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Frances Hardinge: enter an imagination like no other



Frances Hardinge is a writer with an imagination like no other. Her stunning novels for teenagers and young adults are vibrant, beautifully crafted and the twists and turns in each story always come as a complete surprise. That's why as soon as a new book by Frances comes out, we drop EVERYTHING to make it top of our TBR (to be read, for the non-internet-speakers of you) pile.

Well - good news! Now you have not one, but three, Frances Hardinge books to read. Gullstruck Island, Verdigris Deep and A Face Like Glass are all being reissued in January with amazing new covers for you (and us) to covet. 

We've put together a handy spotter's guide below so you can easily identify your Frances Hardinge novels.
 

Gullstruck Island

On Gullstruck Island the volcanoes quarrel, beetles sing danger and occasionally a Lost is born . . . In the village of the Hollow Beasts live two sisters. Arilou is a Lost - a child with the power to depart her body and mind-fly with the winds - and Hathin is her helper. Together they hide a dangerous secret. Until sinister events threaten to uncover it. With a blue-skinned hunter on their trail and a dreadlocked warrior beside them, they must escape. Can the fate of two children decide the future of Gullstruck Island?
 
Discover a dazzling world, a breathtaking heroine . . . and an incredible adventure!
 
 

Verdigris Deep

Verdigris n. a blue-green rust that tarnishes ageing and forgotten copper coins, altering them entirely . . . 
 
One evening, Ryan and his friends steal some coins from a well. Soon after, strange things begin to happen. Peculiar marks burn on Ryan's knuckles and light bulbs mysteriously explode. Then the well witch appears, with her fountains for eyes and gargled demands. From now on the children must serve her - and the wishes rotting at the bottom of her well.
 
In the tradition of truly fantastic story-telling, Verdigris Deep is darkly witty, utterly creepy and clever.

 

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 . . .

 

Cuckoo Song

The first things to shift were the doll's eyes, the beautiful grey-green glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss's face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak. 
 
'What are you doing here?' It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. 'Who do you think you are? This is my family.' 
 
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 . . .

 

The Lie Tree

The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father's journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.
 
When Faith's father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, and the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.
 
But as Faith's untruths spread like wildfire across her small island community, she discovers that sometimes a single lie is more potent than any truth.