Description - Ambergate by Patricia Elliott
I am the girl with no name ...I have a secret I must never tell. If I do, they will come after me - the Protector and his men. Only a number branded on her arm betrays the orphan girl's past. When she arrives at Murkmere Hall to be a kitchen maid, they call her Scuff, and little guess she has committed a terrible crime. Haunted by her dark secret, all Scuff can do is pray to the divine beings - the birds - for forgiveness. Now, five years later, the past is catching up with Scuff. Hunted from all sides, she flees Murkmere, only to be forced back to the cruel confines of the Capital, and the Orphans' Home where it all began. Set in the capital city, this has a very different feel from Murkmere, but is still grounded in the bird tradition, superstition and religion that haunts the first book.
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(197mm x 128mm x 27mm)
Hodder Children's Books
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Country of Publication:
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Book Reviews - Ambergate by Patricia Elliott
US Kirkus Review »
Scuff the kitchen drudge is forced on a journey that broadens and deepens the touchingly chilly, gothic world readers first saw in Murkmere (2006). Ominous and ever-present religion dictates fear and worship of birds, and the land is ruled by an evil Protectorate. Scuff, timid and sober, quails when soldiers show up seeking her at Murkmere. Unable to erase the scar on her arm marking her as Number 102 from the Capital's orphanage, she assumes they've learned of her childhood crime and flees into the marshy Wasteland. Pursued a la Jean Valjean, she meets mysterious Erland, gets trapped in a house of ill repute and ends up back in the terrifying Capital. All the complications - Erland's double identity, Scuff's unknown parentage, unsavory royalty and rebels, and the reappearance of Leah, whom readers will remember as avia (part swan) - weave together in a beautiful climax that pains the heart and intrigues the mind. Mystical, stoic and poignant all at once. (Fantasy. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Patricia Elliott
Patricia Elliott has written nine novels for children and young adults. Her first novel with Hodder, The Ice Boy, won the Fidler Award for a First Novel and was shortlisted for the Branford-Boase among other awards. Her second, Murkmere, was long-listed for the Guardian Fiction Award and she has since been short-listed for many others, including the Calderdale and the Wirral Paperback of the Year. Her most recent YA is a Victorian Gothic, The Devil in the Corner. Her new MG series, the Connie Carew Mysteries, is set in the Edwardian period: The House of Eyes and The Ship of Spectres. Patricia was (and is!) a voracious reader and always scribbled stories during a childhood spent overseas. She worked in publishing in London and in bookselling in New York before taking an M.A. in Writing for Children. She has been a tutor at Morley College, London, and in between writing now leads workshops for both adults and children, including Chelsea Young Writers. She is an active member of CWISL (Children's Writers and Illustrators in South London). She is married, with two sons. www.patriciaelliott.co.uk