Fly by Night

Fly by Night❮BOOKS❯ ✸ Fly by Night Author Frances Hardinge – Twelveyearold Mosca Mye hasn't got much Her cruel uncle keeps her locked up in his mill, and her only friend is her pet goose, Saracen, who'll bite anything that crosses his path But she does have one Twelveyearold Mosca Mye hasn't got much Her cruel uncle keeps her locked up in his mill, and her only friend is her pet goose, Saracen, who'll bite anything that crosses his path But she does have one small, rare thing: the ability to read She doesn't know it yet, but in a world where books are dangerous things, this gift will change her lifeEnter Eponymous Clent, a smoothtalking con man who seems to love words nearly as much as Mosca herself Soon Mosca and Clent Fly by PDF or are living a life of deceit and dangerdiscovering secret societies, following shady characters onto floating coffeehouses, and entangling themselves with crazed dukes and doublecrossing racketeers It would be exactly the kind of tale Mosca has always longed to take part in, until she learns that her one true lovewordsmay be the death of herFly by Night is astonishingly original, a grand feat of the imagination from a masterful new storyteller.

Frances Hardinge spent her childhood in a huge, isolated old house in a small, strange village, and the two things inspired her to write strange, magical stories from an early age She studied English at Oxford University and now lives in Oxford, England.

Fly by Night Epub ↠ Fly by  PDF or Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 486 pages
  • Fly by Night
  • Frances Hardinge
  • English
  • 10 December 2018
  • 9780060876272

10 thoughts on “Fly by Night

  1. Tatiana says:


    Sophisticated mysteries and political intrigues, funny adventures, excellent dialog.

    I am buying every book Frances Hardinge has written so far.

  2. Adam Boisvert says:

    In the back of Fly By Night, Frances Hardinge gives us the following warning: This is not a historical novel. It is a yarn. Although the Realm is based roughly on England at the start of the eighteenth century, I have taken appalling liberties with historical authenticity and, when I felt like it, the laws of physics.

    What she fails to mention is that it's a rollicking good yarn. It follows the adventures (and mis-adventures) of Mosca Mye. Her problem is she loves words of all shapes and sizes (her father broke convention and taught her to read before he conventionally died) but she lives in a world where most folks fear education and distrust any sort of writing. In trying to better herself and broaden her horizons she encounters a variety of colourful characters, from con men to tradesmen, dutchesses to revolutionaries. Written by, for, and about bibliophiles; Fly By Night is ultimately a story about the power of words, and whether this power should be feared or embraced.

  3. Lucy says:

    Fly By Night opens with a short history of The Fractured Realm, and things look grim indeed. A history peppered with monarchs and parliament, guild wars and religious inquisitions, and a holy terror of the dangers of the written word are the backdrop for this story.

    Mosca Mye, orphaned, black-eyed and stubborn and addicted to the written word, burns down her uncle’s mill (accidentally,) releases a con man from the stocks (on purpose,) and flees town with only her homicidal and loyal goose Saracen as a companion. And thus begins Mosca’s adventure in a city that is a political hotbed of unrest, where people are rarely what they seem and loyalties may change at the drop of a hat. Mosca only wants to find her place and follow her love of the written word, but she will soon find herself a pawn in a political intrigue that has many sides. Only her fierce ingenuity (and Saracen’s loyalty) will be able to help her make it out alive.

    This is one of those brilliant books with a million details and descriptions and characters, but all of them are interesting and important and colorful and worth reading about. The Fractured Realm has one of the most interesting political and religious histories that I have seen in children’s literature – or any literature – in quite a while. It is quite an ambitious feat, and Hardinge pulls it off with aplomb. Hardinge’s character descriptions are short but paint the picture. (One example: “The captain was a grim-smiling river-king named Partridge. There was something crooked in the make of his right wrist, as if it had been broken and never quite healed, and something crooked in the corner of his smile, as if that too had been broken and put back together slightly wrong.”) And lest you think the details superfluous, they are always important and relevant and interesting. I daresay there is not one inch of superfluous material in this brilliant story. And Mosca is an irrepressibly likeable heroine who learns early on how to lie convincingly and how to stay afloat and try to do the right thing. She is clever and interesting and smart and a lot of fun, and I would happily read more about Mosca and her homicidal Saracen. It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that this book is highly, highly recommended for anyone who likes interesting characters, political and religious unrest done well, compelling stories and/or good writing. Which is to say, everyone.

  4. Bradley says:

    I've read a number of book-centric books over the years and quite a few of them are YA. Some hit you over the head with the book and others are subtle enough to flow right over you and sneak up and bite you in the behind.

    This one is the latter kind.

    Sure, the power of words is all over the place, but where I like it most is in Hardinge's worldbuilding. The history of this place is not only fascinating and rough, but clever and multilayered. I get the impression we're in an early English period right after the printing press came out. But unlike that period, books soon became anathema. Like religious persecution, even.

    Of course, that makes our heroes and villains well-learned action types falling in with thieves and revolutionaries, and that's just plain fun.

    So why did I give this four stars rather than five? Because some of the text is a bit dense and the flow wasn't perfect. But I LOVED the world and had a pretty good time with the characters. And the God Goose. :)

  5. TheBookSmugglers says:

    Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

    I am overcome with Imperious Feelings demanding that I find the Right Words to write this review. Fly By Night is Absurdly Brilliant. This is not an overstatement.

    How else could I possibly qualify a book that features a main character named Mosca1 Mye whose love for words is both impetus and trademark? Whose love for words is the driving force toward a life of High Adventure in the company of a smooth-talking charlatan named Eponymous Clent and a murderous pet Goose named Saracen? Whose journey takes her through completely unpredictable twists and turns in a political game where no one knows who is ally or foe?

    If not brilliant, what other word could I possibly use to describe a book that is defined by original, unusual worldbuilding as well as Impressive Intellectual Sharpness?

    With regards to the former: Fly By Night is set in an alternate 18th Century (but not quite) where years ago, after getting rid of its monarchy, the Fractured Realm plunged into a gruesome Civil War when Birdcatchers – a radical religious movement – came to power. Ten years after all Birdcatchers have been killed (or have they?), the Realm is ran by different Guilds of Tradesmen. The Guilds’ power have been growing exponentially, especially that of the Stationers Guild (who control all printing materials, anything without their seal is deemed illegal) ; the Locksmiths Guild (who have the keys to every door) ; and the Watermen Guild (who control all movement along the river). The power balance is precariously held together by a truce between all Guilds and even one small wrong move could start a whole new war. Mosca and Clent (and Saracen) find themselves in the middle of this complex game of power which is complicated by a Duke who is slowly going mad and whose sister has Ideas of Her Own. Not to mention the emergence of an illegal printing press that has been spreading Illegal Radical Words all over the Realm.

    The latter comes from the fact that this is a book with a main character who loves words in a world that fears them. Being a book about words – their importance, their potential, their beauty – one of the most brilliant things about it is how the author brandishes her words like Weapons of Mass Construction.

    From the Thought Provoking:

    Brand a man as a thief and no one will ever hire him for honest labor – he will be a hardened robber within weeks. The brand does not reveal a person’s nature, it shapes it.

    Via the Utterly Hilarious:

    (…)Mosca and Saracen shared, if not a friendship, at least the solidarity of the generally despised.

    All the way to the Extremely Acute:

    ‘Where is your sense of patriotism?’

    ‘I kept it hid away safe, along with my sense of trust, Mr Clent. I don’t use ‘em much in case they get scratched.’

    And the Plain Beautiful:

    ‘But in the name of the most holy, Mosca, of all the people you could have taken up with, why Eponymous Clent?’

    Because I’d been hoarding words for years, buying them from peddlers and carving them secretly on to bits of bark so I wouldn’t forget them, and then he turned up using words like ‘epiphany’ and ‘amaranth’. Because I heard him talking in the marketplace, laying out sentences like a merchant rolling out rich silks. Because he made words and ideas dance like flames and something that was damp and dying came alive in my mind, the way it hadn’t since they burned my father’s books. Because he walked into Chough with stories from exciting places tangled around him like maypole streamers…

    Mosca shrugged.

    ‘He’s got a way with words.’

    Fly By Night is a book that provokes, incites and invites the reader to participate in a wordily love-fest. Granted that at times, this comes across as slightly heavy-handed especially towards the ending but this was simply not enough to make any damage to the immense love I feel for this book.

    But that is not all! For Fly By Night is also Coming of Age of the Highest Quality. Mosca’s journey is superbly executed by exploring her loneliness, her perceived uniqueness (which is not true at all, given the truths that she unveils) as well as the connections she forms with other people (especially the Cakes. How could I not love the Cakes?). Her arc has moments of Utter Despair, Sad Mistakes as well as Great Bravery.

    Most of all, I loved the development of the relationship with Clent and I loved the bond they formed over a shared loved for words (for better or worse). Take this incredible moment where they have a fight:

    Mosca’s opening offer was a number of cant words she had heard peddlers use, words for the drool hanging from a dog’s jaw, words for the greenish sheen on a mouldering strip of bacon.
    Eponymous Clent responded with some choice descriptions of ungrateful and treacherous women culled from ballad and classic myth.
    Mosca countered with some from her secret hoard of hidden words, the terms used by smugglers for tell-alls, and soldiers’ words for the worst kind of keyhole-stooping spy.
    Clent answered with crushing and high-sounding examples from the best essays on the natural depravity of unguided youth.

    Isn’t this Staggering Good Writing?

    I had a lot of fun reading Fly By Night and as you can probably see, a lot of fun writing this review too. I freaking love when that happens, those are the best kind of books. Fly By Night is a Totally Awesome Book and I already got the sequel because one is not enough for me: just like Mosca, I too, want more story.

  6. Lightreads says:

    Frances Hardinge understands all those important rules of storycraft like 'the true tension is internal,' and 'you don't have to be good to be relatable,' and 'if you put a loaded goose on the mantelpiece in act I, you have to fire it by act V.'

    Ung, so good. So so good. This was her first published novel, and it's true, it doesn't have the tautness and precision of her later The Lost Conspiracy. But this is also a weird and wonderful book. It's young adult fantasy about a twelve-year-old girl who burns down her uncle's sawmill and blackmails her way out of her tiny town with a confidence man and her homicidal goose companion (though, really, given geese, that's redundant, I could just say her goose companion.) This book kept shifting under my feet. First it was blackhearted bickering roadtrip funtimes, and then it was fantasy spy funtimes, and then it was about revolutions, and then it was about illegal printing presses, and then it was about trust and ferocity and betrayal and growing a conscience and so many other things all at once that I can't remember them all.

    But mostly it's about Mosca, who is twelve and messed up and literate but undereducated and curious and coldhearted. And I loved her so much. Here she is, judge for yourself:

    Sacred just means something you're not meant to think about properly, and you should never stop thinking. Show me something I can kick, and hit with rocks, and set fire to, and leave out in the rain, and think about. And if it's still standing after all that, then maybe, just maybe, I'll start to believe in it, but not till then.

  7. Trish says:

    This is my third book by this author and the first she ever published. Sadly, it shows.

    The story is that of a world where books have become forbidden. Into this world a girl is born with the unusual name of Mosca. The girl is smart and inquisitive and loves learning about words. As is only natural for a story like this, personal disaster strikes and she is forced to flee her home together with her gander (the best character here if you ask me). She meets a lot of people, from vagabonds to thieves to royalty to tyrants and many more.
    A revolution in this strange and yet familiar world is inevitable and of course Mosca is at the center of it all.

    I really liked the premise of this story that is set in a world where words have so much power. And I liked the author's worldbuilding as much as her own way with words. However, the story itself was dragging on and on and on and just couldn't grab me. In the end, a good idea and nice prose turned out not to be enough for me, sadly.

    Don't get me wrong, the story is multilayered, the characters show potential. So it wasn't actually bad (see my rating). However, the characters never truly reached their full potential and the twists were ... not really twist-y for me but rather predictable.

    Sometimes you just don't click with a story and this was such a moment for me. I loved her other two books and am looking forward to the new one coming out shortly, but this was kind of a let-down.

  8. Arielle Walker says:

    Where is your sense of patriotism?
    I keep it hid away safe, along with my sense of trust, Mr Clent. I don't use 'em much in case they get scratched.

    Frances Hardinge can certainly turn a wonderful phrase. Her words skip and giggle and gleam, at once sly and coy. Characters are never simply brown haired or blue eyed but rather given descriptions such as The little man's mouth was a small, bitter V-shape, and seemed designed to say small, bitter things.

    Unfortunately, in Fly by Night, the plot leaps about as wildly as the words - and this is no longer such a compliment. Characters are trusted and not trusted and trusted again and everyone is constantly on different sides, motives changing so often it almost gives you whiplash to read about. Later books weave their pieces together far better than here.

  9. Rebecca McNutt says:

    Fantastically-creative and intriguing, this middle-grade fantasy is like reading an old-fashioned classic fairy tale.

  10. wittierninja says:

    This is truly a book about readers, for readers. I know that the plot is not unfamiliar to many of you: lonely girl or boy, spends more time with books than with people because books are friendlier, kinder, less cruel. And then something magical happens, blah blah blah. Fly by Night is a little different in that instead of exploring the power of books to a child, it delves into the strength of words and names, and how both affect the world and how they determine the kind of person you become. The writing is smooth, and I had, at first, thought it was going to be those types of books that looks great (spot lam! cool jacket art! rough edges!) but is poorly written. I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. If you're looking for something easy to read, easy to enjoy, and easy to lose yourself into, then I'd definitely encourage you try this.

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