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10 thoughts on “Verdigris Deep

  1. Nataliya Nataliya says:

    We always find it difficult to forgive our heroes for being human This is one of the best books I've read this year despite it being a children's book Here I said it It has that amazing level of complexity and ambiguity the brave tackling of difficult uestions friendship loyalty and the grey undertones of both right and wrong that so many adult books lackAnd it does not talk down to children its intended audience Instead it assumes and does so correctly that children have the mental capacity to deal with the ambiguities of life without the need for sugar coating and simplification In short it's another addition to the ever growing pile of books meant for my future hypothetical daughter that I will be proud to give to her as a future hypothetical parent The hardest thing for me was to get past the silly American edition title Well Witched the title that just screams of silly unicorns and candy canes and perhaps a magical witching school somewhere Well from now on I'll think of this book by its original British title 'Verdigris Deep' the title that avoids the childish cutesy that is really not a part of this book and instead suggests something sophisticated and sinister exactly keeping up with the tone of this bookWhoever those people are who decide to change the titles of books for American public mostly succeeding in making them sound dumber or sillier or needlessly sensational those people need to be fired pronto Idiots Frances Hardinge just may become my favorite children's book author if she keeps writing like this with lovely phrases and apt descriptions and dialogue that feels alive and complex characters that become and three dimensional as the story progresses and her ability to cultivate and maintain suspense and her ability to make even the adult readers gasp and choke up a bit and have that funny feeling deep in their chests that makes them wistfully look back at their childhoods Her ability to make her young characters come to life reminds me of Pratchett and Gaiman and King and for those who know me that's saying something indeedThis story is about a trio of children who get caught in the web or a well of events they could not really anticipate Having taken a few coins from an old wishing well just to get enough for a bus fare they suddenly find themselves way over their heads when they are not only forced to become wish granters but have to endure their friendship bonds straining their families fall apart and innocent seeming game turn into a true life or death scenario all while seeing their childhood ideas crumble and their hero thrown off their pedestalRyan is an 11 year old boy who skipped a grade because of his cleverness worried about school and bullies and seeing things a bit differently from others a bit upside down It had shown him that if you looked at things from a new angle they could suddenly become unfamiliar and scary It became important to see things in so many different ways as possible so they couldn't catch you by surprise Chelle is a 12 year old timid asthmatic girl who can never stop talking despite nobody ever really listening to her striving for some approval and understanding but always failing at it; a bland 'coleslaw' to her colorful friends Poor Chelle always waiting to find out what she was allowed to think or feel No wonder she had been so uiet when Ryan and Josh were arguing And finally Josh is a 13 year old troublemaker adopted into a rich but cold family who has taken the two misfits above under his wing and seems to understand Ryan's way of viewing the world upside down; Josh to whom nothing ever seems impossible who has an inexplicable way of always getting things to go his way; who always needs to be a center of attention and who can get a bit scary when he feels guilty or out of control Josh was a firework and you never uite knew which way he was going to explode It is Josh who initially seems to be at the heart of this story whose carelessness gets the friends in trouble who goes down the wishing well to grab an ill fated fistful of coins who is the only one to initially take the strange happenings in stride and infuse them with his trademark brand of carefree energy And it's also Josh who because of all this appears to be particularly susceptible to the power of the strange happenings and who makes a journey from being the indisputable hero of Ryan and Chele's lives to well you just need to read on to find out Josh had not understood that every wish came in two parts including a secret part of which even the wisher was often unaware Together and apart these kids go through losing some of their innocence and not in the way they ever expected They learn the perils of power and pain of revenge and mystery of family ties and the multi layered nature of wishes which can hide many unexpected dangers Including the dangers of wanting something so much that it takes over you completely Josh nobody's child nobody's Chosen One and now nobody's hero The nurses bustling through the ward have no idea that a god had given up her power just to give him a chance at happiness Right now even that chance seemed pretty slender This is one of those books that can stir up some deep unexpected feelings when you get through it the feelings that are greyer and murkier than you'd expect to be brought up by a middle grade book I think I hated him for a bit he said after a moment Just for you know not being everything I wanted him to be But even with all the bad stuff he was still my friend And if your friend's drowning even if he's trying to drown and struggling to shake your hand off his sleeve you don't let go do you? Easy five stars for this book along with yet another wave of frustration at ridiculous publishing decision to hide the awesomeness of this story behind a silly title that is bound to turn away uite a few potential readers robbing them of the experience Verdigris Deep can be Frances Hardinge I plan to read the rest of your books just hoping that they will be just as good as the two I've read so far As he read them out one by one he imagined his words drifting down through the brown water into the green water to where a gold robed god sat by a silver fire in her lonely hall handling a pair of yellow tinted sunglasses as gently as if they were a living thing


  2. mark monday mark monday says:

    At first I wasn't too sure about this one Was this really going to be all about three kids who run around granting various wishes to different people? I wasn't too down with that Also wasn't very excited about a book that features a bunch of warts But the novel turned out to be interestingly layered and I was happily surprised by it Many things eventually absorbed me An understanding of people and wishes what wishes could actually mean the transient desires and hidden emotional needs that often create wishes how most wishes should never come true The image of ghostly dream snakes writhing from people's chests was unexpected and a perfect analogy for wishes A sidekick for a hero and a character who would perhaps normally be the hero being well something else something a lot complicated Annoying girl character turns out to be the cleverest and most resourceful of all yay Increasingly excellent prose Hardinge has a way with words by turns clever thoughtful or jarring depending on the scene and often describing thoughts and situations in unexpected ways A surprising darkness at the heart of one of the antagonists an elderly woman with a tragic backstory A bizarre attack in a home and a very strange flood were really gripping seuences Realistic parents A smart and clear explanation of how gods turn into saints and what those saints eventually turn into namely a barely understood name whose history has been forgotten A certain lack of closure for one of the leads a character who remains complex and whose fate remains ambiguous I love how the author didn't back away from that because sometimes life isn't too kind to kids Those horrible little warts turn into SPOILER amazing little eyes I'm still uite sure I don't want them growing on my hand but they did turn out to be pretty handy


  3. Betsy Betsy says:

    I’ve been around the block when it comes to loving first time authors if you know what I mean That pretty little debut novel comes out and suddenly you can’t stop talking about it You proselytize “your” find to the high hills in an attempt to convince the world around you that what you have here is pure unadulterated gold Then the author’s second book comes out and inevitably the crush fades You notice flaws in the new book It could never live up to the pristine glory that was the author’s first title so you swallow your disappointment and move on with your life Now in 2006 there was a little novel by the name of Fly by Night that came from first time writer Frances Hardinge People who know me know that I was head over heels for that title And when I received her second book to be published in America Well Witched I knew that I was either going to see lightning strike twice or be deeply disappointed And what I found made me reevaluate my take on Hardinge’s writing but in a good way A very different beastie from her first outing Well Witched has a slow start but once the action starts hopping it becomes a heady examination of power wishes and whether or not it’s fair to label something evil if it's merely misunderstood or out of place Well what would you have done? Here they were stranded in a small village that they were NOT supposed to be visiting in the first place and Ryan Josh and Chelle had just missed the cheap bus out Now they’d have to scrounge up some money for the heftier fare and where on earth were they supposed to do that? Really when you think of it it was only logical rob the wishing well Right? I mean it’s not like it was going to miss the dough But then soon after strange things start happening to the three kids Josh seems to affect everything around him electrically Chelle starts speaking the thoughts of certain people she’s near And Ryan’s got these warts on his hands Innocent at first and then less so It soon becomes clear that the three are under the thrall of the spirit that lives deep inside the well and they have a job to do For each coin they took they must make that coin’s wish come true At first it’s fun stuff like getting someone a motorcycle or helping them fall in love Soon though it becomes clear that even if the wishes are death and dismemberment they must help the wishers achieve their desires And when one of the three starts taking the job a little too seriously there are conseuences involved that none of them could foresee At first you’re not sure why you’re getting everything from the point of view of Ryan It’s like reading a Harry Potter book and finding that you’re inside the brain of Ron the entire time Ryan is Josh’s right hand man He’s not particularly brilliant or funny He's just a normal guy and it's JOSH that's the star of the show As the story continues however it becomes clear that Ryan has a streak of good old fashioned decency that will get him through this experience with a lot less damange than Josh I admit to you right now that when I began reading the book I was disappointed by the plodding pace Maybe “plodding” is too strong a term Let’s call it “purposeful” then It takes a while to get going I liked learning about Ryan’s family and that kind of stuff but the other two main characters didn’t gel for me Even the powers the three receive were okay but I didn’t really get into them It wasn’t until the characters started to get proactive going out there finding wishers and making wishes come true that the pace picked up And when the villains of the piece started showing their true colors and the morality of what they were doing was called into uestion then I found I couldn’t put it down The story’s basically a roller coaster ride If you can sit through the slow trip upwards the downhill plunge is worth your hard earned cashTechnically it’s a fantasy novel but you might also be able to call it a horror There elements in this book that screenwriters would kill to rip off if they knew about them I mean what would happen if you opened your eyes in front of the mirror and found that your reflection had kept its own closed? And what’s when those eyelids DID open what if they released gushing torrents of murky water? Consider too the warts on Ryan’s hands I don’t want to give anything away but imagine waking up in the middle of the night looking at your hands and seeing lines of hairs running through the center of each wart I’d have nightmares about that if my brain was smart enough to think it up on its own Mind you I don’t think that these elements make the book inappropriate for children Just bear in mind that there are psychological elements that play on our fears rather than our fantasies in this storyHardinge is the ueen of the description Nobody matches her in this respect Nobody Listen to some of these lines as they appear throughout the story“Chelle was biting her lower lip her upper lip pulling down to a point like a little soft beak”“I hate scars and things they make my stomach feel like it’s unpeeling”“ and it’s tricky because she always makes me feel like well you know what it’s like when somebody’s watching you and you can feel it like dead leaves down the back of your sweater ““She had big vague eyes and a big vague smile and was always very busy in the way that a moth crashing about in a lampshade is busy”“There was a pause while his brain hopped back and actually heard what Ryan had said”“ this was different and this was hate This had brewed itself to a blackness like ink”Regarding shopping carts “Ryan had always thought that carts had far too much body language for objects with no heads or limbs”Harding is also able to point out things about a person that we recognize without having thought of them before Like when you pray to God in such a way that you hope that God would be impressed by your bravery She gets people and the little crazy things that make us human It makes her inhuman water spirit all the frightening when you couple that kind of pitiless sense of black and white against humans and their charming flaws The spirit doesn’t care if people make bad wishes or want to take them back later All she cares about is granting them I like books where human characters encounter someone alien and you feel that distance and that strangenessThe redemption of Chelle is one of the finest things about this book In fact when you think about it the whole novel is about redemption Nobody in this story is really “evil” even though incredibly evil things occur or almost occur And I was as gung ho to see the bad guy get it as anyone but Hardinge doesn’t play by those rules This isn't a book that's going to merrily kill a character for sport Death is a desperate dangerous thing and everyone in this book knows itThere are things that don’t make sense a slow start and some lines that don’t work with the rest of the text but on the whole Hardinge’s book is captivating reading The central idea is that when we wish we aren’t wishing for what we really want We’re wishing for the outer shiny layer not the nut of the wish Hardinge prefers nuts and by the end of this book you will too A scintillating tale worth discovering


  4. Patrick Burgess Patrick Burgess says:

    Another Great Book Fallen Victim To The Average American Reading Level which they say is around the 8th grade Which I blame on dumb adults thinking kids aren't smart enough to read beyond their expected reading level How the heck are kids going to learn to read higher than they already are if they aren't challenged? When I was a kid I didn't let the prospect of unfamiliar words or concepts deter me from reading oh no I carried a little dictionary around with me and what I didn't understand I just waited until I was old enough to 'cause there are just some things that you won't get until you've lived a certain amount of experienceComing back to this book the original title in the UK is Verdigris Deep An utterly lovely intriguing mysterious title Had I seen THAT title I would've been all over this book like a monkey on a banana Well Witched on the other hand an inane pun if I may say so made me roll my eyes and almost pass over it Luckily I was bored so I took the time to read the inside blurb Intrigued me enough to take it for a spin LOVED ITHardinge has a wonderful way with words but most importantly her characters are real They're flawed they're complex they change through the course of the book and they're not perfect They're interesting Uniue Verdigris Deep aka Well Witched blechh is a story about the power of wishes the truth about wishes the terrible horrific self destructive conseuences that wanting them can cause It's at times deliciously creepy vividly poetic and satisfyingly complex despite it being a children's novel I think people underestimate children's ability to grow in terms of comprehension and literacy We aren't doing them any favors simplifying literature dumbing things down so that they're interested so that they're comfortable reading at their level Shouldn't we be challenging them to always keep growing improving?In any case this book is a wonderful example of what children should be reading writing that fires the imagination inspires thoughtfulness and encourages a love of words and the wonderful things you can do with themSide Note Another book title fallen victim to dumbification Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone aka Sorcerer's Stone


  5. Veronique Veronique says:

    35 “Making a wish is like saying 'I can't deal with anything I give up somebody bigger come along and solve it all insteadThis was one creepy read Hardinge puts together one hell of a story using usual horror tropes as well as creating her own ones Who ever thought that trolleys could be menacing Although the plot was sound and the characters interesting it took me half the book to finally get involved Not entirely sure why that is either However after that point I couldn't stop This did coincide with Ryan's behaviour to a certain extent view spoilerNow that I think about this could it be that his 'passivity' in the first half affects the reader in some way making us passive too? But that when he changes his perspective all of a sudden the narration picks up too Maybe hide spoiler


  6. Wealhtheow Wealhtheow says:

    Ryan is introverted and young for his grade Chelle talks in a never ending stream of babble They feel humbly grateful when the new kid rich self possessed impossible to embarrass or discomfit takes a shine to each of them Together they form an inseparable trio having what seem like thrilling adventures hiding away a teacher's bike helmet taking a bus to a bad part of town etc But these low stakes shenanigans take a darker turn after Josh steals money from a wishing well to get bus fare The spirit of the well grants each of them powers and demands they grant all the wishes left behind in the well Josh Chelle and Ryan try but some people's wishes aren't really what they want or were never what they wanted or should never ever be granted Enthused by his purpose and new poltergeist like powers Josh intends to grant every wish no matter how dangerous but for the first time Ryan and Chelle stand up to him But the well spirit will not be deniedThis was fabulous Ryan Chelle and Josh each felt fully realized just like kids I've been or known and their relationships with each other were wonderfully believable and recognizable There are all these wonderful little details about who calls who and the kinds of jokes they habitually tell and that sort of thing that made their friendship feel almost like a character itself Even their families are fleshed out particularly Ryan's Characters are introduced as those witty one sentence descriptions that Roald Dahl or JK Rowling are so good at Of Ryan's father You often got the feeling that he was sharing a clever joke with somebody you couldn't see picking the words most likely to amuse them Or Miss Gossamer always reminded Ryan of a mummified cat he had once seen in a museumThe cat had looked half starved but with a shocked sleepy supercilious look But they don't remain one line characters and I loved seeing behind the curtain for each of themThe magic is strange mysterious and creepy Figuring out what the well witch wants and what to do to about it reuires elliptical thinking grit and research into old myths and old hurts All my favorite things This felt like a modern Edward Eager or Diana Wynne Jones story I was so happy to read it


  7. Heidi Heidi says:

    Making a wish is like saying ‘I can’t deal with anything I give up somebody bigger come along and solve it all instead’Ryan Josh and Chelle miss their last bus home when hanging out in Magwhite the village they only freuent because it is forbidden by their parents They’ll do just about anything to make it home without having to call anyone even if it means wrangling up some extra change to buy tickets for another bus line Short on money and options Josh descends into the local wishing well and crawls back out carrying enough change to pay their way home Soon the kids learn they’ve done anything but take the easy way out as each of them begins to take on some unsettling powers Unsure if they’re radioactive crazy or just plain unlucky they realize that they didn’t just take change from the well they took people’s wishes and those wishes need grantingMy initial notes for Well Witched state how whimsical and jaunty it feels–how different from Gullstruck Island And then this happenedThat’s when I remembered that behind the veneer of charming metaphors and the unexpected personification of shopping carts lies Frances Hardinge’s ability to dig under your skin and inject you with emotions you never anticipated when picking up this book I’ve read Frances Hardinge before and she still manages to blindside me–and yes creep me out just a bit I feel I was lulled into complacency by the cutesy US title ‘Well Witched‘ when the slightly ominous and mysterious ‘Verdigris Deep‘ suits the story much better I suppose the publishers thought young American children wouldn’t pick up a book containing a word in the title they had little to no chance of knowing but I like to think that young readers are attracted to the challenge of the unknown I for one will now never forget that the term ‘verdigris’ applies to that bluish tarnish that will appear on copper brass or bronze after a period of time Like the Statue of Liberty or like coins down a wishing wellWell Witched is at its core a story of human nature I was astounded as I read realizing just how well Frances Hardinge understands people Who they are what they want what they really want under all of that wantingAnd of course it is a story of wishes I don’t think it’s outrageous to assume we’ve all heard the expression ‘Be careful what you wish for’ and that we also could all recount a handful of tales demonstrating the truth of those words Well Witched however isn’t the story of wishers it’s the story of those who make them come trueThere is Chelle helpless cowardly and lacking the ability to stay uiet She looks to her two friends for everything including permission to form whatever thoughts and opinions will be approved of There is Josh who was their salvation He is a year older with a humor and fearlessness that would leave him in charge of any situation with all those around him seeking his approval And then there is Ryan Ryan who has always seen the world in an “upside down” sort of manner and seeks to see things in as many different ways as possible so as to never be taken by surprise Chelle wants to be helpful and needed Josh wants to be in control and Ryan mostly just wants to understandWell Witched is told in the third person over the shoulder perspective entirely from Ryan’s point of view Through him we see the chilling horror of lines blurring between nightmare and reality and the desperation to hold onto what you care about Even when holding on means changing so much of who you let yourself be growing and seeing the reality in others I love that nobody really changes throughout the course of Well Witched they only become on the outside who they were on the inside–or maybe we’re slowly infected with Ryan’s upside down way of viewing the world and can begin to see everyone differently We realize that parents are just people too and that our heroes are only human and that it can be very confusing trying to determine what a person really wants when they make a simple wishWell Witched was a harrowing adventure story but it is the underlying feeling it gave me that I will remember long after I’ve returned the book to its shelf It focuses on friendship child parent relationships and the darker side of people in ways that are rarely examined in Middle Grade literature It is fun fantastical and unexpectedly chillingFrances Hardinge has a way of hooking together words from the English language that makes me feel as if everyone else has been doing it wrong uite frankly I couldn’t recommend her books Originally reviewed at Bunbury in the Stacks


  8. Zen Cho Zen Cho says:

    THIS WAS SO GOOD It was a standard British kids find magical thing are led into adventures like Five Kids And It but turned up to eleven I highlighted a lot of turns of phrase just because I liked them so much I huddled in bed and whimpered in fear and wished I hadn't read it so late at night in an unfamiliar room I went to sleep at 4 amThe detail really makes it setting it's all in the setting It's just really funny and magic and scary and real and it keeps raising and raising the stakesI was really surprised by this I read Fly By Night and wasn't that impressed so I wouldn't have picked this up if I hadn't come across an interesting positive review of it I'm definitely going to go back and look at Hardinge's other booksIt's just SO GOOD


  9. Dancebeneaththestars Dancebeneaththestars says:

    35 Overall I enjoyed this book I think I would have liked it a whole lot when I was younger My kids are definitely getting a new book to add to their shelves I think they will love it 🙌It deals with a lot of problems to do with growing up example Just going along with what the dominant friends says until they become a crutch Until you don't dare do anything unless it's their plan It was nice to see Ryan and Chelle mains become their own To say 'no this is wrong we have to do something lets fix it or try to'It also shows that people get angry about things they can't control they take their anger out on people who don't deserve it just because they have what they want Sad but trueI loved that the wishes had an undercurrent a 'what they thought they wished for' and a 'what they wished for underneath' it was certainly something to think about Say you wished for world peace but underneath it you wanted friends which wish would get granted?Hardinge's books all have a dark tone which I love I always have done sometimes I find it falling a bit flat though which is why I said I would I have liked it when I was younger Taste changes My level of darkness has gone up As a Eleven year old I would have been reading this getting a bit freaked out maybe At my age now not so much I can sense the darkness I can feel the vibe I just can't taste it Which is a must when reading a book of this nature But again I'm not the age it's meant for I'm going to wait a while and read it to my kids and see what they think I will then update this review with their thoughts When it came to the end I found myself asking what was the point in it all? Other than the standard 'dealing with growing up uestions' Which isn't a uestion I like to ask myself It was a fun weird read but that was all The characters held the draw it was like the plot was just to add something to the characters Or this is how I feltI adored Ryan's parents I could not stop laughing each time they appeared I would gladly read a book all about them Hardinge knows people that's for sure her characters are all so real which is the most important thing for me so I would 100% recommend this book just for that alone


  10. TheBookSmugglers TheBookSmugglers says:

    So this bookMy last Frances Hardinge woeKind of blew my mind awayBut at first it totally threw me I started reading it and was all like what is this? Because this is the only Hardinge that is not set in a secondary world It is the only Hardinge set in our own contemporary world It is the only Hardinge that has a boy protagonist It is the only Hardinge that is Horror than FantasyThree friends Ryan Chelle and Josh find themselves without their bus fare home and daredevil Josh climbs down the local Wishing Well to collect some of its coins to pay for their journey Then weird things start to happen Ryan gets warts on his hands – warts that turn out to be eyes that give him second sight Chelle starts to broadcast other people’s thoughts uncontrollably babbling out loud what they are thinking Josh affects the magnetic fields around him giving him power over metal and electronics In the meantime Ryan also starts dreaming about a terrifying figure and that’s when it hits them that what they stole were wishes and now the spirit of the well expects them to grant those aided by their new powersAt first things seem easy enough A guy wants a Harley Davidson let’s get him one A girl wants to hook up with the person she is in love with let’s get them togetherBut soon the kids realise that wishes are not as straightforward as that because sure the guy might wish for a Harley Davidson but what he really wants is to be cool And how can they possibly ascertain those different layers? And what happens when someone wishes for something negative to happen to their enemies?Just then things get really out of hand when Josh starts to enjoy his powers a bit too muchVerdigris Deep might sound like the Odd One Out among Hardinge’s bibliography but it’s not really There is the awesome concept just like her other books There is the cleverness of the plot the creativity of the story and the refusal to pander to children The love for language shines through and oh my God how could I not be completely head over heels in love with how language finds new highs in her books Some ten yards away Ryan stood there stupidly holding a carrier bag full of canned sweetcorn while he watched the continents of his world collide and the stars fall out of the sky Almost involuntarily he started counting through the Fibonacci seuence in his head to keep himself sane One two three five eightToday the numbers failed him The way they built up only seemed an echo of what was happening before him where every bitter sentence added to the last to make something bigger and worseBlissAlthough in a way this does feel like of an internalised story Her other books deal with characters growing up in the middle of revolutions or in grandiose extravagant settings and as such internal and external conflicts develop side by sideIn Verdigris Deep the story is informed by the three characters and the powers they gain are granted according to their personalitiesPopular energetic but unloved Josh gets the most flashy of the powers the one that allows him to ascertain control over those around him Both Ryan and Chelle worship Josh to the point of blindness even as he is cruel and unsympatheticChelle is insecure and shy and kind of the outsider in the group always babbling away even though the others never pay attention to what she says At one point Josh cruelly refers to her as the coleslaw of the group – a side dish that you eat up but don’t really care forRyan is the focal character and he is uiet and lonely never saying what he really wants or means His narrative starts off as unsympathetic detached and even a little bit callous when describing the people around himThe story progresses as the powers they have gained help Ryan developing a great degree of self awareness The realisation about the hero worship behind his relationship with Josh as well as his own capacity for cruelty after all doesn’t he also think of Chelle as the coleslaw? are only part of how the relationships and the characters are deconstructed pulled apart and then built up again with sympathy and compassionIn spite of all of the hijinks the fear and the creepy factor of the novel as the kids get and involved with the Spirit of the Well this is much of an understated uiet novel Because this is a book that is much about the microcosm than the macro it doesn’t end in Revolution or Change with capital letters in uite the same way that Hardinge’s other books do But it is still in many ways a book about revolution and change just as much because in the end the kids’ lives have been altered bettered and they have grown up It is a very emotional touching and humane storySo basically what I am saying is Frances Hardinge is right now my favourite writer Let her career be a long and prosperous one


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Verdigris Deep ➹ [Read] ➵ Verdigris Deep By Frances Hardinge ➼ – Thomashillier.co.uk Verdigris n a blue green rust that tarnishes ageing and forgotten copper coins altering them entirely When Ryan and his friends are caught stranded and penniless late one night they steal some coins f Verdigris n a blue green rust that tarnishes ageing and forgotten copper coins altering them entirely When Ryan and his friends are caught stranded and penniless late one night they steal some coins from a well for their bus fare home Soon after strange things begin to happen Peculiar marks tingle on Ryan's knuckles light bulbs mysteriously explode and a terrified Chelle starts speaking words that aren't her ownThen the well witch appears with her fountains for eyes and gargled demands From now on the friends must serve her and the wishes that lie rotting at the bottom of her wellIn the tradition of truly fantastic storytelling Verdigris Deep is darkly witty utterly unexpected and shiver down the spine sinister.