Cuckoo Song

Cuckoo Song : Nominiert: The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2015, Ausgezeichnet: British Fantasy Awards Best Fantasy Novel 2015, Nominiert: BSFA Award for Best Novel 2015. Unabridged edition

3.94 (3,899 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.' Patrick Ness

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge, Costa Award winning author of The Lie Tree, is a fantastically eerie and beautifully written novel, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal.

The first things to shift were the doll's eyes, the beautiful grey-green glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss's face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak.

'What are you doing here?' It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. 'Who do you think you are? This is my family.'

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late . . .
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 30mm | 359.99g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged edition
  • 0330519735
  • 9780330519731
  • 37,354

Review Text

'Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.' Patrick Ness
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Review quote

'Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.' -- Patrick Ness This story is really clean, but outstandingly creepy, and I'm completely entranced by the world that Hardinge created. . . The writing- oh my goodness, the writing is superb. There are deeper themes than just that of a girl trying to find herself: the effects of war on a societal level as well as personal; the depths of cruelty people can be capable of in the name of vengeance; autonomy; forgiveness; love. I'm not eloquent enough to say how amazing I think this book is and I can't recommend it highly enough! * NetGalley * It's a compulsive read without naked demands for attention; the tension is, for the most part, in uneasiness and anxiety, in a nagging feeling that things aren't right. It's done incredibly well, to my mind. * * The most original mid-fantasy I have read in a long time... a little book bundle of literary magic. * * Hardinge brings sophistication and literariness to children's fiction whilst never skimping on the entertainment and satisfaction quotient. * * I love this book so much I tried to savour it like I do with sweets! * * This melange of the historical and fantastical in Hardinge's gloriously rich metaphor-laden style is unlikely to be to every child's taste-but it's probably too good for them anyway. * NetGalley * This book is a work of art. Every sentence is an elegant, perfectly constructed gem * * A strange tale of fantastical beings, strange occurrences, buried secrets and ultimately, family relationships of all shapes and sizes * * Frances Hardinge, author of the award-winning novels Fly-by-Night, Twilight Robbery and A Face Like Glass, puts an imaginative spin on the well-worn tales of changelings in her new YA novel Cuckoo Song. * * It's magical, menacing stuff * * This multi-layered fantastical novel is one to curl up with and savour. I can't recommend it highly enough. * Guardian * The sense of identity that Frances creates in all of her characters, whether minor or major, makes real, tangible, interesting personalities that are a genuine joy to spend time with. -- Frances Hardinge Interview with Holdfast * * 'All was perhaps. Nothing was certain. And that, that was wonderful.' I am opening this review with Cuckoo Song's closing words because there is a wonderfulness about them, an intrinsic quality to those words that at once show the excellence of the book at a sentence level and also perfectly encapsulate the thematic core of the novel: its heart and soul, if you will... a supremely well-written novel * * Cuckoo Song is a deeply moving, multi layered book about finding oneself, where magic and the aftermath of World War I walk hand in hand. * * An irresistible novel, which I absolutely adored. Not many authors can conjure such an utterly brilliant modern fairytale. * * With its creepy undertones, authentic backdrop and arresting storyline, Cuckoo Song is the ideal book to get teenagers reading ... and thinking. * * Cuckoo Song was a wonderful, sad and chilling book that I couldn't put down. * * Strange, creepy and wonderfully written . . . a magical read that's about as unique as you can get! * * A beautifully-written and captivating novel. -- Katherine Woodfine * *
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About Frances Hardinge

Frances Hardinge spent a large part of her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University, then got a job at a software company. However, a few years later a persistent friend finally managed to bully Frances into sending a few chapters of Fly By Night, her first children's novel, to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer. The book went on to publish to huge critical acclaim and win the Branford Boase First Novel Award. Known for her beautiful use of language, she has since written many critically acclaimed novels, including Verdigris Deep, A Face Like Glass, and the Costa Award winning The Lie Tree.
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Rating details

3,899 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,333)
4 37% (1,455)
3 19% (759)
2 7% (255)
1 2% (97)

Our customer reviews

The Cuckoo song is a strange tale of fantastical beings, strange occurrences, buried secrets and ultimately, family relationships of all shapes and sizes. Triss wakes up after nearly drowning on holiday and immediately feels out of place, the pages of her diary have been torn out and she can't quite remember things, such as where her bedroom is. Worse, her sister is screaming that she's not Triss and nothing she does can satisfy the hunger she has. This is a seriously weird, creepy book. Seriously. It starts off creepily. It ends creepily. With various pieces of creepy weirdness just scattered around everywhere. This is a book where I was never quite sure what would happen next and it was always the least expected thing - dolls screaming and poking the main character with pins, giant falling scissors, the main character crying spiderweb tears. Surprisingly, despite all the creepy weirdness, I actually found Triss's family the strangest, except for Penn. They expected Triss to look and act a certain way, kept her close and seemed most content when Triss was ill, so they could look after her. She has an odd relationship with both her mother and father as while they do keep her close, they're quite distant from her. Penn was the most interesting character in the story for me and watching her and Triss grow closer as siblings really made me invested in the story. I did wonder how we would keep the story going as I discovered the mystery before half the book had been read and while there was still a lot more story to to read and lots of events happening, it did feel slow in places. The part of the story Triss was called by a slightly different name and it really got on my nerves for a while to be honest but I can't really explain why. It was just irritating. This is a great fantasy read, albeit a really weird read, that I can definitely see on my shelves. I've never read anything like it, Frances really does have a very vivid imagination! There's subtle things on the cover that really make sense once you've read the book too, I really liked that. I will definitely be reading more of the author's books, I've already added one to my Goodreads shelf!show more
by Vickie Ramage
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley.) 11-year-old Triss is shocked when she awakes not really remembering much of who she is, or even who her family is. When her mother explains that sheâ??s ill, Triss thinks that that is the answer, but other things are troubling her. What happened to make Triss ill? Why are her dolls suddenly talking to her? And how does she get rid of this incessant hunger? This was an interesting story, but it did drag in places. I did like Triss, and I liked the way she fought to live. I also thought she was pretty good to her sister Pen, even when her situation was kind-of her fault! The storyline was good, but it was also really long, and dragged in places. I did like the little twists we got, and the book did surprise me at points, but it probably didnâ??t need to be as long as it was. The story started out quite confusing, we finally got some answers, and then we had this long drawn out adventure while the girls tried to fix what was wrong, which was just too long for me. Itâ??s really difficult to say much more about the storyline without dropping spoilers! There wasnâ??t really any romance in this one at all as the main characters were 9 and 11. The ending was good, and I was pleased that everybody got a happy ending. It did feel a long time coming though. Overall; good story, but dragged in places, 6.75 out of more
by Sarah Elizabeth
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