Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge.
HarperCollins Publishers: NY, 2005.
Originally by Macmillan Publishers Limited: United Kingdom, 2005.

A twisting, adventure-packed mystery portrays an England-like setting with a mixture of historical and social satire. The description is full of imagery (lots of metaphors), wordplay, and humor (such as the alphabetical chapter titles). The wordplay is amusing, but the number of details, unique episodes, and ever-changing loyalties make the book a success.

After burning her uncle's mill, Mosca takes up with a lying, cheating ballad writer, and they travel to the city of Mandelion accompanied by an attack-goose. Mandelion is a city of political intrigue with a few factions battling for dominance. Mosca and Mr. Clent become embroiled in the spying and scheming with much confusion and many surprises before the resolution.

Chewing on an old pipe helps Mosca to think and stay ahead of the deadly plotting. It's not so easy for the reader.
related-politics, smugglers, censorship, sedition, plots, royalty vs. parliament, beliefs, loyalty, spies, redemption, printing press, guilds
RL=7th-adult     Reading level itself is low, but content is YA and the interest level high.

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