At just the perfect moment, 12-year-old orphan Mosca finds her chance to escape when a traveling con artist needs a hand getting out of town posthaste. But she may have just walked into a whole new brand of trouble by hooking up with a spy.
This kids novel is set in a time and place much like 19th century England, but with a fictional political upheaval that has resulted in the banning and elimination of almost all written word. Mosca's father was a revolutionary who taught her to read - a skill that almost no one has.
There's lots of political espionage here, and a fair amount of behind-the-scenes machinations that add drama to the tale. Mosca's goose Saracen adds a bit of comedy relief, and Mosca's a plucky heroine who tries always to do the right thing.
I'd recommend it for the 9-12-year-old crowd looking for adventure and a bit of fantasy.