A Skinful 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.
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
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?