Opening: “‘Read the paper for you, sir?’ One small voice strove against the thunder of rain, the shuffle and huff of the passing mules, the damp flap of canvas as the last sodden stall holders gave up their fight against the dismal weather.”
I have somewhat of an odd history with Frances Hardinge. If you asked me what I thought of her, I would wax very enthusiastic. And yet, every time I try to read one of her books, I start and stop and generally don’t find it easy to get into. I tried to read The Lost Conspiracy twice before I actually succeeded, and you guys, I love that book so much, I can’t even tell you.
Fly Trap wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it did take me awhile to get through. Here we find Mosca Mye, Eponymous Clent, and, of course, Saracen, having left Mandelion and made their way through the world. Of course, madness and hijinks ensue, especially when they reach Toll, a city divided into Toll by Day and Toll by Night, and get caught up in a kidnapping plot, the fate of the Luck of Toll, and the Locksmiths.
One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the fact that Mosca hasn’t stood still. She’s not fighting the same battles as she was in Fly by Night. She’s more brash in some ways, but in others she’s more thoughtful and even altruistic. Her struggle to rid Toll of the Locksmiths and wind up all the separate parts of the crazy schemes she and Clent find themselves in is quite fascinating and convincing.
All in all, I think Hardinge is a great writer, able to both wax verbose and to say quite a bit in just a few words. I loved the way she and Mosca and Clent all play with language, delighting in the sheer joy of words, as well as shaping them to suit their needs.
Book source: public library
Book information: Harper Collins, 2011; 10 and up
Frances Hardinge, previously