Fly By Night

Fly By Night

by Frances Hardinge


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Everybody knew that books were dangerous. Read the wrong book, it was said, and the words crawled around your brain on black legs and drove you mad, wicked mad. Mosca Mye was born at a time sacred to Goodman Palpitattle, He Who Keeps Flies out of Jams and Butterchurns, which is why her father insisted on naming her after the housefly. He also insisted on teaching her to read—even in a world where books are dangerous, regulated things. Eight years later, Quillam Mye died, leaving behind an orphaned daughter with an inauspicious name and an all-consuming hunger for words. Trapped for years in the care of her cruel Uncle Westerly and Aunt Briony, Mosca leaps at the opportunity for escape, though it comes in the form of sneaky swindler Eponymous Clent. As she travels the land with Clent and her pet goose, Saracen, Mosca begins to discover complicated truths about the world she inhabits and the power of words.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419724855
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 531,245
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Frances Hardinge is the winner of the 2015 Costa Book of the Year for The Lie Tree, one of just two young adult novels to win this major UK literary prize. She is the author of many books for children, which Amulet is re-releasing. She lives in England.

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Fly by Night 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These characters are my friends...the plot was intriguing but not too much so. The entire book was a perfect balance. ...and a perfect speed. Ms. Hardinge gently slips in the most tasty bits of metaphors and word-play. - the dust cover says ages 10 and up - I am 45. it's a joy for any reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that too many people think of this book as a childrens book. And the author isn't aiming it that direction. Just because the main character is a child people automatically think it's a book for children. I believe where most people get confused is when the author drops back into 'history' to explain the significance of things that happen during the books timeline. So, I would recommend it for the mature reader but it is NOT a childrens book. And just because you don't understand something, because of lack of years, doesn't make something boring for the rest of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Fly by Night' is an uninspired story with tired overused characters. Even taken as a 'fantasy-lite' story - where the emphasis is not on challenging the reader, but rather taking them on an entertaining adventure - it fails miserably. The first problem is the prose, which is as unimaginative as it is wordy. The author seems to take great lengths to describe a scene with cumbersome detail and poorly chosen words. Every paragraph seems to drag on, and when finally finished, you don't feel as if you know any more about anything. The next problem is the dialog, which is simply poorly written and dull. Lastly, the story is so cliche that it really isn't worth getting to the end to see what happened. With the plethora of stories available in this genre, a potential reader would be best suited to go elsewhere.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is why I keep on reading; for all the sludge you find yourself wading through, every so often you turn up a genuine diamond. 'Fly By Night' is set in a world something like 18th century England, dominated by myriad household gods but still haunted by a religious reformation that¿s been overturned but whose influence still casts a shadow. Our heroine is Mosca Mye, a plucky young orphan who escapes from her evil uncle by the simple expedient of setting fire to his barn, picks up an itinerant wordsmith by way of adult guidance and, with no other companion than her evil-tempered gander Saracen, sets out to find her way in the world, cheerfully creating havoc wherever she goes and ending up embroiled in a revolution that involves, amongst other things, a ragged school, an illegal printing press, warring trade guilds, a mad Duke and his sinister sister, floating coffee houses, and a highwayman who finds his destiny changed by the power of the printed word. Exciting, engaging, literate, and wholly wonderful.
thatwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Odd. Much like an Edge Chronicle book
nzf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fly by Night, a well written Fantasy book, is geared towards Middle School students. The plot is complicated with enough characters and twist to keep readers engaged. Students who enjoy the Fatansy genre will appreciate the plot and array of characters. On the other hand, reluctant readers would struggle to understand the plot and lose track of the characters that drift in and out of the story. They would also struggle with the language of the book, which is written in Old English.I would recommend this book to the middle school fans of the Fantasy genre who are strong readers.
Marared9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mosca Mye, a young girl in big trouble, finds herself on the run when she joins up with Eponymous Clent, a wanted criminal. Mosca and Clent's adventures will keep the reader guessing in this tale of censorship and political intrigue set in a medieval-style imagined land. In a kingdom where reading is forbidden and words are potentially treasonous, Mosca quickly becomes entangled with a secret printing press and a forbidden school. Unsure of who she can trust, Mosca needs to use her head to survive. I found this one to be particularly delightful to read because of the authors clever turns of phrase and colorful details. I loved the floating cafes, haunts of writers and other miscreants. Overall a great read.
morganwright on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The girl was kinda dumb to believe that a criminal would be kind to her, and not try to con her out of anything, but other than that, i thought it was good.
extrajoker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
first line (of the prelude): "'But names are important!' the nursemaid protested."first line (of the "A" chapter): "It was often said that only divine flame could persuade anything to burn in Chough."This is the first book by Frances Hardinge, whose Verdigris Deep (published in the U.S. as Well Witched) I greatly enjoyed. Fly by Night is a children's historical adventure with wonderful writing, appealing characters, and a tight, interesting plot. I really liked it and think I'd like to have Ms. Hardinge's babies...or, barring that, at least read her latest, Gullstruck Island.
jcsoblonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amazing. Astounding. Breath-taking. WOW! To be honest with you, I didn't have high expectations about this book. When I read the cover it sounded so-so. But it was a hard cover, brand-new, and $6.99 at chapters. The first couple chapters really didn't seem that great, but then I started to get into it. The next day, I didn't get any housework done because I was reading it all day. I couldn't put it down! It is a fresh, wonderful story. Highly recommended!
CornerDemon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My biggest beef with this book actually has little to do with the book. It has to do with the way the book was "sold" to me. I'll warn future readers: The inside flap LIED. The book has little to do with Mosca's love for words. Not all books have been banned, only books that haven't been printed by a certain group. The story has less to do with books and Mosca's pursuit of words than it has to do with POLITICS.When my husband asked me to tell him what the book WAS about, I was hard-pressed to tell him. The plot changes quickly from moment to moment and Mosca goes from a plum-dumb country girl to a city-savvy spy quickly. What changes even faster is who she is spying for. It's engaging and fast-paced, if a little confusing.Mosca herself is hard to describe. She's quick-witted and able, but sometimes the character seems out-of-sync for how we are told she has been raised. You'd expect the unloved child to be a little more suspicious and less trusting, but instead she embraces everyone who shows her a small act of kindness. I also disliked the way her much-touted "love for words" is cast aside, although that could be because I felt I was "sold" a different story. If politics and spy novels are up your alley, and you'd like to read a different version of those thrillers, than I suggest "Fly by Night". If you're looking for a Farenheit 451 for teens, with a great setting thrown in, look elsewhere.
allreb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is fantastic. It is, in fact, probably the best YA fantasy novel I've ever read. It's a book lover's book: it's about the love of, um, books. It does deal with religious topics, but unlike a lot of fantasy novels that do similarly, makes it clear that the reader should make up his or her own mind about the issues presented. It's got an awesome main character, who is dynamic and strong but still flawed -- the fact that she's young shows through her inexperience, for example. It's a story about growing up, learning who to trust, and the importance of a) thinking for yourself and b) reading. I can not recommend this book highly enough.
nramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The idea is interesting, but the main character rarely had her own thought until more than halfway through. While it serves to show that she was controlled most of her life, it served up a mostly dull book. About 3/4's the way, that changed, but not enough to redeem this.
sarahchic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was so fantastic! I honestly read it just because the cover was so quirky, but it turned out to be a very enjoyable read. The whole thing was really quite delightful- a homicidal goose, floating coffee houses, and unconvincing eyebrows?!
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this up mainly because it sounded interesting and because Garth Nix (a favorite YA author) praised it in such glowing terms in his cover blurb. Cover blurbs are a dangerous way to pick books, but in this case I picked a winner. Desperate to get out of town (and find some stories in the process), 12-year-old Mosca Mye throws in her lot with a con man named Eponymous Clent and takes off cross-country with Saracen the homicidal goose in tow. Mosca is unusual because her father taught her to read -- an unusual and potentially dangerous skill for anyone, let alone a girl. What follows is a fascinating adventure with loads of political intrigue that also manages to be laugh-out-loud funny. Harding has a way with words, and the names alone in this novel are enough to make me shout with glee. There are very few authors who even come close to filling Joan Aiken's shoes, but Mosca Mye is a heroine to rival Dido Twite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So Underrated!!  I don't understand why this book isn't more well known. The writing is incredible, and while I do agree that it may be a little hard to get into at first, if you stick with it its amazing. Unlike some other reviewers, I love the fact that the author goes into so much detail. I love the whole world and felt like I was in Mandelion, going on adventures with Mosca Mye. Definitely try this book. Oh, and I don't believe it is solely a children's book at all. It can be enjoyed by all ages. :)
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Emily405920 More than 1 year ago
As a teenager i come across a great many books about high school, girl/guy drama, and other things that adults believe is all we all care about. i found this book to not only contradict such a stereotype but it also heightened my intellect and increased my vocabulary, all the while entertaining me and giving me a story with great characters that i could associate myself with... and this is not just a book for children.. nor is it a book for just adults.. when a book is just a good book then anyone of every age would enjoy reading it.
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