Darkwater – Catherine Fisher

Sarah’s ancestors used to be quite wealthy owning a huge estate, lands, and the people.  Her grandfather gambled away all of their wealth and Sarah is reduced to working as the school janitor.  Lord Azrael who won the estates from her grandfather many years ago, returns having not aged a bit and offers Sarah a deal – a deal she is cautioned not to take.  She can have her estates back and must atone for the misdeeds of her ancestors.  At the end of 100 years, Lord Azrael will gets her soul.  Flash forward 100 years to the present time and Sarah has done exceedingly good work for the locals.  Now a young boy is tempted to make a deal with Lord Azrael and gets caught up in Sarah’s plight.

Published years ago in England, the book is coming to the states.  It is a good middle school introduction to the ‘selling your soul’ plot device.  Perfect for the middle schooler because of the explanation about devils, angels, and the story of the angel who fell from grace.  These basics have to be covered before the teen reader should move to more embellished stories.  This is a stand-alone story, not nearly as involved as the author’s many popular series and is just right for the middle grades.

eGalley review   Publication date 9.27.12

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