A thrilling adventure set in the underbelly of the Tower of London. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory's 'Order of Darkness' series and Percy Jackson.
Moss hates her life. As the daughter of the Executioner in the Tower of London, it’s her job to catch the heads in her basket after her father has chopped them off. She dreams of leaving, but they are prisoners with no way out.
Then Moss discovers a hidden tunnel that takes her to freedom, where she learns that her life isn’t what she believes it to be and she doesn’t know who to trust.
Her search for the truth takes her on a journey along the great River Thames. Could the answers lie deep in its murky depths?
With guest appearances from Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, young fans of historical fiction will be transported back to a vividly realised past. Perfect for readers aged 9+.
Look out for the heart-stopping sequel River Daughter.
Jane Hardstaff is a major new voice in children's historical fiction. She longed to be an artist, but somehow became a TV producer. She grew up in Wiltshire with her brothers, hunting mayfly-nymphs with her father and reading fairytales with her mother. Now she lives in London’s East End, near the great, wild River Thames – the inspiration for her novels.
Praise for Hardstaff:
'a strong, new voice in children’s fiction – draws a wonderfully authentic portrait of a wilful tween desperate to find out more about her origins and flee the house of death' - The Times
'This notable debut mixes vivid history with supernatural adventure, and from its dark depths friendship, forgiveness and parental love rise to the surface.' - The Sunday Times
The Executioner's Daughter was chosen as Children's Book of the Week by The Sunday Times and The Times.
Set in England during the reign of Henry VIII, Hardstaff's debut is a fast-moving and suspenseful adventure starring motherless 11-year-old Moss, who has lived all her life on London's Tower Hill. Moss's father's job is to behead the Tower prisoners; hers is to carry away the severed heads in a basket. Jeered at as "basket girl," Moss despises beheadings, but her father has always told her they themselves are prisoners whose lives are spared only because he serves as the king's executioner. When Moss discovers that this is a lie and that she is living under a curse from the Riverwitch who saved her as a newborn she runs away, embarking on a hand-to-mouth existence filled with indignities and dangers, often accompanied by a generous young thief, who shares what little he has with Moss. Searching for the place she was conceived and aware that she is living on borrowed time, Moss is a headstrong, emotional, and determined heroine. Hardstaff believably conveys the gritty details of life on the edge in the context of historical events of the era. Ages 9 13.