Something wicked this way comes...
The plot: Strange, horrific things are happening in the sleepy village of Nag's End. Five riders rumble through town and days later they are found dead. What killed them? Elders are quick to dismiss this as s a wolf attack, but something strange and evil looms. Furthermore, there is a new, beautiful girl, Fiona, in town. Rowan Rose feels drawn to her and her best friend Tom is soon infatuated. Pretty soon townspeople are dropping like flies. Just what evil lurks and what secrets will Rowan learn about her family in the process?
The characters: Templeman paints an interesting mix of characters. Personally, I wanted more depth and believe that the novel might have benefited more from a first person POV. Rowan is a strong character. She defies the conventions of female restrictions by wanting to leave Nag's End and be a scholar. I particularly enjoyed her fight with her father when he agrees to her marriage without consulting her wishes. I wanted more from the other characters such as Tom and Fiona. The villain should have been more wicked. I did like Jude, but still was left wanting more.
Overall, this is an elegantly crafted novel. However, it would be a hard sell to many teen readers. It moves at a slow pace and lacks the clear cut story telling, characters, and interest longed for by most teen reader's today. That being said, it is a sophisticated novel and those wanting to read beyond the typical teen fare may find this intriguing. I did not love it but can appreciate it and the cover art is hauntingly eye catching.