This is a dark and gothic tale, with a brother lost in the war, and a family torn apart through grieving for him. There is sibling rivally and a father with a dark secret. There are moments thoughout this book that are genuninely chilling, like when the china doll follows you with its gaze and turns in the corner. Dolls are always scary!
It’s very hard to describe this book without giving away the story in spoilers, but it involves fairy folk and changelings and creatures that live on the edge of our existence. But it is a book about so much more than that. Grief, obviously. Acceptance and understanding of others, too.
This is the first of Frances Hardinge’s books that I have read, and it will not be the last. From the very beginning the story was gripping, and the writing, immediate.