Fly by Night, by Frances Hardinge (HarperCollins, 2006)

In a daring attempt to better her life, 12-year-old Mosca Mye joins up with a traveling storyteller/con man, and promptly gets caught up in multiple conspiracies involving the powerful guilds which rule her land, and the outlawed sect which once held the realm in a grip of terror. In a land where books are strictly controlled, words may be the deadliest weapons of all, though Mosca’s homicidal pet goose comes a close second. A superbly-written book of wry wit and sly humor, Fly by Night is a true joy to read, and a promising debut for a new author.

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