Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge

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A breath-taking adventure story, set in reimagined eighteenth-century England. As the realm struggles to maintain an uneasy peace after years of cival war and tyranny, a twelve-year-old orphan and her loyal companion, a grumpy goose, are about to become the unlikely heroes of a radical revolution. Mosca Mye has spent her childhood in a miserable hamlet, after her father was banished there for writing inflammatory books about freedom. Now he is dead and Mosca is on the run, heading for the city of Mandelion. There she finds herself living by her wits among cut-throat highwaymen, spies and smugglers. With peril at every turn, Mosca uncovers a dark plot to terrorize the people of Mandelion, and soon merry mayhem leads to murder . . . With an unforgettable cast of characters and an inspiring message at its heart – sometimes the power of words can change the world!

About Frances Hardinge

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Frances Hardinge spent her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University and continued her writing whilst there and afterwards – until a persistent friend finally bullied her into sending the first chapters of FLY BY NIGHT to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer. Frances has already signed a contract to do further books for Macmillan.
Published June 15, 2011 by Macmillan Children's Books. 452 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fly by Night

Kirkus Reviews

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In full flight after having played a significant role in turning the port of Mandelion into an independent city governed by republic-minded “radicals” in the previous episode, the trio enters the aptly named town of Toll in hopes of escaping across the only bridge over the mighty Langfeather River.

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The Guardian

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Mosca is one of those feisty hoydens - Pullman's Lyra and Aiken's own Dido Twite come to mind - whose conversation cloaks a fierce intelligence by the deployment of demotic tics which after a while become as irritating as Tony Blair's wandering glottal stop.

Jan 14 2006 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night

Publishers Weekly

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Crammed with eccentric, Dickensian characters, unexpected plot turns, and numerous very niche gods and goddesses (such as Goodlady Emberleather, She Who Prevents the Meat from Becoming Chewy and Unwholesome, or Goodman Belubble, He Who Snuffs the Last Candle Before Sleep), Hardinge's world is ric...

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night

BC Books

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Fly by Night, by Frances Hardinge, tells the story of Mosca Mye, a 12-year-old girl who runs away from a life with her aunt and uncle to discover a whole new life of adventure.

Jun 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night

Common Sense Media

For much of the book, the main character's ethics are questionable at best, though she does shape up toward the end.

Sep 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night

Kidz World

Step into a fantasy world that's completely new and exciting with Frances Hardinge's new book, Fly By Night.

Dec 27 2006 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night


In the world of the Fractured Realm, an almost medieval setting, 12-year-old Mosca Mye falls into a wild and most unpredictable adventure because of words, because of books, and because Mosca can read.

Mar 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

A clever commotion of characters leaves readers wondering if the bad guys might not turn out to be good guys after all.

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The Bookbag

Summary: Mosca Mye is on the run across the Fractured Realm.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Fly by Night

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