At the turn of the 19th century, William Bellman is seemingly just another ordinary boy. However, one afternoon he astounds himself and his friends by using a slingshot to kill a rook from what seemed an impossible distance. William’s friends praise him as some kind of a hero for his achievement, though he is secretly deeply disturbed and immediately sets to suppressing the memory. But though William may not remember the rook, the rooks themselves remember his crime.
Throughout William’s remaining life he is met with great success and devastating loss. In his darkest hours he is haunted by the mysterious stranger, Black. Who is he, and how is he tied to William’s fate?
I received an advance review copy of this book on Thursday and had finished it by Friday night. It was difficult to put down for long, being enthralling and dark in the way that I most enjoy. What’s more, it’s an original story, one that is refreshing to read. My only criticism is that I don’t think it matches up to The Thirteenth Tale. I didn’t come away from it as impressed as I was by Setterfield’s first book. Regardless, I think it’s worth picking up or renting from the library. In any case, the cover art is just beautiful!
Bellman & Black will be released on November 5th by Emily Bestler Books. There are a few hundred more reviews on Goodreads from other readers who received advance copies. Check them out for some more opinions! Also take a look at her first book, The Thirteenth Tale.