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Fly By Night Paperback – Unabridged, 7 Jan 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Reprints edition (7 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330418262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330418263
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now. (Patrick Ness)

Book Description

From the winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2015. Stunningly original, fabulously inventive and packed with humour and wit

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Combines a very well-thought-out alternate 18th century with plenty of twisty intrigue, complicated and multilayered supporting cast, vivid description, witty and memorable dialogue, a powerful discussion of freedom of thought and a splendidly tough and sympathetic heroine. The goose is superb too. Thoroughly recommended for anyone over the age of twelve.
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Format: Paperback
My daughter (10) was given this book for Christmas. She reads extremely well but is not very sophisticated yet, perhaps. She struggled and stopped, so I tried instead...and was completely hooked: Fly by Night is a sizzling, exciting adventure-cum-detective story full of a complex blend of fantasy and history, written by someone who is clearly in love with words and books. I recommend it to young at heart adults, teenagers, and any child who is precocious enough to give it a go.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the story of a young girl born in The Fractured Realm, a fictional place vaguely resembling eighteenth century England. Citizens of the Realm worship a multitude of gods, named "The Beloved", individual "beloveds" being determined by the day and time of the person's birth. The girl is born at dusk on the sacred day of Goodman Palpitattle, He Who Keeps Flies out of Jams and Butter Churns, and because of this, she is named Mosca (The Fly) by her widowed father. Due to the lack of a son, her father teaches her the forbidden art of reading, thereby making the girl unique in this ability, and an endangered species later on in the story.

After the death of her father, Mosca goes to live in a watery town named Chough, doing the accounts and generally being a slave to her uncle. For company she keeps an aggressive goose named Saracen who doubles as a guard goose and body guard.

When she crosses paths with a man of many words but of dubious character named Eponymous Clent, she immediately feels a sort of kinship to him, and while saving him from the long arm of the law, she accidentally becomes an arsonist and fugitive.

The story follows this unlikely pair through a series of dangerous adventures, including the search for an illegal printing press, a secret subversive school, and interacting with various groups of influential people who are looking to increase their power by fair means or foul. On the subject of "fowl", Saracen also plays a vital role throughout the story.

The characterization in this book is superb, and the plot brilliantly imaginative, but it is a bit lengthy at 483 pages and complicated in its political intrigue for the average young reader. Never-the-less, for older readers and well-read children, this book stands out as being different to anything you've read before.

Rated 4.5 stars

Amanda Richards
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By A Customer on 15 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'd like to echo what Laura from Oxford has said. Fly By Night is a wonderfully lyrical, inventive book with witty dialogue and strong characterization. Children should find a magical historical world to inhabit while their Eponymous Clent-like parents will marvel at the language and ideas. Not since Philip Pullman's Lyra have I encountered such an engaging, feisty heroine - not to mention the goose. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Like many good fantasy books, the world of Fly By Night is rich with its own unique geography, religions and politics. All of this is carefully and consistently laid out, so that the readers are able to transport themselves to that other world, to see the action as it unfolds and to enjoyment exploring the new world as much the story itself.
But what sets Frances Hardinge’s work apart as truly exceptional is her obvious love of language and the talent she has to express that love so clearly through her writing. The book contains words like “mendacity” and “mellifluous,” and the instead of being gusty the “feverish wind sighed and settled.”
It is a joy to read a fantasy book written by someone who knows what a metaphor is and can use it to produce such vivid and entertaining images as the following:
“The path was a troublesome, fretful thing. It worried that it was missing a view of the opposite hills and insisted on climbing for a better look. Then it found the breeze uncommonly chill and ducked back among the trees.”
While there are signs that suggest that this is Frances Hardinge’s first major work, they are not imperfections as much as the growing pains of an artist maturing into her art. In the years to come I intend to read this work, and hopefully many more Hardinge classics, to my children in the hopes that some of Frances’s imagination and passion for language rubs off.
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Format: Hardcover
Frances Hardinge has managed to do what I never thought possible - to match Philip Pullman in creating what is not just a wholly believeable realm, but one in which I became totally engrossed and really wanted to know what happened to the characters. I can't remember when I last read a book quite as quickly as I did this one - it is a fantastic read and you really feel like you've achieved something at the end. A marvellous book that should adorn every bookshelf in the country!
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Format: Hardcover
LOVED IT. Unusually long for a book for this age group. But the heroine is great and the writing is simply out of this world. The writer uses language like a conoisseur, creating new and original metaphors and descriptions. Scrummy. The plot is not terribly original, but the world Hardinge has created is really interesting - plus there are a few great twists during the book, when you find out that people aren't what you think they are...
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