Late to the party, I know, but I finally got hold of Frances Hardinge's "Fly By Night" (2005) and am now in search of "Fly Trap" (UK title Twilight Robbery). I had already read "Well Witched" (UK title Verdigris Deep) and enjoyed it.
Read it. Another good one, albeit a bit grimmer than the first book. The situation develops; I haven't really reread with an eye to whether the main characters develop much, or just continue as they are, slightly older and very slightly wiser. So far it doesn't seem important. If they don't develop a little more in the next book or so (and it seems clear that more books are intended), then I may become more critical.
To give a bit more detail: the main characters in the Fly By Night/Fly Trap series are a young girl named Mosca, her fearsome pet goose, and an interesting older man whose stock in trade is a fund of good stories and well-told lies. The serious difficulty in the culture is that nobody would ever use a false name, and your real name tells people which god you were born under according to your birth time, which slants what they think of you. A bad birth time dooms you in the eyes of others. There are plots and adventures aplenty. I particularly like the floating coffee-houses on the river. These middle grade books are entertaining for adults as well. I think Mosca would be a fit companion for the young Tiffany of TWFM, and she would get along quite well with Maurice.
Just got, and read, The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge (2009), UK title "Gullstruck Island".
Fuller review under "non-Discworld books". A lot grimmer than the Fly Trap books. Not related at all to Nation, though it does have a catastrophe involving an island. Strongly recommended.
I have now read _Cuckoo Song_. Creepy, fascinating, better for YA I think. Could cause a few nightmares. Like The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents in that adults reading it might be astounded at the thought that this is considered a children's book just because the protagonist is under 18.
I was given a copy of Frances Hardinge's _A Face Like Glass_ (2012) for my birthday. Yay! It's less grim than Cuckoo Song, more like The Lost Conspiracy in tone. Some people have astonishing talents, and there are True Wines that can take away specific memories or restore them, and other odd things. There's a lot about various kinds of cheese, including True Cheeses that also do things. (Horace would fit right in.) There is intrigue and oddness of personalities, and as usual, independence of thought is celebrated. There's plenty of action to go along with the politics. I'd call this semi-grim.
Just out: Frances Hardinge's _The Lie Tree_ (2015). I'm not sure but the print form seems to be only available in large paperback, not hardcover. Oh well, it was a gift and I'm not complaining. Avoiding spoilers: it's set in the early Victorian era, and it is good solid YA. It doesn't seem as complex as her earlier books, being possibly more akin to Dodger than to Discworld. Even the paranormal aspect could theoretically have been written out, though I'm not sure what could have been substituted for it. The complex culture is that of the Victorian era with its layers of unspoken expectations according to rank, class, clothing, age, perceived wealth or poverty, manners, etc. I am extremely glad I don't have to live in that culture.
Now to wait until she gets another one to the publishers.
The publishers won't do a print run in hardback if they think they won't sell enough to justify the cost, so they issue a trade paperback or as some call it a B2 size, as a B3 is a normal UK paperbook size.
All her previous books are in hardback, and as near as I can tell, her readership is growing rapidly. I think this one may have been judged as "more YA" and therefore was put directly into paper covers. Thinking about it, I have decided that the society described is actually just as complex as some of her invented ones; it's just that I'm used to pre-20th century novels and the expectations of those times, so at first I didn't notice how absurdly complex it was.
Apr 19, 2016 The Lie Tree is released in hardcover in the USA. I guess winning the Costa Book of the Year prize got the publisher's attention.
May 9, 2017 A Face Like Glass is released in hardcover in the USA.
Hardinge's next book, A Skinful of Shadows, is scheduled for UK (and possibly Canadian) release on Sept 21, 2017.
The USA has to wait until October 10, 2017. Teasers indicate that it's set in the UK Civil War, and there is an angry bear involved.
Hardinge's latest book, A Skinful of Shadows, has been released. Something - shipping glitches, I speculate - made it back-ordered until October 31, which is when I finally found it in a bookstore. It was worth the wait. It is darker in many ways than any of her previous books, but the writing is still smooth, with an occasional flash of a quotable phrase. It's a ghost story with plenty of action, untrustworthy faces, the aforementioned angry bear, and some armies involved (Puritans, Royalists, you know the drill). It's even creepier than Cuckoo Song, and that's saying something.
I'd put this firmly in YA though I wouldn't refuse to let an advanced MG reader try it.
Phooey. Hardinge's Deeplight is released in the UK on Oct 31, 2019, but not in the USA until sometime next April.
I don't buy things online. I wonder whether I will be able to find it at a specialist SF dealer's table. I didn't go to my usual conventions this year; maybe I will try to make it to one of the ones in the next couple of months.
Hi!! I read "A Skinful of Shadows" in 2019 and it was one of my favourite books of the year. Definitely a breath of fresh air! I quickly ordered "Deeplight", but I was disappointed. You can read my book review here:
Yes, definitely. Each of her books is different and all can be read as standalones. I think you might like her first book, _Fly By Night_ and the sequel, _Twilight Robbery_ (in the USA, _Fly Trap_), as the heroine is very independent.
Edit: actually, just about all of her books have a strong independent heroine. I haven't yet read Deeplight, but from your review I gather that she has experimented with a male hero this time.