The novel focuses on two young boy's, Kit Watson, and John Askew. Both boys are thirteen years old. Both boys live in Stoneygate, an old mining town where the very hills and ground beneath the town are a warren of ancient tunnels and shafts. Both boys are named after great uncles who died in a deadly coal mine cave in. In the cemetery outside Stonegate there is a monument to that disaster, and inscribed in the stone are the words “John Askew, aged thirteen” and “Kit Watson, aged thirteen.”
In the town of Stoneygate there is both life and death, history and the present, warmth and cold, light and darkness. Gradually Kit and John will be drawn in to the most risky and the most feared game of all, the game called Death.
David Almond's prose is haunting in style, with beautiful word pictures that are at the same time slightly disturbing. “Kit's Wilderness” is remarkable for its aura of mystery tempered by the feeling of age and death. Basically summarized “Kit's Wilderness” is about contrasts, with the biggest contrast of all being life and death. David Almond uses carefully designed characters to balance and reflect each other with their qualities and personalities.
“Kit's Wilderness” is the kind of book that leaves you absolutely blown away by the beauty of the written word. I highly recommend it to all readers. For another book with a similar chilling setting read: "Frozen Fire," by Tim Bowler.
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