick and Julian Sedgwick is quite a journey. This book is not only beautiful with the drawings and poetry but also engaging and touching as the prose takes the reader on a journey.

Harry is a conscientious objector, wanted to be a war artist and is a firefighter. Harry’s brother, Ellis is on the front lines and a wedge is driven between the brothers because of their beliefs.

Always hoping for reconciliation with his brother, Harry meets with Ellis at a local pub. The pub is bombed later in the evening, injuring Harry. When Harry awakes, it’s to the news that his brother has been killed even though his body hasn’t been found. Harry begins his journey to try and find his brother, refusing to give up on him.

Harry’s commitment to finding his brother made my heart ache. He’s steadfast in spite of the fact that he’s injured, weak and losing touch with reality.

Perhaps because he’s injured, Harry begins to merge the plot of a story he’s writing, with his desperate hunt for his brother and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I was only vaguely familiar with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice but I found that didn’t matter as I made my way through this book.

The art in this book captures the stark reality of the way, with a strange intimacy that I didn’t expect. The drawings are detailed, sometimes tragic and very poignant.

I received an ARC of Voyages In The Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick; Julian Sedgwick from Candlewick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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