Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - book 2 of duology
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for FLY BY NIGHT*
Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent are in trouble again. Escaping disaster by the skin of their teeth, they find refuge in Toll, the strange gateway town where visitors may neither enter nor leave without paying a price.
By day, the city is well-mannered and orderly; by night, it’s the haunt of rogues and villains. Wherever there’s a plot, there’s sure to be treachery, and wherever there’s treachery, there’s sure to be trouble — and where there’s trouble, Clent, Mosca and the web-footed apocalypse Saracen can’t be far behind.
But as past deeds catch up with them and old enemies appear, it looks as if this time there’s no way out…
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
I am so glad that I enjoyed this sequel more than the original book. I truly do think that it came down to timing more than anything when I struggled to read FLY BY NIGHT. I wasn’t fighting a burn out while reading TWILIGHT ROBBERY, so was able to read it in two sittings and thoroughly enjoy it.
No review of this book (certainly not one by me!) would be complete without gushing about the setting. The duality of Toll-by-Day and Toll-by-Night is the heart of this book, such a unique and vibrant setting that brings not only some of the most terrifying sequences I’ve read in a while, but also plenty of potential for twists and turns, blackguards and thieves. I think the setting is far more imaginative in this book, taking the idea of the Beloved from the first book and running with them into a town that I would love to spend more time in (from the safety of a book!)
I don’t want to spoil the setting, as the reveal is incredible, but I loved the initial mystery of why there were two towns – and what the second was – and then the new town when it was revealed. It is as quirky and weird as you’d expect from Frances Hardinge, but with quite a dark bent. At the same time, it blends wonderfully into the conflict and ideas of the first book.
TWILIGHT ROBBERY is a separate book to FLY BY NIGHT. It’s a standalone, really, as they both have self contained stories, and I think you could easily pick up either to start with. Mosca has certainly grown since the first book, a far more active character driving the story along, particularly as she has to spend about half the book on her own wits.
The language is as immersive as the first, full of voice and cacklingly fun. It’s an adapted slang, bursting with colour and references to 1800s criminal slang, but fitting perfectly into the world.
This had made me want to continue reading Frances Hardinge books, though I think I shall try to finish off my shelves before buying any more books. I have been recommended FACE LIKE GLASS next, sold on the fact that it has political intrigue.
Read my reviews of other books by Frances Hardinge:
Fly by Night (this series):
- FLY BY NIGHT (#1)