Marcus Sedgwick
Saint Death

Orion (13+)

9781444000528 (hardback)

The inscrutable ways of Saint Death dominate Arturo’s world on the wrong side of the fence. Grinding poverty, corruption and the power of the narco-lords mean freedom is elusive and comes at a cost. Loyalty is equally rare. Life in Anapra, Mexico is almost impossible, but when Arturo is forced to gamble for his friend Faustino’s life and freedom, he risks his own in the process.

From its fairy tale opening paragraph, this powerful and atmospheric novel draws the reader into the desperation of Arturo’s world: the half-made town of Anapra, inhabited by dreamers, dealers, migrants and the faceless missing who have tried, and failed, to cheat Santa Muerte. A gripping, fast-paced narrative is interspersed with passages which offer a perspective on issues like free trade, globalization and climate change, without interrupting its flow. Sedgwick’s beautifully-crafted novel also reflects upon the nature of friendship, faith and those ‘breaches of brotherhood’ which make us flawed and very human.


Marcus Sedgwick’s first novel, Floodland, won the Branford Boase award for the Best Debut Children's Novel of 2000. His books have been shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, The Blue Peter Book Award, The Costa Book Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award.  Saint Death is his seventh book to be shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the most recent being Ghosts of Heaven in 2016. His novel, Midwinterblood, won the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award. He lives in the French Alps.

Back to The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2018