Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess


Written by Melvin Burgess

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Not suitable for younger readers

Melvin Burgess is justly regarded as the Godfather of Young Adult fiction in the UK. He doesn’t disappoint with this work of mind-bending imagination and power, in which myth, magic and science fiction are mixed with the basest and best of human – and inhuman – emotions. A must-read for all fantasy fans.


Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess

Set in a future Britain, amidst a terrifyingly savage post-apocalyptic landscape, Bloodsong tells of the life and many deaths of 15-year-old Sigurd, young hero of this particular age. Sigurd is sent on a suicide mission to a bomb-flattened London to try to kill a seemingly invincible dragon-creature, who in reality is a much-augmented human being with impenetrable scales for skin and a peerless command of technology in its defence. Armed only with a flawed but God-tinged sword as a weapon, the young Volson’s plan is to lie in wait for the beast in a shallow grave, and to gut the monstrosity as it trundles overhead.

That Sigurd succeeds in this impossible mission is due to his courage, ingenuity and timely reincarnation after his unfortunate first death. Reborn to re-unite the kingdom, Sigurd passes first into a captivating underworld, where he finds love, then onwards towards glory and wealth.


'A gripping story of horrific proportions from a prize-winning author.' Publishing News

...this is more than a vivid story, full of passion, intrigue and terrifying violence. It is also beautifully wrought. -- Anne Johnstone Glasglow Herald

'Based on the same Nordic saga as the award-winning BLOODTIDE, this is another riveting story. The Bookseller

Burgess's great triumph is not so much in inventing new stories as in finding fresh ways of retelling the ones that are themselves in danger of falling into extinction. -- Kathryn Hughes Guardian

Dark and tragic as it frequently is, nevertheless pulses with the intensity of lives richly lived and experiences richly recaptured. -- Robert Dunbar Irish Times

About the Author

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess was brought up in Sussex and Berkshire. As a child, his reading included The Wind in the Willows and Gerald Durrell's animal stories. He went on to enjoy The Hobbit and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books. A generally unconfident student, he became interested in writing when he was twelve and an English teacher praised one of his stories - "it was about the first time I'd ever done anything that got an A. I was so pleased I never stopped." After leaving school, Melvin moved to Bristol where he worked on occasional jobs, mainly in the building industry, and was often unemployed. He started writing in his twenties and wrote on and off for the next fifteen years before The Cry of the Wolf was published in 1990. He moved to London in 1983 and began a small business marbling fabrics for the fashion industry. In 1997 his controversial bestseller JUNK won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal. It was also shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Four of his novels have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Melvin Burgess is regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children's literature. In 1997, his controversial bestseller Junk won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal. It was also shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Four of his novels have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Melvin lives in Hebden Bridge with his partner.

Photo credit: John Coombes

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Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 12


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Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

1st September 2005




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

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