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Mini Review: A Skinful of Shadows

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Title:A Skinful of Shadows

Author:Frances Hardinge

Series:Standalone (as far as I know)

Rating★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Note:I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .

Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard.

And now there’s a spirit inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father’s rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.

But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.

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✩ I liked how passionate and headstrong Makepeace was. She stood up for others (alive or not) when she sensed that they had been wrong, and I found that admirable. Plus, she fought with her mind just as much as she did physically.

Mother was an interesting character as well. She was just as headstrong and stubborn as Makepeace which made them clash at times, but I could see the deep love she had for her daughter. She was also a bit sassy and I liked her tough love style.

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Mother was like this sometimes. Conversations became riddles with traps in them, and your answers had consequences.

*This is based on a sample of the first 5 chapters

I am really happy to have read this sample, and also kind of sad because it’s not the whole thing, haha.

I think the story started out with just the right amount of trouble because Makepeace woke up screaming of for the third time. This is obviously a routine that Mother and Makepeace must play through often, but one that is getting old. It’s not long before Mother makes a startling revelation about the source of her daughter’s nightmares: ghosts.

When Mother uses an unconventional tactic to help Makepeace deal with the unseen forces it changes everything between them and sets in motion events which will change Makepeace’s life forever.

Makepeace followed her home in silence, head bowed. She knew that Mother always had reasons for everything she did. But for the first time Makepeace found that she could not forgive her, and afterwards nothing was the same.


I really liked the writing style and overall tone of the story. I think I would probably compare it to something like The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco or The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale.

I liked the careful detail put into creating the setting of this religious-driven world that Mother and Makepeace lived in. They strived to fit in and yet couldn’t quite make it work. Grizehays, on the other hand, seemed to run by its own rules.

I’d love to see where this story goes and I can’t wait for this book to be out so I can enjoy the rest of it. I would highly recommend checking this one out!




2 thoughts on “Mini Review: A Skinful of Shadows

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