Ever since reading Fly by Night, I have loved Frances Hardinge. Verdigris Deep got a bit eerie, but it was still amazing. Gullstruck Island shipped from the UK, because I couldn't wait for a US release. Her wicked way with words is like sucking on a cherry jollyrancher.
Gullstruck brings back the glassy, mouth-watering prose and the delicious plot labyrinths that fans have come to expect from Frances, but this time they flavor an intricate fantasy world, where "volcanoes quarrel, beetles sing danger and occasionally, a Lost is born."
In the village of the Hollow Beasts live two sisters. Arilou is a Lost – a child with the power to depart her body and mind-fly with the winds – and Hathin is her helper. Together they hide a dangerous secret. Until sinister events threaten to uncover it. With a blue-skinned hunter on their trail and a dreadlocked warrior beside them, they must escape. Can the fate of two children decide the future of Gullstruck Island?
Now, I'm not really a fan of epic fantasy. Complex worlds with mazy customs and tongue-twisting names are not my cup of tea. So I didn't enjoy Gullstruck Island as much as I enjoyed Hardinge's previous books. But I did enjoy it. And there you have proof of an author's prowess. Her characters reeled me in, despite their regrettable abode in the epic fantasy genre. Ha ha.
(Embarrassing confession: I was all excited to learn that Frances had another book coming out in September--"The Lost Conspiracy." Then a few days later I realized, hello, it's the American title for Gullstruck.
Figure that one out for yourself, did you, Noel? Sigh.)