A Skinful of Shadows

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What to expect

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.

Critics Review

  • Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.

    Patrick Ness
  • ‘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
  • Hardinge is a talent who deserves to be read by children and adults alike.

    Guardian
  • Hardinge’s hypnotic prose and resourceful heroine will appeal to young adults and adult readers alike.

    The Mail on Sunday
  • Hardinge’s tale of ghosts, puritans and shaping your own destiny is an unmissable, hypnotic treat.

    Observer Children's Book of the Week
  • Creepy, clever and mind-blowing.

    Emerald Street

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