A Face Like Glass

By: Frances Hardinge

The people of Caverna seem ordinary, except for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to express emotion.

ISBN: 9781419724848

JLG Release: Aug 2017


Sensitive Areas: Violence
Topics: Fantasy , Action and adventure , Adventure and adventurers , Friendship , Rebellion , Child heroes , Courts and courtiers , Conspiracies , Resistance to government , Dystopias , Social classes , Ability , Royalty , Orphans , Identity

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Awards & Honors

ALSC Notable Children’s Books 2018, Older
YALSA 2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2017, Teen Fiction
NPR’s Book Concierge, 2017 Great Reads
2018 USBBY Outstanding International Books, Grades 6–8

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Neverfell didn’t mean to cause a stir when she left Cheesemaster Grandible’s tunnels for the first time, nor could she have known that she would become a darling of the court, the target of assassins, a captive of the Kleptomancer, a pawn of the powerbrokers, or a leader of an uprising. She is just a girl try
[STARRED REVIEW]
Neverfell didn’t mean to cause a stir when she left Cheesemaster Grandible’s tunnels for the first time, nor could she have known that she would become a darling of the court, the target of assassins, a captive of the Kleptomancer, a pawn of the powerbrokers, or a leader of an uprising. She is just a girl trying to figure out who she is and where she came from. Neverfell is an outsider with no memories of her past, living in the underground city of Caverna, which includes an extensive labyrinth of tunnels and is overseen by a decadent and rotting 500-year-old Grand Steward and an equally corrupt and conniving group of ruling families who make up his court. They are led by master craftsmen who supply the upper crust and the outside world with exotic, expensive, and sometimes explosive delicacies. Why would anyone look twice at a young, guileless cheese-maker’s apprentice? In a world where nothing is taken at face value and everything is for sale, including facial expressions that various courtiers pay top dollar to acquire, Neverfell’s dynamic and always shifting gaze stops people in their tracks and makes her more than an oddity but rather a force to be reckoned with. Hardinge is at the top of her game with this entrancing and action-packed adventure. Her voluptuous prose is full of sensory details and wildly imaginative descriptions, yet the world-building is controlled and gradually revealed. Readers will learn about this caustic and claustrophobic society right along with the protagonist and be highly invested in her struggle. VERDICT A compelling and triumphant follow-up to The Lie Tree for those who love to become immersed in a good story.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal

Horn Book

In this fantasy (first published in the UK in 2012), Hardinge (The Lie Tree imagines Caverna, an underground city that thrives through its production of magical luxuries: mind-altering cheeses, wines that erase memories with surgical precision, and perfumes that influence attitudes. Perhaps these consciousnessinfluencing items make up for th In this fantasy (first published in the UK in 2012), Hardinge (The Lie Tree imagines Caverna, an underground city that thrives through its production of magical luxuries: mind-altering cheeses, wines that erase memories with surgical precision, and perfumes that influence attitudes. Perhaps these consciousnessinfluencing items make up for the inhabitants’ shared disability: they’re incapable of making facial expressions naturally. Into Caverna’s highly artificial court lands apprentice cheese-maker Neverfell, whose unique facial mobility and transparent feelings are so dangerous she must wear a mask. First threatened, then adopted by powerful courtiers, Neverfell penetrates the heart of Caverna’s secrets and disrupts its very underpinnings with her plan for social justice (“I want you to help me topple Master Childersin, break hundreds of laws and save as many people as will trust me”). Hardinge’s imagination here is—as ever—ebullient, lavish, and original. Whether she’s anatomizing expression as fashion accessory, describing the effects of certain wines, or likening human maturation to that of cheeses, she needles into some of our dearest desires and foibles with sharp psychological insight. Her enthusiasm for language play brightens dark Caverna with the sparkle of wit; but most notably, she suggests how fundamental to human interaction our facial expressions are. deirdre f. baker

Book Details

ISBN

9781419724848

First Release

August 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

496

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 920L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Amulet

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence

Topics

Fantasy, Action and adventure, Adventure and adventurers, Friendship, Rebellion, Child heroes, Courts and courtiers, Conspiracies, Resistance to government, Dystopias, Social classes, Ability, Royalty, Orphans, Identity,

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