Frances Hardinge: Cuckoo Song, A Face Like Glass, The Lie Tree

Frances grew up in an old house in rural Kent, where the wind wuthered. She has always liked dark stories – when she was six, she wrote a short story that included an attempted poisoning, a faked death and a villain being thrown off a cliff – all in just one page! Later she read English at Oxford University amid medieval towers and gargoyle-strung chapels. Her hobbies include travelling, dressing in period costume and scuba diving. She is addicted to volcanoes and trying new things.

Frances has been writing (and wearing black hats) for years but didn’t submit anything for publication until her friend, the author Rhiannon Lassiter, stole her novel and gave it to an editor at Macmillan. She was swiftly contracted to write Fly By Night. She later signed a three book deal which enabled her to write full time.

Frances has won the Branford Boase Award and has been shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the William Crawford Award among others. Her second book was chosen as one of School Library Journal’s Best Children’s Books of 2008. Her third novel reached the finals of the Young Adult Category for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and was also a finalist for the School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books. She has also been longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal (three times now!) and the UK Literary Association Book Award. Cuckoo Song was chosen as one of the Sunday Times 100 Modern Children’s Classics.

Find Frances on Twitter @FrancesHardinge.


Cuckoo SongFly By NightA Face Like Glass

Cuckoo Song: When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family – before it’s too late…

A Face Like Glass: In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare – wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear – at a price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell’s emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed…

Fly By Night: A breathtaking adventure story, set in reimagined eighteenth-century England. As the realm struggles to maintain an uneasy peace after years of cival war and tyranny, a twelve-year-old orphan and her loyal companion, a grumpy goose, are about to become the unlikely heroes of a radical revolution. Mosca Mye is on the run, heading for the city of Mandelion. There she finds herself living by her wits among cut-throat highwaymen, spies and smugglers. With peril at every turn, Mosca uncovers a dark plot to terrorize the people of Mandelion, and soon merry mayhem leads to murder…


 

Fly TrapThe Lie TreeVerdigris Deep

The Lie Tree: Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter…

Verdigris Deep: 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 own. Then 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 well.

Gullstruck IslandTwilight RobberyWell Witched


 

 

 

 

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