7,132 book reviews and counting...

Deeplight Reviews

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Deeplight

Frances Hardinge

4.50 out of 5

4 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Macmillan Children's Books
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 29 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781509836956

The story of a friendship as deep and dangerous as the ocean by the Costa Award-winning author of The Lie Tree.

  • The TimesChildren's Book of the Week
5 stars out of 5
Alex O’Connell
26 Oct 2019

" those who submit and submerge will reap the literary rewards of this extraordinary world"

...a book that is more deep than it is light and which needs concentration and commitment to enjoy to the full... I know as many teenage naysayers as I do firm devotees of Hardinge’s previous books and this one is unlikely to change that. But I swallowed Deeplight hook, line and sinker; those who submit and submerge will reap the literary rewards of this extraordinary world — the likes of which could only have come from Hardinge’s fantastical, philosophical pen.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5

"her worlds are navigated by characters who stay human to the marrow – flawed, cowardly, doubtful, determined, unprincipled and brave"

The deftly drawn central relationship between Hark and the manipulative Jelt, impossible to refuse or leave behind, is as compelling as the widening, frightening ripple of revealed secrets about the nature of the gods and the reason they died. Like the subject of Ariel’s Song in The TempestDeeplight is headily “rich and strange” throughout, preoccupied with transmuted forms, the fearsome fascination of the sea, loyalty warring with self-interest, and the human yen to placate and venerate the monstrous.

5 stars out of 5
Fiona Noble
22 Oct 2019

"here the freedom of an entirely imagined landscape showcases her staggering originality. A masterclass in world-building"

Frances Hardinge is on dazzling form in Deeplight (Macmillan), a fantasy adventure of gods, monsters and mythology. On the islands of the Myriad archipelago, street urchins Hark and Jelt scavenge the deep waters of the undersea for relics of long-dead gods. A dangerous discovery challenges the boys and their friendship to the very core. Hardinge is best known for Costa book of the year The Lie Tree, which was grounded in Victorian society, but here the freedom of an entirely imagined landscape showcases her staggering originality. A masterclass in world-building.

4 stars out of 5
Nicolette Jones
20 Oct 2019

"an action-filled fantasy that has to be read slowly"

Recounted with a dark imagination, the adventures that befall Hark involve undersea escapades, and add up to an allegory about religious fanaticism that embraces the wisdom of the elderly and a warning about manipulative friendships. As Hark and his allies battle monsters, he learns that “we are what we do, and what we allow to be done”.