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The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge Review

Title: The Lost Conspiracy

Author: Frances Hardinge

First published December 16, 2008

576 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780060880415 (ISBN10: 0060880414)

Rating: 4.13


The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge is a tale set in a world of ancient laws and new dangers. On an island shrouded in mystery, colonists and bounty hunters clash in their search for power and riches.

The smiling tribe is despised as murderers, and two sisters, Arilou and Hathin, find themselves caught in a deadly web of deceit. Arilou is a proclaimed prophetess, while Hathin is her nearly invisible attendant.

However, their carefully constructed lives unravel when they’re unknowingly drawn into a sinister, island-wide conspiracy. Hathin must journey beyond all she’s ever known to save them both.

As the stakes mount and lies unravel, Hathin discovers that the only thing more dangerous than the secret she hides is the truth she must uncover. The Lost Conspiracy is a thrilling story of survival and self-discovery in a world where nothing is as it seems.

About the Author

Frances Hardinge grew up in a large, solitary old house located in a peculiar, little village. These two factors sparked her passion for crafting mystical and peculiar tales from a young age.

After studying English at Oxford University, she currently resides in Oxford, England.

Editoral Review

In Frances Hardinge’s novel The Lost Conspiracy, readers are immediately transported to the fictional island of Gullstruck where they are introduced to two sisters, Hathin and Arilou. The novel, which was first published on December 16, 2008, is a masterpiece of the young adult fantasy genre and a testament to the author’s ability to create a compelling narrative that is both engaging and thought-provoking.

The novel takes readers on a journey of discovery where they learn about the world of Gullstruck, which is populated by two distinct communities, the Lace and the Laceless. The Lace are considered the ruling class and have access to wealth, power, and education, while the Laceless are seen as a lower class and are often marginalized and oppressed.

The Lost Conspiracy is a social commentary on the dangers of elitism and the importance of unity in a society that is increasingly divided. The plot revolves around a mysterious force called the Lost, which is said to have the power to control minds and manipulate reality.

Hathin, who is a member of the Laceless community, is tasked with unraveling the mystery of the Lost and finding a way to save her people from its influence. Along the way, she must confront the prejudices and biases of her own community and find allies in unexpected places.

One of the strengths of The Lost Conspiracy is Hardinge’s ability to create complex, multi-dimensional characters. Hathin, in particular, is a character who is easy to root for, but who also has flaws and makes mistakes.

The novel also features a diverse cast of characters, including people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ characters, which adds depth and richness to the story. Hardinge’s prose is also a standout feature of the novel.

She has a gift for creating vivid, sensory descriptions that transport readers to the world of Gullstruck. The pacing of the novel is also well-done, with the story moving at a brisk pace that keeps readers engaged without feeling rushed.

Despite its strengths, however, The Lost Conspiracy is not without its flaws. Some readers may find the world-building to be dense and difficult to follow, and the novel’s emphasis on social commentary may be off-putting to some readers who prefer more traditional fantasy fare.

Overall, The Lost Conspiracy is a well-crafted, thought-provoking novel that is sure to appeal to fans of the young adult fantasy genre. With its engaging characters, intricate world-building, and social commentary on the dangers of elitism, the novel is a standout in the genre.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping, thought-provoking read. Rating: 4/5 stars.