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A Skinful of Shadows

by Frances Hardinge

'new gen' - Great Books for Young Adults Books of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on A Skinful of Shadows

Award-winning Frances Hardinge’s latest novel bubbles over with brilliant ideas in a fast-paced and thought-provoking adventure encompassing families, a very special kind of haunting, spying and the English Civil War. Twelve year Makepeace has grown up practising how to defend herself against spirits who go in search of another living being to inhabit when they are released from the dead. Makepeace is skilful at defence but, when grieving the death of her mother, she lets her guard down and is filled with the spirit of a bear. But Bear is a friend as much as a foe and now Makepeace has a strong internal allay who may be exactly what she needs when she goes to stay with her father’s terrifying family whom she needs to resist at all costs. Frances Hardinge’s beautiful writing makes the unbelievable credible and tangible as she weaves together and then unravels layer upon layer of complexities in this substantial and deeply story.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E.

A Skinful of Shadows Synopsis

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.

A Skinful of Shadows Press Reviews

The orphaned Makepeace can see ghosts and store them within herself, in a form of loneliness that is close to madness. As the Civil War breaks out, her Puritan upbringing is at odds with her defiant spirit. This adventure fizzes with rare imagination and style. For 12 yrs+ - The Daily Telegraph

Electrifyingly good, A Skinful of Shadows dances between reason, compassion and the supernatural with exceptional artistry. Even in a remarkable year for children's books, it strikes gold. - New Statesman

Frances Hardinge's latest novel, A Skinful of Shadows has a plot every bit as strange as her last, Costa-winning The Lie Tree. The thrilling story follows a 12-year-old girl who has imbibed the spirit of a bear, and is in danger from demonically possessed aristocrats. - Daily Telegraph (Books of the Year)

Chillingly atmospheric, historically fascinating, it's also blackly comic in parts and beautifully written. - Daily Mail

Creepy, clever and mind-blowing. - Emerald Street

Hardinge's tale of ghosts, puritans and shaping your own destiny is an unmissable, hypnotic treat. - Observer Children's Book of the Week

Hardinge's hypnotic prose and resourceful heroine will appeal to young adults and adult readers alike. - The Mail on Sunday

Hardinge is a talent who deserves to be read by children and adults alike. - Guardian

'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 Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now. -- Patrick Ness -

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781509835508
Publication date: 03/05/2018
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers International Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509835508
Publication date: 3rd May 2018
Author: Frances Hardinge
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers International Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 448 pages
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction, Books of the Month, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Fantasy romance (Teenage), Historical fiction (Children's / Teenage),

About Frances Hardinge

Frances Hardinge spent a large part of her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University, then got a job at a software company. However, a few years later a persistent friend finally managed to bully Frances into sending a few chapters of Fly by Night, her first children's novel, to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer. The book went on to publish to huge critical acclaim and win the Branford Boase First Novel Award. The Lie Tree is Frances's seventh novel.   ...

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