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A Skinful of Shadows
Contributor(s): Hardinge, Frances
ISBN: 1419725726     ISBN-13: 9781419725722
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc
    OUR PRICE: $17.99  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: Makepeace, the illegitimate daughter of a rich father, must fight the spirit that possesses her, her family's terrible secret, and the dangers of a war-torn country.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Spirit possession; Fiction.
Family secrets; Fiction.
Friendship; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017045587
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 6.00" W x 1.50" (1.24 lbs) 415 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 192418
Reading Level: 5.9   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 17.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72320
Reading Level: 6.3   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 25.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #1)
Hardinge's (The Lie Tree, rev. 5/16) latest tour de force is set during the reign of King Charles I against the backdrop of the 1600s English Civil War and is, as unlikely as it sounds, something of a mash-up of The Wizard of Oz and Get Out. When the orphan Makepeace is sent to live as a servant in the stronghold of the aristocratic Fellmotte family (she's an illegitimate relation), she realizes that she shares the family's ability to house the spirits of the dead--which the Fellmottes use to extend the lives and power of their Elders. Makepeace has already unwittingly absorbed the ghost of a young bear, whose "wild brute" behavior causes her difficulties at first. When her half-brother and only friend James runs away to join the regiment, taking the royal charter that grants permission for the nefarious Fellmotte "traditions" with him, and is then made an unwilling vessel for the Elders, Makepeace sets off to rescue him--and find the charter. On her fraught-with-perils journey, she collects more "passenger" ghost companions, from a doctor to a soldier to a mysterious and seemingly sinister noblewoman. Makepeace is a resourceful, brave, and intelligent protagonist, and readers will root for her and James's triumph over the Fellmotte ghosts. The visceral immediacy of Hardinge's prose (at times almost painful in its plethora of sensory details and its bleakness) can sometimes be unsettling, but the prose itself is always original and invigorating: "Lord Fellmotte was not a man. He was an ancient committee. A parliament of deathly rooks in a dying tree." martha v. parravano Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 September #4)

As the English Civil War gains momentum, a girl named Makepeace Lightfoot attempts to uncover the shadowy secrets of her family history after her mother is killed. To do so, she travels to Grizehayes, the ancestral home of the father she never knew, where she learns that the aristocratic Fellmottes are able to possess ghosts within them, bringing them preternatural knowledge and strength. Thanks to her Fellmotte lineage, Makepeace comes to harbor several spirits within her, and she takes on as many external personas—servant, spy, medic, prophet—as she attempts to escape (and eventually bring down) the Fellmottes, who see her little more than a vessel. Hardinge, whose The Lie Tree was the 2015 Costa Book of the Year, crafts a delicious combination of historical adventure, coming-of-age tale, and supernatural intrigue, set amid power struggles that reshaped 17th-century England. Makepeace's evolving relationships with the ghosts embodied within her are fascinating and moving (differentiated fonts make these internal conversations easy to follow), highlighting her growing compassion despite being given few reasons to trust anyone in her young life. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.