a mask of shadows

Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2017. 'A Skinful of Shadows confirms Hardinge's status as one of our finest storytellers. It's rare to find a book which is every bit as intelligent and stylish as it is riveting - I was enthralled' - Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent. Frances Hardinge weaves a dark, otherworldly tale in A Skinful of Shadows, her first book since the Costa Award-winning The Lie Tree. When a creature dies, its spirit can go looking for somewhere to hide. Some people have space inside them, perfect for hiding. Makepeace, a courageous girl with a mysterious past, defends herself nightly from the ghosts which try to possess her. Then a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard for a moment. And now there's a ghost inside her. The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, but it may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. As the English Civil War erupts, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession - or death. Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now. Patrick Ness 'A Skinful of Shadows confirms Hardinge's status as one of our finest storytellers. The striking originality of its magical element is matched by a thrilling depiction of a 17th century England riven with political and religious unease. At the centre of the novel, young Makepeace is a vital and engaging presence amid a cast of extraordinary and villainous characters, and she had my heart from the first. It's rare to find a book which is every bit as intelligent and stylish as it is riveting - I was enthralled' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent Hardinge is a talent who deserves to be read by children and adults alike. Guardian



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