Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge

Hathin is a member of the Lace, an ancient tribe of outcasts who wear constant smiles which show the glitter of their jeweled teeth.   She is the constant companion and caretaker of her sister Arilou, a member of the Lost---a group of people who have the ability to travel without their bodies and can, in fact, separate all their senses to experience different things at the same time.  For years their village has helped to hide signs that perhaps Arilou is not what she seems, and this ruse is threatened by the arrival of a set of Lost Inspectors. 

When the unthinkable happens and their village is destroyed Hathin knows it is up to her to save them  both.  She leads them to find a mysterious rogue group of Lace and begins her quest for vengeance by receiving the butterfly tattoo--the mark of the revengers. 

"Our enemies think that Lace make good victims and scapegoats.  They are wrong.  They think that they can strike at us and we will do nothing but scatter and hide.  They are wrong.

"You have been wronged beyond endurance by powerful foes, Hathin.  Pity them for not knowing what that means..."

This book is a gorgeous, lush, magical work.  It has lovely, rich characters and a haunting storyline; the stuff of dreams, and of nightmares.  Fraces Hardinge takes bits of many tribal cultures--their legends and  unique beliefs and weaves them together with a heaping dose of her own imagination to create a powerful story. 

I highly recommend this one, as well as her gorgeous Fly By Night novel.  For more information on s. Hardinge, you can visit her online at

Read on, gentle readers; read on.

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