by Frances Hardinge (Author)
In an isolated village on Gullstruck Island, Arilou is a fragile child, claimed to be one of the Lost – the most revered and rare oracle/seer with the ability to leave her body and mind-fly across the land, monitoring all aspects of life and society. Hathin, her younger sister and helper, is so plain and unobtrusive that she nearly disappears. But neither sister is what they appear to be. When Arilou’s abilities as a Lost are to be tested by the island’s officials, the sisters find themselves at the centre of a deadly conspiracy. The Lost are dying, victims of sinister activity, and Hathin finds out that she and Arilou are the chief suspects. Desperate to save both their lives and protect their secret, Hathin discovers that the only thing more dangerous than the secret they have hidden all their lives is the truth that must be revealed.
Fast-paced, original and inventive, Frances Hardinge has created a unique portrait of a world so like our own that we believe the story totally. Yet, it is so different that we also give ourselves over to the fantasy. Hardinge is a master at the use of language and wordplay, but this never burdens the storyline. Brilliant adventure, memorable characters, an utter joy to read.
Mary Esther Judy
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