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The Kiss of Death (My Swordhand is Singing, #2)
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The Kiss of Death (My Swordhand is Singing #2)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  472 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Marcus Sedgwick's tale of Venice and vampires is a captivating companion volume to the bestselling My Swordhand is Singing. Marko and Sorrel meet in Venice for the first time. They must uncover the mystery of what has happened both to Sorrel's father, plagued by a strange madness that prevents him from sleeping, and to Marko's father, a doctor, who has mysteriously gone ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Orion Children's Books
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Oct 20, 2011 Sally rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, vampires, italy, 1700s
Aww man! I feel so rotten giving this only two stars, but it was just such a chore to slog through :( And I love Marcus Sedgwick enough to list him as one of my top ten favourite authors, and My Swordhand is Singing is one of my absolute favourite books. So I was all excited to read this sequel-slash-companion book, but then the first time I picked it up I barely made it to the end of the first chapter (which is all of three pages long) before growing bored. This happened the next several times ...more
Apr 03, 2009 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Marko is summoned by a letter to Venice, in search of his father who has gone missing. He finds Sorrel, whose father has gone mad, and a mystery that appears hopeless to solve. He is determined to try, however and it is soon obvious that finding the one father is the only way to cure the other. But this is Venice, where a facade of elegance, sophistication and ritual tries to hide underlying decay, danger and corruption.

Venice is perfectly suited to Sedgwick's Gothic sensibilities and the city h
Fantasy Literature
Oct 18, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it it was amazing
Though generically named, The Kiss of Death is a fantastically original and exciting novel, full of blood, danger, thrills, mystery, and legions of the undead. It is sequel of sorts to My Swordhand Is Singing, in that it features Peter and his father's sword from the previous book, though here the attention turns to two new protagonists. Perhaps it's better described as a companion piece to its predecessor, as although it's not necessary to have read My Swordhand is Singing, familiarity with who ...more
Dec 27, 2009 Anne_MB rated it liked it
A sequel to "My Swordhand is Singing", set many years later and with the appearance of only one of the main characters from the first book.
I was a little disappointed with this as a sequel because I would have liked to have read about the many intervening years between the events of this book and the first.
However I still enjoyed this novel very much.
Yolanda Sfetsos
After reading several Marcus Sedgwick novels, I couldn't wait to get stuck into this one. And when I found out that it's a companion to MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING, I was very excited. I love vampires, and absolutely loved the different take in that book.

Marko is a young man who leaves his home to go to Venice in search of his father. When he gets there, he meets up with a young girl called Sorrel. She's not very happy to see him, because when she sent Alessandro's letter to the doctor's house, it w
Dan. Thompson
The Kiss of Death is one of those standalone sequels that doesn't really need you to HAVE read the first book - which I find annoying sometimes. I enjoyed My Swordhand is Singing, and was very much looking forward to seeing Peter gallivant off and slay some vampire-zombies.

We are introduced to two new protagonists here though - Marko and Sorrel - in the beautiful setting of Venice. I very much liked the topsy-turvy ambiance the book threw at you however. Marcus Sedgwick has always been a fan of
Jan 06, 2011 Loupie rated it really liked it
This sequel to the wonderful My Swordhand is Singing is set more than 100 years later and 900 kms to the west of the cold forests of Romania. At the north-west tip of the Adriatic Sea is a shallow lagoon, protected from the sea by narrow strips of land. And the jewel at the heart of the lagoon is Venice – a city unlike any other.

Marko has ventured to Venice, from across the Adriatic, in search of his missing father, and discovers that his absence is tied up with a curse on the Bellini family - t
Reetta Saine
Jul 24, 2011 Reetta Saine rated it liked it
Shelves: enkku, kauhu
Venetsian dekadenssi sopii miljööksi maailman synkimpiin tarinoihin - olivatpa ne sitten Thomas Mannia, Donna Leonia tai Sedgwickiä.

Markon isä on lähtenyt kaupunkiin parantamaan vanhaa ystäväänsä, jonka sairauteen kaupungin omat lääkärit eivät löydä hoitokeinoa. Matkalla isä katoaa, ja perhe saa vain uhkaavan, pahaenteisen kirjeen.

Marko sonnustautuu matkaan tutkimaan mysteeriä, ja löytää ensimmäisen johtolankansa Kuoleman talossa asuvan sairaan miehen luota. Outo tauti estää uhriaan nukkumasta
Charlotte Stevenson
Apr 01, 2013 Charlotte Stevenson rated it it was amazing
I really struggled with starting the book, but only because the book has such a complex and mysterious story line which you gradually uncover to reveal the ending. The characters were so real and easy to relate to, and I like that it was a vampire novel that for once focused more on the story than on a love story or on the vampires or the main characters. The story was so short and yet you meet so many people. As a dreamer and one who wishes to travel and read english at Oxford, I really enjoyed ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Hannah rated it liked it
I think it's a bit of a stretch to even call this a companion book not just because the story and characters are so different but it's like a completely different book. I wasn't overly keen on the first book and had I not bought the omnibus edition I doubt I would have read this second instalment of the sword hand series.
My main complaint with book 1 were the characters and relationships. No such issue in this book. Marko and Sorrel were a good pairing with a developed relationship. The familia
Nov 26, 2015 Jess rated it it was ok
This second book was so disappointing. The first book left me wanting more, when the story ended I was desperate to know what happened next. So, when I picked this second book up, I expected to read about Peter and Sophia, and their adventures to find the Shadow Queen, but no, suddenly the whole setting moved to Venice and some Marko and Sorrel became the main character of the story.


I kept wishing some plot twists would happen and make me like the story but the book failed to do so. I c
Sedgwick really likes mysterious father figures. Either they’re dead/disappeared or their inaccessible (drunk) and they tend to have secrets, either through backstory or otherwise. Moms are way more boring (usually dead or without a secret or both). This was again a boring book about vampires featuring a normal boy who has to get tough and an already feisty girl. Peter (the protagonist from book 1) shows up as an old badass with the magic sword (which keeps him young)! But poor Sophie is dead ...more
Paula Soper
Jun 28, 2016 Paula Soper rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2016
I can't help it. Sedgwick's writing is like heroin to me. I'm more than willing to stop other obsessions just to read his books (I think Blood White Snow Red will be next. Maybe I'll get crazy and read another novel first.) BTW - A.S. King will be the Keynote Speaker at ALAN this year!! Woot!

I love Sedgwick's settings and characters (mostly his settings). He takes me to great locations and then scares my socks off. LOVE! I would hand this book to any teenager who likes the dark stuff.

Kristen Glenn
Jun 20, 2016 Kristen Glenn rated it liked it
Shelves: books-11-20
Something evil seems to be wending its way through the streets of Venice. Sorrel must find out what has happened to her father who seems to be going mad. Marko must discover where his father has gone. These two unlikely heroes end up together in a fight against evil. They do not know who they can trust for it seems that most of Venice has fallen under some kind of spell. An older gentleman with a magical sword comes to their aid.

I liked this book. Sedgwick does a nice job of telling a story. Th
Robyn Lindeque
Jul 18, 2016 Robyn Lindeque rated it liked it
I only realised half way through this book that it was a sequel of sorts to 'My Swordhand Is Singing'. Luckily it didn't affect my reading experience as I never felt confused or lost at any point in the book. However, this definitely wasn't my favourite Marcus Sedgwick book. I'm a big fan of his short stories and I just found 'The Kiss of Death' a bit slow to read. In the beginning, however, I was hooked by the intriguing and beautifully described setting of Venice, but near the middle of the ...more
Aisha Kholwadia
Jan 03, 2015 Aisha Kholwadia rated it liked it
Marko, is a teenage boy who is sent a letter in his father's handwriting, who we find out is missing. Marko leaves his home and travels to Venice to search for his father. In Venice Marko meets Sorrel and she is disappointed by Marko. Sorrell is living in a haunted house with a father who is being driven mad by an inability to sleep. Together, they try to find Marko's father as well as trying to find what is happening to Sorrel's father.
It is a fun and fast paced read as the main characters are
Feb 07, 2015 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all....OMG!!! At first when I Loved the first book (My Swordhand is Singing) and when I heard there was a second, I was skeptical, but once I begun, i noticed I couldn't put it down. The writing style was as fantastic as the first book and like his other books. It started out slow, but it picked up speed and like an avalanche it crashed down into a pit of plot twists and resolutions and took a left turn into unexpected happening!.

At first i didn't like the layout but I came to understa
Lucy Hutchinson
Jul 14, 2015 Lucy Hutchinson rated it it was amazing
Marcus Sedgewick has a rare and beautiful gift for story telling, not just telling a story.
I brought this book home in the hope of reading it before my son, but not a hope! He had whipped it away before I could blink, returning it a week later with the word 'brilliant'. Now I have had my turn to read it I would add 'fabulous'.
With every book Sedgewick whisks us away to a different time, a different place. Such research shouldn't go unmentioned. The locations are described in minute detail.
I wou
Jan 04, 2011 Georgina rated it it was amazing
I love Marcus Sedgewick's stories for many different reasons but one of the things I enjoy most about them is the handling of death and how its seen by the characters. He is brilliant at making both the characters and the reader come to terms with it's inevitableness without making the reader feel hopeless.

This book is a sort of sequel to my sword hand is singing but it isn't necessary to read it to understand this one.
Sep 03, 2015 Attila rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'd normally avoid a book with such a cheesy title, but this is actually the sequel to My Swordhand is Singing, a novel I liked. It does not have much in common with Swordhand however; it rather resembles Sedgwick's Book of Dead Days and Dark Flight Down: a teenage boy and girl try to survive and to avert a menace in a sinister, gloomy, hopeless world. A good and atmospheric read.
Alicia Papp
Sep 09, 2012 Alicia Papp rated it really liked it
I just love Marcus Sedgwick range as an author. He writes incredibly well on a variety of different themes and subjects, and his Kiss of Death is a wonderful example. He captures the evil and menace that lurks beneath the gaudy surface of Venice in the 17th century, where the evil Shadow Queen is plotting her next move. Great characters in Marko and Sorrel and a welcome but sad appearance by Peter from My Sword Hand is Singing. Chilling and haunting - a great read
Betsy Lavadia
Mar 01, 2013 Betsy Lavadia rated it really liked it
"Death can come in many forms but in Venice, death comes by water." It was a refreshing book to read - even if it's about death and loss. This book helped me remember why I love reading so much. :)
I enjoyed it. I just feel bad that this is the second book of the "My Swordhand is Singing" series. :| Just found this book on sale. :(

Good luck finding the other books of this series.
Anyway, you can take the book as it is. :)
Awesome read.
Feb 23, 2011 Bethany rated it really liked it
A really interesting story, Marcus Sedgwick has a wonderful way of spinning tales and crafting a cast of characters so fascinating that it'll keep you reading. One chapter in particular, about Venice, completely blew me away. I'd tried to read My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick just a year before this book, but this is something different. Well worth the read.
Dec 19, 2015 scarlettraces rated it liked it
On the basis of this and My Swordhand is Singing, I don't get the hype. I think it's a plot/character thing - the plot is too darn obvious to mitigate the bland characters/the characters aren't intrinsically interesting enough to amuse until we get to the freaking obvious. I should probably try one of his adult novels before I give up completely.
Ramon Alarcon
Jun 28, 2012 Ramon Alarcon rated it really liked it
Excellent sequel to My Swordhand is Singing. Marko, Seller & Peter are excellent characters...the author Marcus Sedgwick does a great job of connecting the reader to them very quickly. Sedgwick is a master of concise storytelling...perfect blend of pace and detail.
Jun 12, 2011 Emily added it
Found out this is a sequel/companion to My Swordhand is Singing, a book I've never read, but from the first page I already love Sedgwick's writing and so I will pick up the book before I finish and review this one.
May 11, 2011 Iskreads rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: evryone
Recommended to Iskreads by: my parents
Shelves: 6th-mohan
This turned out to be my favorite book since i red it. i love how the author descries all the characters(their looks, and their personalities). it is a really good book as i said before, and i hope you get some time to read it yourself!!!!!!

signed, Yatir Grinberg
Mar 10, 2011 dluvsbooks rated it it was amazing
I like the fact that is so different from what I've been reading. A refreshing change. Marcus Sedgwick is definitely a pro writer and it speaks through his words.
Nov 26, 2015 Booklover11 rated it it was ok
A little to vampire novel for me but other then that it was good if you like that kind of thing. It was not what I expected.
Mar 12, 2012 Mima rated it really liked it
Shelves: vampires, 2012
Amazing!! I don't think it is quite as good as My Swordhand Is Swinging, but is oh so very close.
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Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Hea ...more
More about Marcus Sedgwick...

Other Books in the Series

My Swordhand is Singing (2 books)
  • My Swordhand is Singing (My Swordhand is Singing, #1)

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