Fly By Night Paperback – Unabridged, 7 Jan 2011
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Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now. (Patrick Ness)
From the winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2015. Stunningly original, fabulously inventive and packed with humour and witSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
As others have said on this site, Hardinge is a fine writer with a poetical style - there is a richness of imagery (particularly personification) which elevates her novels above the run of common-or-garden fantasy writers, though this in itself is of course a matter of personal taste. She allies this interesting style with an original imagination - she has created a convincing, if fantastical, world, derived like all fantasy from previously existing ideas but taking these to new places. The novel is well-paced, with a compelling plot, and though she herself describes it, slightly dismissively, as a 'yarn', it is better than many yarns I've read recently in the same genre. She tackles 'big ideas' for one thing - freedom of thought, freedom of speech, religious toleration.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rich fantasy tale with a vibrant heroine, very different from today's usual leading lady. This was one of those books that I didn't want to end. Read morePublished 1 month ago by nita
There's a good story here but it comes with way too much poetic language for my liking. It keeps snapping me out of the action as I think 'ooo what a clever use of words'. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mai
Names are important to Hardinge and thus revealing, if humorously so, to her readers. She has invented another zany world in which a runaway twelve-year-old girl, Mosca Mye -... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Frank P Ryan
"Words were dangerous when loosed. They were more powerful than cannon and more unpredictable than storms. Read more
Just discovered this author and her books are fantastic. Well plotted, well written and most unusual.Published 3 months ago by Lizzie M
Now then. I know I bought this item on the instructions of my dear lady wife and that she's read and enjoyed it. What else can one say. Keep the wife happy and you keep me happyPublished 3 months ago by Mike Dragon
The book hasn't been read yet and probably won't be because the book I received had a different cover and my son isn't thrilled by the cartoon girl on the alternative cover and he... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
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