Fly Trap


Having barely escaped the revolution they had a huge (if accidental) part in causing, sharp-eyed orphan Mosca Mye; her guard goose, Saracen; and their sometimes-loyal companion, the con man Eponymous Clent, must start anew.

But Toll, the odd town they end up in, is a dangerous place that changes its entire personality as day turns to night. Soon Mosca and her friends find themselves embroiled in fresh schemes and twisting politics. Somehow they must manage to escape with their ...

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Having barely escaped the revolution they had a huge (if accidental) part in causing, sharp-eyed orphan Mosca Mye; her guard goose, Saracen; and their sometimes-loyal companion, the con man Eponymous Clent, must start anew.

But Toll, the odd town they end up in, is a dangerous place that changes its entire personality as day turns to night. Soon Mosca and her friends find themselves embroiled in fresh schemes and twisting politics. Somehow they must manage to escape with their lives—and hopefully a little money in their pockets!

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Editorial Reviews

“[A] fresh, appealing tale.”
Publishers Weekly
In this exciting sequel to Fly by Night (2006), Hardinge's feisty heroine, Mosca Mye; her con-man companion, Eponymous Clent; and her fierce goose, Saracen, are on the run from the city of Mandelion, where they've helped foment a revolution. They become trapped in the wealthy town of Toll, and Mosca is soon exiled to Toll-by-Night, the very different and dangerous place that the town transforms into after dark. Meanwhile, she and her companions must deal with a complex plot to kidnap the Mayor's universally loved daughter, Beamabeth, while avoiding the dangerous Goshawk, ruler of the deadly Locksmiths, who wants her dead for her activities in Mandelion. Crammed with eccentric, Dickensian characters, unexpected plot turns, and numerous very niche gods and goddesses (such as Goodlady Emberleather, She Who Prevents the Meat from Becoming Chewy and Unwholesome, or Goodman Belubble, He Who Snuffs the Last Candle Before Sleep), Hardinge's world is rich enough to fuel two or three fantasy novels. It's a beautifully written tale, by turns humorous and heartbreaking and a sheer pleasure to read. Ages 10–up. (June)
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Like a Dickens novel-gone-strange, this sequel to Fly By Night is fast-paced, melodramatic, and filled with characters with evocative names. The heroine, a spirited orphan named Mosca Mye, her devious sidekick-cum-spy, Eponymous Clent, and her sometimes-brutal goose, Saracen, who tries to protect her from Clent, are trapped within the steep walls of the appropriately named town of Toll. While Toll, to which they have escaped after inadvertently causing a rebellion in the city of Mandelion, is wealthy by day, it turns into a menacing setting each night. Different deities, each with different personalities and powers, rule Toll at different times. Goodlady Emberleather, for instance, prevents meat from becoming chewy. As a result of the gods' and goddesses' evolving roles, inhabitants are fated to live, horoscope-like, in one town or the other, depending on when they are born, and are pitted against one another in the ever-changing landscape. Throughout, Mosca's task is to find and save the mayor's beautiful and beloved daughter, Bearnabeth. But she is constantly thwarted by the dreaded Locksmiths, who are ruled by the fearsome Goshawk and who want to kill Mosca because of her activities in Mandelion. On her journey to success, Mosca faces and sometimes exacerbates fires, betrayal, riots, and political intrigue, among other terrors. The novel's characters and setting are thoroughly and convincingly unique while, at the same, the personalities and dilemmas are sufficiently familiar that readers will be drawn into what may seem like a strange, new world that somehow still has recognizable overtones of the peculiar one in which they live. Readers will revel in the story's humor, oddities, suspense, and connectedness. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Independent orphan Mosca Mye; the con man Eponymous Clent; and Mosca's violent goose, Saracen, are back in this sequel to Fly by Night (HarperCollins, 2006). The trio is trying to find a new home after being forced to leave Mandelion at the end of their first adventure, and their travels bring them to Toll, where they need to raise funds to leave the city and cross its bridge. They quickly become involved in the local intrigue, which juxtaposes Toll's innocent daytime appearance with its alter ego, Toll-by-Night. Mosca's world features a variety of divinities, each ruling over a brief period of time each year, and Toll's residents are fated to be part of the day or night cities depending on when they were born. At the center of many plots is the beautiful daughter of Toll's mayor, and her kidnapping leads to danger and encounters with the threatening and dangerous Locksmiths. When Mosca is exiled to Toll-by-Night, she needs to find allies and put together the pieces to locate the missing Beamabeth, defeat the Locksmiths, and change the future of Toll itself. Hardinge has once again created an intricate world, and she uses the town's dual nature to focus on people's perceptions of others. Mosca's spirit and heart bring the story together and make her actions totally believable. Fly Trap's action and drama are balanced with humor, often presented through the flamboyant Clent and Saracen, as well as through the names and duties of the divinities. This is another high-quality, thought-provoking fantastic adventure that will keep readers' interest in spite of its length.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Kirkus Reviews

Another city unwittingly admits the forces of chaos and widespread panic through its gates in this doorstopper sequel to Fly by Night (2006). Those forces being young orphan Mosca Mye (a "clench-jawed scrap of damp doggedness"), silver-tongued poet/con man/ex-spy Eponymous Clent and Mosca's beloved but psychotic goose Saracen, readers are in for a rare treat. In full flight after having played a significant role in turning the port of Mandelion into an independent city governed by republic-minded "radicals" in the previous episode, the trio enters the aptly named town of Toll in hopes of escaping across the only bridge over the mighty Langfeather River. Escalating complications rapidly ensue as Mye and Clent discover to their horror that they're trapped within the secure walls of a town that's being taken over by the sinister Locksmith Guild. Toll is a thoroughly dysfunctional town, in which the streets are literally rearranged every dawn and dusk to underline a sharp separation between the smug and prosperous daytime population and the despised, fear-plagued nighttime one. Hardinge once again creates a strange original society that reflects our own in provocative ways. She also has a gift for well-turned prose and shows a sure hand in crafting suspenseful plots. Readers will be thrilled she again gives this winning trio a chance to show their better natures while surviving (often causing) trickery, betrayal, fires, riots and social upheaval. (Alternate world fantasy. 11-13)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060880460
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 584
  • Sales rank: 706,745
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances Hardinge is the celebrated author of Fly By night, Well Witched, and The Lost Conspiracy. She spent her childhood in Kent, England, in a huge, isolated old house in a small, strange village, and from an early age she wrote stories filled with magic and vivid characters. Ms. Hardinge studied at Oxford University, where she was a founding member of a writers' workshop. This is her fourth novel.

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