Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

Some authors deserve a fanfare when they are about to publish and Frances Hardinge is one of those!

A new novel from Hardinge is a thing of joy! She is one of those authors who seem to have never put a foot wrong in their writing: plots, impeccable; characters, vivid and real; language, beautiful and lyrical… She manages that balance between the mythic and fairytale and the credible and real so effectively!

From Pan Macmillan’s website:

‘One of our finest storytellers,’ Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent


From Frances Hardinge, the Costa Award-winning author of The Lie Tree comes Deeplight.

The gods of The Myriad were as real as the coastlines and currents, and as merciless as the winds and whirlpools. Now the gods are dead, but their remains are stirring beneath the waves . . .

On the streets of the Island of Lady’s Crave live 14-year-old street urchins Hark and his best friend Jelt. They are scavengers: diving for relics of the gods, desperate for anything they can sell. But there is something dangerous in the deep waters of the undersea, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.

When the waves try to claim Jelt, Hark will do anything to save him. Even if it means compromising not just who Jelt is, but what he is . . .

Hardinge creates an entire world and furnishes it with wonders. Pure magic. M.R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts

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

In Deeplight, Hardinge’s unparalleled, terrifying imagination illuminates an underwater world filled with the potent debris of departed gods, and the desperate ambitions of the humans who seek it. No one else writes quite like her – every new book is something extraordinary to be celebrated. Imogen Russell Williams

Some expansive praise in those quotations which, for anyone else, I might dismiss as advertising fluff… but which, with Hardinge, I’d wholeheartedly endorse.

The pinnacle of her work, for me, has been Cuckoo Song, a novel which I have adored for four years now – was it really 2015 that I first read it – and which has become embedded in many of the lessons I have written and taught as a class reader. Creepy, evocative, fairytale, mythic. And her other two monumentally wonderful books – and that’s not to knock her earlier work – are The Lie Tree and A Skinful of Shadows which combine the supernatural with the historical with more deftness and skill and success than almost any writer – on a par with Sarah Perry’s Essex Serpent and Melmoth.

I do have just one complaint. October 31st is an awfully long time to wait still…

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