FLY TRAP by Frances Hardinge
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Another city unwittingly admits the forces of chaos and widespread panic through its gates in this doorstopper sequel to Fly by Night (2006). Those forces being young orphan Mosca Mye (a “clench-jawed scrap of damp doggedness”), silver-tongued poet/con man/ex-spy Eponymous Clent and Mosca’s beloved but psychotic goose Saracen, readers are in for a rare treat. 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. Escalating complications rapidly ensue as Mye and Clent discover to their horror that they’re trapped within the secure walls of a town that’s being taken over by the sinister Locksmith Guild. Toll is a thoroughly dysfunctional town, in which the streets are literally rearranged every dawn and dusk to underline a sharp separation between the smug and prosperous daytime population and the despised, fear-plagued nighttime one. Hardinge once again creates a strange original society that reflects our own in provocative ways. She also has a gift for well-turned prose and shows a sure hand in crafting suspenseful plots. Readers will be thrilled she again gives this winning trio a chance to show their better natures while surviving (often causing) trickery, betrayal, fires, riots and social upheaval. (Alternate world fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 31st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-088044-6
Page count: 592pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2011


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