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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in this inventive YA fantasy from award-winning author Frances Hardinge
The gods are dead. Fifty years ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why.
Now, even coin-sized scraps of dead god are worth a fortune because of the strange powers they're said to possess. But few are brave enough to dive and search for them.
When fifteen-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of one of these deities, he'll risk everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, scientists, and cults who would kill for its power. Because Hark needs the heart if he wants to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But the power of a god was not meant for human hands.
With the heart, Jelt begins to eerily transform, and Hark will have to decide if he can stay loyal to his friend—or what he's willing to sacrifice to save him.
About the Author
Frances Hardinge is the winner of the Costa Book of the Year for The Lie Tree, one of just two young adult novels to win the major UK literary prize. Known for her beautiful use of language, Hardinge has written many critically acclaimed novels, including Cuckoo Song, Gullstruck Island, Fly by Night, Verdigris Deep, and Fly Trap. She lives in England. Visit her at franceshardinge.com.
“Monsters and mortals collide in this fantasy adventure that explores the hypnotic allure of fear, the adamant grip of the past, and the redeeming power of stories.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"Equal parts dazzling fantasy, swashbuckling adventure, and tender coming-of-age tale, this ambitious standalone from Hardinge (A Skinful of Shadows) cautions against xenophobia, zealotry, and greed while using boldly drawn characters to illustrate storytelling’s power and fear’s role in faith."
— Publishers Weekly
"Chilling and provocative, this dark fantasy will appeal to thrill seekers and cerebral tweens."
"Glorious thematic complexity inhabits a wildly inventive world, with the menacing roils of a dangerous sea threatening the archipelago and touches of steampunk rounding out the fantastical elements."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Hardinge's characters are sympathetic and genuine, and her terrors massive and unknowable, creating exactly the kind of reading experience her fans expect: extraordinary."
— Shelf Awareness