A Skinful of Shadows is a dark YA historical fantasy set in the early part of the English Civil War. Makepeace is an illegitimate daughter of the aristocratic Fellmotte family, and as such, she shares their unique hereditary gift: the capacity to be possessed by ghosts. Reluctant to accept her appointed destiny as vessel for a coterie of her ancestors, she escapes. As she flees the pursuing Fellmottes across war-torn England, she accumulates a motley crew of her own allies, including outcasts, misfits, criminals, and one extremely angry dead bear. From Costa Book of the Year winner Frances Hardinge comes a new dark historical fantasy that’s sure to satisfy her leagues of fans who are eager for more.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Frances Hardinge is the winner of the Costa Book of the Year for The Lie Tree, one of just two young adult novels to win the major UK literary prize. She is the author of several books for children, including Cuckoo Song, The Lost Conspiracy, Fly by Night, Well Witched, and Fly Trap. She lives in England. Visit the author at franceshardinge.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Last year, I read (and very much enjoyed) The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge, so when I found out she had another book coming out, I was in! Alas, though it was strange and magical (in that it contained magic), it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The concept is fascinating: a young girl discovers she can sense spirits, which is terrifying in and of itself. However, it turns out she can also house those spirits within herself, and the spirits know it. Desperate to “relocate” and hang onto human life a little longer, they pester her and torment her, forcing her to learn how to fend them off. In fact, her mother forces her into a graveyard regularly to practice, despite how much she hates doing so, and though she resents her mother for putting her through this, it eventually makes her strong enough to fend for herself against much older and stronger specters, the likes of which she never imagined. So much prospect in this story, but ultimately it fell a bit flat for me. Makepeace is an interesting character, and I admire her moxie. She is served up a rather difficult existence from the get, but she never gives into despair, always strategizing for the long-term goal. However, the other characters were rather despicable, even those who we are to believe are redeemed. I suspect that I was supposed to come back around and forgive a certain character (trying to avoid spoilers here), but the truth is, I never liked him to begin with, and the close relationship Makepeace was supposed to share with him was never fleshed out enough to feel like anything. It was weird, and I generally like weird. But I think I expected spooky or creepy, and it certainly wasn’t that. Since The Lie Tree was slow to boil, I anticipated the same with this book, but at some point, I started to wonder if the burner was even on. It just never got beyond lukewarm for me. In a word: meh. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reivews.