Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge

Fly By Night

Written by Frances Hardinge

11+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

12+ years. Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2006.

Fly By Night is a wholly original fantasy peopled with a cast of unusual characters whose adventures unravel at a breathtaking pace. Mosca runs away from home with a manic goose called Saracen who can cause untold harm to her enemies and a tricky charlatan glorifying in the name of Eponymous Clent, having ‘accidentally’ set fire to her hated uncle’s barn. Hounded as a criminal, she ricochets through a series of adventures meeting a huge cast of untrustworthy companions and getting involved in a bizarre espionage plot. Trying to unscramble any truths makes Mosca’s story an exhilarating quest. (12+)

If you enjoyed this then why not read her second novel Gullstruck Island.


Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge

A fantastic adventure story set in an alternative historical world that launches the career of a uniquely talented children's writer. In a fractured Realm, struggling to maintain an uneasy peace after years of civil war and religious tyrrany, a 12- year- old orphan and a homicidal goose become the accidental heroes of a revolution. Mosca has spent her life in a miserable hamlet, where her father was banished for writing inflammatory books about tolerance and freedom. Now he is dead, and Mosca is on the run after unintentionally setting fire to a mill. With a delightful swindler named Eponymous Clent, she heads for the city of Mandelion. A born liar, Mosca lives by her wits in a world of highwaymen and smugglers, dangerously insane rulers in ludicrous wigs, secret agents and radical plotters. She is recruited as a spy by the fanatical Mabwick Toke, leader of the Guild of Stationers, who fears losing his control over the publication of every book in the state. Mosca's activities reveal a plot to force a rule of terror on the Realm, and merry mayhem soon leads to murder... FLY BY NIGHT is set in a re-imagined early-eighteenth century England, where kite-powered coffeehouses take to the river, and citizens lay offerings at the shrine of Goodman Blackwhistle of the Favourable Wind. Funny and surprising, stuffed with wonderful characters, at its heart it contains an inspiring truth - that the power of books can change the world.


A wonderful and wondrous novel. Frances Hardinge has joined the company of writers whose books I will always seek out and read. -Garth Nix A rollicking read to be savored. -- Bookseller (London)

About the Author

Frances Hardinge

Frances Hardinge spent a large part of her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University, then got a job at a software company. However, a few years later a persistent friend finally managed to bully Frances into sending a few chapters of FLY BY NIGHT, her first children's novel, to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer and she won the Branford Boase First Novel Award in 2006 with her debut, Fly By Night. Her subsequent novels, including Cuckoo Song and A Face like Glass are universally critically acclaimed and have been shortlisted for multiple awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the CILIP Carnegie Medal. The Lie Tree,winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015 and the Sunday Times Children's Book of the Year 2015 is her seventh novel.

BookBrunch recently interviewed Frances Hardinge …

"At first I just felt completely stunned, then I felt stunned, sleep-deprived, and as if somebody had attached me to a sort of media rollercoaster. Now, I'm working my way around to it sometimes actually sinking in. There's been a great deal of happiness throughout. On the occasions where it has sunk in, I have a tendency to giggle… I still can't really quite believe that this is actually happening!"

Click here to read the full and fascinating interview on BookBrunch.

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Book Info


448 pages
Interest Age: 9-11


Frances Hardinge
More books by Frances Hardinge

Author's Website


Pan Macmillan

Publication date

7th October 2005




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