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"Hardinge has a rare gift for crafting strange and original worlds, and here she’s in top form. . . Brightening toward the end, frightening throughout, psychologically acute."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Hardinge again displays her knack for imbuing mythological-feeling tales with casts of creatures and characters who are fully realized and impeccably described, rendered in astonishing detail while carefully avoiding verbosity."
— School Library Journal
“Brilliantly developed world. Kellen and Nettle are both memorable from their first introduction. As always, Hardinge is masterful at her ability to write poignant, thoughtful passages while also ably developing an expansive fantasy world that is believable and relatable.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Hardinge creates a top-notch fantasy with a fresh setting populated by original monsters (Bookbearers, Gladelords, Dancing Stars) and the feel of old folktales."
— The Horn Book
“Hardinge’s immersive world building and layered plot pull readers into an adventure full of mystery, treachery, political machinations, and danger. A thought-provoking pick for tweens.”