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In a Nutshell: Intrigue and artisanal invention in an Alice in Wonderland world
An endlessly inventive adventure through the twisting tunnels of a subterranean city that’s sent reeling by the arrival of a girl like no other.
Caverna is like no place ever imagined. It has passages so twisty they make a person go mad. Wines that make you forget. Perfumes that provoke trust. And there are dark cheese tunnels in which expert artisans create incredible delicacies, none more committed to the craft than Master Grandible: “the cheeses were Grandible’s only friends and family, their scents and textures taking the place of conversation.”
Then the unexpected arrival of a girl shifts Grandible’s life onto a different path, and sends Caverna into a spiral of fear and danger, for Neverfell is not like other girls. She’s certainly not like others in Caverna, whose faces bear no expression until the Facesmiths teach them how to express anything. Neverfell is issued with a mask to hide her face, for it reveals emotions with terrifying transparency, and that way madness and murder lies…And so an utterly compelling tale of political intrigue, revolution and truths unfolds, with as many unexpected, complex twists as the tunnels of Caverna itself. Hardinge is a truly distinctive writer, from the mind-bogglingly unique concepts and worlds she conjures, to her pithily elegant language, and this is a jewel that defies convention, and sparkles at every turn. ~ Joanne Owen
In the underground city of Caverna the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare - wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show joy, despair or fear - at a price.Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell's emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .
Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now. Patrick Ness
This unusual and highly imaginative fantasy from Frances Hardinge is spellbinding: sophisticated, multi-layered and elegantly written. Booktrust
Weird and wonderful. Evening Standard
It would be hard to imagine any book by Frances Hardinge being anything but excellent. Bookbag
I loved this book! ... Face Like Glass: it's a sweet little onion of a story - layer on layer of plot, and characters, and realizations. British Fantasy Society
|Publication date:||8th February 2018|
|Publisher:||Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4|
|Topics:||Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical|
Frances Hardinge spent a large part of her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange 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. The book went on to publish to huge critical acclaim and win the Branford Boase First Novel Award. She has since written many highly acclaimed children's ...More About Frances Hardinge