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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 on a day 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 has 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.
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 several books for young people, including Cuckoo Song, Fly By Night, and A Face Like Glass. She lives in England.