Deeplight

Deeplight

Deeplight
Frances Hardinge

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781509836956

'One of our finest storytellers' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent 'Pure magic' M.R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts From Frances Hardinge, the Costa Award-winning author of The Lie Tree comes Deeplight - an underwater adventure as dangerous as the gods themselves . . . The gods of the Myriad were as real as the coastlines and currents, and as merciless as the winds and whirlpools. Then one day they rose up and tore each other apart, killing many hundreds of islanders and changing the Myriad forever. On the jumbled streets of the Island of Lady's Crave live Hark and his best friend Jelt. They are scavengers: living off their wits, diving for relics of the gods, desperate for anything they can sell. But now there is something stirring beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it. Something valuable. Something dangerous. Nothing is quite as it seems, and when the waves try to claim Jelt, Hark will do anything to save him. Even if it means compromising not just who Jelt is, but what he is . . .

Librarian's Book choice


Reviews

Deeplight5/5

Deeplight

Frances Hardinge

Review

The gods of the Myriad were as real as the coastlines and currents, and as merciless as the winds and whirlpools. Then one day they rose up and tore each other apart, killing many hundreds of islanders and changing the Myriad forever.

On the jumbled streets of the Island of Lady's Crave live Hark and his best friend Jelt. They are scavengers: living off their wits, diving for relics of the gods, desperate for anything they can sell. But now there is something stirring beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it. Something valuable. Something dangerous.

Nothing is quite as it seems, and when the waves try to claim Jelt, Hark will do anything to save him. Even if it means compromising not just who Jelt is, but what he is . . .

I started reading this thinking that I was going to struggle to get through to the end of the 448 page novel but my goodness was I wrong? I was instantly drawn in to the wonderfully imagined world of Lady's Crave and The Myriad, where for centuries the gods have terrorised the humans until one day, with no warning, they turn on each other. Jelt and Hark are friends who make a living out of scavenging 'god ware' (scraps of the corpses of the dead gods found beneath the sea), until one day Hark is captured and auctioned off. Hark loves to tell stories but in this instance he is unable to talk his way out of the situation he's in and he becomes indentured to Dr Vyne, a scientist obsessed with harvesting the magical powers of god ware with some devastating consequences.

When Hark finds what he believes to be a god's heart - still living and capable of healing injury and illness - Jelt finds out about it and muscles in on the action, which sees them both performing 'miracles'. Jelt spends most time with the heart and there is a cost to this as Jelt begins to mutate - you need to read this book to find out more about what happens to them both!

Deeplight is a non-stop electrifying, ambitious and magical read about friendship set in an eccentric and fantastical world. The imagery is beautiful and told with Frances Hardinge's unique and inimitable style and there isn't a single misplaced character, all of them there for a reason to explore various friendship scenarios.

Readers of Frances Hardinge novels will, of course, love this, but recommend it to as many students as possible. Anyone who loves fantasy and a thrilling adventure story will not be able to put this unique novel down!

448 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Lucy Georgeson, school librarian

Reviewed by: Lucy Georgeson