Troubador Midwinter Folk

Released: 28/09/2019

ISBN: 9781838590642

eISBN: 9781838596781

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Midwinter Folk

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When Rowan’s parents divorce, her brother Luke turns ‘cold and strange’, and suddenly Rowan starts hearing voices. Is someone stalking her or is she going mad? London is caught in the grip of the coldest winter on record. The Thames freezes over and the streets are half-buried by snow.

Rowan soon realises that Luke has been snared by the enemy; the voracious Hunters who want ‘power over all’, and finds that she is running for her life across the increasingly bizarre landscape of the frozen city. It takes a journey into the treacherous depths of Midwinter to save not only Luke, but all that she holds dear.

The old lady looked long into Rowan’s eyes. In the green depths Rowan thought she could see faces amongst leaves, human-like, creature-like, deer running in the shadows of a great forest. “They are in for the kill, Rowan. Remember you have allies. But take care, for ‘The Hunters’ have many spies.”

I don't usually read fantasy novels but this one really gripped me. It's an incredible achievement for a first time author, with the worlds of Summerland and Midwinter richly imagined, and builds to an impressive climax that had me sneaking upstairs - away from invited guests - to read the final chapters!

The hero/ine of the piece is like Frodo Baggins - unsure of her ability, full of anxiety, yet grows through her challenges and adventures into a brave soul yet still vulnerable, still motivated by her simple desire for family.

Part One of the book, set in a frozen London, is dark and menacing and I found this a little tough going. However, once Rowan and her brother Luke travel to Summerland and the adventure proper begins, I found myself completely absorbed in their story. Part 3 becomes much darker as a Mordor-like territory is richly imagined. The author pulls no punches in describing some of the more grisly things that take place there - vegetarians take note!!

I sincerely hope Rebekah has another book up her sleeve, it would be interesting to see what else she can conjure up in that fertile imagination of hers!

by Tim Moran


A beautifully crafted debut novel which takes classic fantasy themes and blends them with current issues. I especially loved that the central character is an ordinary little girl who has inner strength despite being scared and uncertain. Many of the strongest characters are female and this is so refreshing in the world of fantasy literature. I found that the story quickly pulled me in and was well paced leading up to an exciting final chapter. For children, this story could be quite scary, but I would say that if your child is okay with the earlier Harry Potter, novels, then they will probably be okay with this. Great read for the older child/teenager who enjoys Philip Pullman or JK Rowling.

by Sally Faulkes


This book was such a joy to read. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately but this was the perfect read to bring me back to reading.

by Suzanne Waters


Midwinter Folk is an enjoyable story which took me on the adventures of the heroine, Rowan. This magical fairy tale is Rebekah Clayton’s first childrens’ book which is centred around a young girl who is destined to undertake a treacherous journey and quest to save her brother and all that she knows. Rowan struggles with keeping her family together and completing her quest with the help from her friends. The discoveries of Rowan’s new abilities and who she really is, along with the troubles of her family life, will help this story resonate with many young people.

Midwinter Folk has all the great features a child’s fantasy novel should have: villains, self-discovery, mystical people and places, trusting and knowing supporters of the main character, a deep driven reason to complete the quest. I found myself comparing this book to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The vivid descriptions enable the reader to visualise the scenery and the characters, some of which are quite graphic and gruesome. Readers who have a spot for animals or are a little squeamish may find a few of the scenes in the final part of this book unnerving. Some of the descriptions were confusing; for example, I was unsure of the age of Rowan and got a bit lost in some of the battle scenes, however, this did not take away the true enjoyment of the storyline.

by Betanda


Despite odd pacing—never quite slow, but varying between steady and breakneck—Midwinter Folk was a very enjoyable read. I found myself caught up in the characters, thinking about them not just when they weren’t on the page, but also at times when I had to put the book down to do other things. There was a moment or two that made me wince a little and wonder how suitable this is for children, which is not a thing I usually do, but I know I absolutely would have lost myself in this story when I was young.

by Rowan


This book was such a joy to read. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately but this was the perfect read to bring me back to reading.

by Suzanne


Rebekah Clayton

Rebekah Clayton grew up in punky 1970s London. Although she was attracted to the energy and rebellion of the times, she also had a passion for nature, 19th C novels, folk rock and Pre-Raphaelite art.

Her childhood home had been built opposite a dark and spooky Victorian pile, named 'Bleak House' by the locals. Its forbidding and overbearing presence awoke her imagination, and, along with the short stories of Oscar Wilde and the novels of the Brontes, gave her a fascination for all things Gothic: ghosts, ruins, spirits, fairies, graveyards and times long past.

She immersed herself in creativity: writing, reading, painting, learning herb and folklore and music - singing in various rock bands. At college she studied Art and later, at university, English Literature.

Rebekah earnt money in various ways from au pairing to being a shorthand secretary.

Her favourite venture was owning an organic shop & cafe. Rebekah has two wonderful children and they live in the beautiful county of Derbyshire.

She recently achieved a first class honours degree in Creative Writing and won the Percy Snowden prize.



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