Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Darkwater ” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.39  ·  Rating details ·  727 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
What would you sell your soul for?

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Trevelyan would give anything to regain the power and wealth her family has lost, so she makes a bargain with Azrael, Lord of Darkwater Hall. He gives her one hundred years and the means to accomplish her objective--in exchange for her soul. Fast-forward a hundred years to Tom, a fifteen-year-old boy who dreams of a
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Dial Books for Young Readers (first published February 1st 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Darkwater, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Darkwater

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Wendy Darling
2.5 stars The fantastic premise behind this book sadly does not deliver on its promise.

16-year-old Sarah Trevalyn, a young girl in Victorian England, strikes an unthinkable bargain with a mysterious stranger named Azrael: one hundred years of wealth and property in exchange for her everlasting soul. Years later, she gets involved when a boy named Tom begins a journey down the same path.

What I liked:

-- The basic outline for this story is fascinating.

-- Some of the descriptions were quite lovely.

Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Catherine Fisher never fails! This story had me entranced from the first page. I fell in love with Sarah and her story and even fell for Azrael, as strange of a creature as he may be. Catherine Fisher is always able to create such a beautifully mysterious world filled with even more mysterious creatures and wonders. She answers just enough questions while leaving you hanging and wondering and thinking at the same time. I love you, Catherine Fisher! I'd ...more
Kat Heckenbach
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
What really impressed me about this book was the richness of the story world and depth of character in such a short length, compounded by the fact that it's really two stories--the story of Sarah, then the story of Tom (and his brother Simon) 100 years later.

The book is filled with imagery and interesting characters. And symbolism seemed to be all over the place.

What fell short for me was the ending. There were too many things left unexplained. I am fine with ambiguity, but there were flat-out
Jul 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Catherine Fisher on top form, technically, gives us a story about a bargain for a teenaged girl's soul. Inspired by Dr. Faustus and the alchemical quest to create gold from base metal, this story's primary strength is its characters. They are flawed, sympathetic, real. Indeed I think this is Fisher's great strength as a writer; her protagonists are completely convincing human beings. (Fisher has used all sorts of mythic and religious inspirations; classical Greek, ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Arthu ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I thought the book had a good premise. With Sarah the main character at the beginning cutting a bargain with Lord Azrael to get what she wanted for 100 years in exchange for her soul at the end of that time period. After the bargain the story fast forwards 100 years to present day and you meet a new character, Tom, who the reader a brief glimpse of in the beginning of the story. While the story has a small amount of action and some intrigue. I really wanted more background to the characters who ...more
Maureen E
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've read several books by Catherine Fisher, including the Relic Master series and the Incarceron duology. I've had mixed reactions to her writing in the past. Generally, I have wanted to like them and loved the set up of place and character and world and so on, but felt like the end of the series tended to not fulfill my expectations.

Darkwater is a self-contained book, which I think helped it. We start in the 19th century with Sarah Trevelyn, last of the fallen Trevelyns, once lords of the ma
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nycc-2012
Whatever else may be said about this book it is amazingly well written. The scenery and tone is kept well through out the book. However, I feel this book finished without anything actually happening.

The story is dark, that much is obviously by the cover art, yet the author manages to to keep the tone of the writing dark without condemning the characters and reader to an overly dark and depressing world. There is little to no light relief which parts could have benefited from.

The book is a quic
Melissa McShane
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think the fact that I put this book down for two weeks and didn't feel compelled to pick it up again says everything. Catherine Fisher is a great stylist and creates interesting worlds, but the story of Sarah and Tom just didn't do anything for me. The twist in the plot that comes near the end is too obvious: the mysterious antagonist goes from being clearly one thing to being clearly another without any intermediate hinting around that things are not as they seem, or even any events that in h ...more
Courtney Schafer
The ending was a little abrupt for my taste, but I love the way Fisher takes the traditional gothic tale of the first part of the book, skews it sideways in the second half, and plays havoc with all the reader's assumptions. Azrael in particular was a fascinating character - wish there would be a sequel featuring him! And as usual with Fisher's novels, the story was chock-full of cool ideas and atmospheric imagery.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it
It was spooky & a cool premise, but I needed more. It was so short!
Gisel Alvarez
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Darkwater is a book about a sixteen year old girl named Sarah Trevelyan who has lost everything and is willing to do anything in order to get her family’s power and fortune back. She makes a deal with man named Azrael, Lord of Darkwater Hall. He gives her 100 years and the money and everything else she would need to accomplish her goals in order for her to give him her soul. The book fast forwards 100 years to a boy named Tom who wishes and dreams of attending Darkwater Hall School but he doesn’ ...more
Natalie S.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
The text was good, but I'd prefer maybe some more action and suspense. The book is about a girl named Sarah. Sarah lost her home because her grandfather gambled it all away. They were very rich and practically ruled Darkwater. Sarah wanted her old life back, so she met someone named Azreal. Azreal is a devil from Hell who wants to take peoples' souls. Sarah makes a bargain with him. She says to get one hundred years to make up for all the badness they caused, in exchange for her soul. Over the o ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book or story line started off kind of slow
For me but as I read on I became very interested
In the storyline.
Did Sarah make a bargain with the devil,demon or creature
Of time?
Did it turn out for Sarah? Who was tom and Simon and
Why did they care so much for Sarah?
I gave it four stars because I did feel it left
Me hanging for a book two but a overall good story.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. The story is short but so rich and engrossing with characters that are so realistically flawed and complex yet relateable. I love her books. They are familiar yet so uniquely thought out they the keep mind engaged and stimulated trying to figure out how things will develop.
Angela Gaede
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kinderbücher
Tolles Buch und genau die richtige Lektüre für stürmische Herbsttage oder Halloween.
Maranda Russell
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Not big on the ending, but was otherwise a good read.
Jody (that_one_girl_who_reads)
Aug 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-2-stars
You know a books not for you when you're 100 pages from the end and you skip to the last chapter to find out what happens... and don't even feel like you missed anything to get the ending :(
Dina Coutu
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
kept me reading needing to know the answers to so many questions...... but sadly I still dont have the answers
Sarah Trevelyan comes from a rich family, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. The Trevelyans have lost their money, their family house (the rather ominously named Darkwater Hall), and their power. Now she and her father, the only Trevelyans still living, live with their former maid Martha in her tiny cottage. Sarah is desperate to get family’s estate and wealth back, so when Azrael, the new owner of Darkwater Hall, makes her a deal, she agrees: she sells her soul for the chance to have h ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked the concept of this story, the idea of bargaining one's soul to get what you most desire, but past that, this book didn't live up to my expectations. The story is told in two parts, Sarah's and Tom's. Sarah's story takes up the first half of the book, late 1800's to early 1900's or so in England, with her family and how they fell down the social ladder to ruin, and Sarah's attempt to return her family's status back to where it was. She makes a bargain to regain her family's wealth and u ...more
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
I liked this book! I wish there had been more, but it was exactly the story I needed. I think the most successful aspect is the atmosphere created in the town and the school, both in past and present. The gothic setting and characters are very spooky, complimented by an interesting mystery.

Sarah Trevelyan, whose grandfather lost her family's extreme fortune in a lost bet, wants nothing more than to return to her family's estate, Darkwater Hall. A hundred years later, in present day, Tom wants no
Sarah would give anything to regain the power and wealth her family lost, so she makes a deal with Azrael, Lord of Darkwater Hall. He gives her a chance to accomplish her objective, providing the time and the means, all in exchange for her soul. Fast-forward one hundred years to Tom, a young boy who dreams of going to Darkwater Hall School but doesn't believe he has the talent. Until he meets the new professor, Azrael, who offers him a bargain. Will Sarah somehow be able to stop Tom from making ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This story was quite interesting, I have to admit that I was a little bit surprise by the story itself and the main subject was kind of a first for me. Even if I've heard about it before, I never really read about it.

The story doesn't seem really long (still 240 pages) and I read it quickly (I'm used to read book over 300 pages) but the subject and the plot were something catchy. From the first page I was immersed in a universe, characteristic of the Victorian era and well described, illustrated
Here we have a story where two parts become one. In the first half of the book, we meet Sarah Trevelyan, descendent of the once-proud and wealthy Trevelyans. She has been reduced to assisting in a local school house to make ends meet for her and her ailing father. All the while, the spectre of her family's former glory, Darkwater Hall, looms over her. Sarah would give just about anything to get her family's honor back. One day, she meets the new lord of Darkwater Hall, Lord Azrael, who offers he ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Welsh fantasist extraordinaire Catherine Fisher takes on the familiar tale of someone who sells their soul and regrets it. But she does it in her own style, leading to an ending most readers won't expect unless they're really up on their mythology and/or folklore.

The young girl who sells her soul is Sarah Trevelyan, the last of the once-proud Trevelyan family. I take that back; they're still proud, they've just lost everything. But she sells her soul to regain Darkwater Hall from its new lord, g
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is likely to grab the reader's attention from the very beginning. Dialogue is well done and the action keeps a relatively steady pace. The story is particularly interesting to me because it does a great service in revealing the downfalls of ignorance, pride, and greed. The manner in which Catherine delivers this message/theme causes the reader to feel simultaneous empathy and disgust towards Sarah Trevelyan, the main character.

I felt that some sequences of the book left me a bit conf
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Given my love affair with all things Welsh and considering that Incareron and Sapphique are some of the best YA stuff out there, this should be a no brainer 5 star. I even have just read Doctor Faustus for a drama class and loved it so what's not to love about a young girl who sells her soul to the Devil? So when this book came for Christmas, I eagerly put aside every other book, and put off writing that long overdue paper for my psychology class and cracked open the book. Fisher's writing is
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another absolutely fascinating book from Catherine Fisher. What, if anything, would you sell your soul for? Sarah, 16, is the mainstay of her family; their manor has been gambled away. When she loses her job as a slavey in the local dame school, Lord Azrael, the man who won her ancestral home from her grandfather, offers her a job in his library. But what will this job really cost her?

A century later, 15-year-old Tom, from a poor family, is also offered a job at Darkwater hall - by Lord Azrael.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The story felt too rushed--if I'd gotten to know the characters better, I might have been able to sympathize with them. Actually, the book was only about 200 pages. It really could have been expanded into more than 300. I would have liked Simon/Tom's relationship to be more dynamic. There was so much potential there: these two boys are twins, but one of them is dead-or is he. What was Tom's childhood like as he grew up talking to a ghost? Was it lonely? Did it give him different perspective on l ...more
BAYA Librarian
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sarah Trevelyan is a prideful young woman whose family has fallen far from their privileged background. Now she must live off the charity of others in a small home as a tenant and struggle to feed her ailing father. Azrael , the current owner of her family’s former estate Darkwater Hall comes to visit and gives Sarah a job in his library at Darkwater. When he offers her the hall in exchange for her soul a desperate Sarah agrees. Flash forward to the present and Tom, a 15 year old has been bullie ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ship of Souls
  • The Demon Catchers of Milan
  • The Opposite of Hallelujah
  • Flash Point
  • Break My Heart 1,000 Times
  • Magisterium
  • Let's Play White
  • The Suburban Strange
  • League of Strays
  • Dust Girl (The American Fairy, #1)
  • The Claidi Collection
  • Anything But Ordinary
  • Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty
  • Summer of the Mariposas
  • Death's Apprentice (Grimm City, #1)
  • The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore (Charlotte Sycamore, #1)
  •  Safekeeping
  • Drain You
Catherine Fisher was born in Newport, Wales. She graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in English and a fascination for myth and history. She has worked in education and archaeology and as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. She is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy.

Catherine is an acclaimed poet and novelist, regularly lecturing and giving readings to groups o
More about Catherine Fisher

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Sanctuary (Nomad, #2)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Genome (The Extinction Files #2)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mechanica (Mechanica, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Wired (Wired, #1)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Bandwidth (An Analog Novel Book 1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Bees
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Land: Founding (Chaos Seeds, #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Gone (Gone, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Friday
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Dhalgren
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • Homeworld (Odyssey One, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Recurve (The Elemental Series, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Deviants (Dust Chronicles #1)
    $4.49 $0.99
  • Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Out of the Black (Odyssey One, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Acacia: The War with the Mein (Acacia, #1)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Menagerie
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Black Bird of the Gallows
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8)
    $8.99 $2.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »