Publisher: Corgi Childrens (2012)
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Long Lankin is (according to Wikipedia) based on an English ballad called "Lamkin". The author took this old ballad and developed an entire story around it. Personally I think she created a wonderful book.
Some things I noticed about this book that are relevant:
1. I believe the book has been mislabeled. It is being marketed as "young adult" but the level of exposition and the lack of a romantic sub-plot will probably not make it very appealing to people who enjoy typical young adult novels.
2. It is necessary to invest time and patience in this book. The first 200 pages are almost boring because of exposition: Barraclough develops the background of the story (a small english village at the end of the 1950's) in detail. Cora (our heroine) doesn't just discover about Long Lankin on the first day.
3. The world portrayed is somewhat raw and this makes it realistic: children eat little or spoiled food (common after the War, when Britain was still recovering from its effects), they play in bomb shelters and parents aren't perfect (but not in the usual YA way... they are more than distant). While I thought the exposition was excessive and almost info-dumpey at times it did paint a very realistic and interesting picture of post-war Britain.
4. The wait for the "supernatural" part of the story is definitely worth it.
Overall, a good read that will make you stay up all night.
Blast from the past: originally read and reviewed in 2012