The Executioner’s Daughter
‘Stories. Memories. Who’s to say what’s true and what’s not? My grandmother, rest her rotten bones, told me tales of the river that would scare the skin off an apple.’
‘Tell me one now then,’ said Moss. Maybe they were just stories, but she loved to hear them. ‘Please Nell. Tell me about the Riverwitch.’
The old lady lowered her voice. ‘Very well, but this story is a sad one and has no end.’
The crowds at the Tower of London love nothing better than watching an execution. Preferably while eating pie. Not Moss. She watches the river as it flows past and dreams of a life outside the Tower. Her chance comes when she discovers a hidden tunnel, leading to the shore of the treacherous river Thames. There she befriends a thief called Salter – a boy who knows what it takes to stay alive in the cold, cruel London of King Henry VIII. But danger lurks on the river and its murky depths hide a secret that will change everything.
Set amid the glamour and grime of Tudor London, The Executioner’s Daughter is thrilling historical fantasy – whisking Moss and Salter away from the Tower, through a snow-covered city with its frost fairs and roasting chestnuts, to the lavish world of King Henry at Hampton Court Palace. But all the while the Riverwitch is circling, ready to claim a debt made long ago.
Winner of the Salisbury Schools’ Book Award, the Primary Teacher Book Award, Shortlisted for the Oxfordshire Book Award and the Salford Children’s Book Award. Nominated for the Branford Boase Award.
‘A strong, new voice in children’s fiction… Hardstaff has a real talent for creating a sense of place and drama.’ – Alex O’Connell, 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.’ – Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times
‘An amazing and clever story like no others I have read. Great historical detail shines through this book.’ – Emma Stephenson, age 10
The Executioner’s Daughter USA Edition
Coming soon! The Executioner’s Daughter will be published in the USA by Lerner Books in April 2016.
‘A richly detailed debut with a classic feel, full of grit, gore and gilt.’ Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jane-hardstaff/the-executioners-daughter-hardstaff/
‘A fast-moving and suspenseful adventure… 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.’ Publisher’s Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-60684-562-2
‘Mesmerizing tale where the world of King Henry VIII meets an urban river legend. Readers will be caught up with not only the plight of Moss but court intrigues as well.’ Kim Baccellia YA and Kids Books Central http://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfiction/19499-the-executioner-s-daughter
More than a year has passed since Moss was released from the clutches of the Riverwitch. Now her father has swapped his bloody axe for a blacksmith’s forge and they have moved away from London, taking Salter with them.
But strange things are happening on the river and an old enemy returns, ready to strike a bargain with Moss. Leaving her new home, Moss sets out on a deadly journey to put an end to the evil that is enveloping the Tower like a stinking fog. It’s a decision that may cost her her friendship with Salter and ultimately her life.
‘Tudor life is vividly described – dirty, cruel and dangerous, and Henry VIII’s menagerie, housed in the Tower itself, adds some very special colour. A dramatic adventure set against an unusual and convincing background, this is another gripping read.’ – Andrea Reece, Love Reading for Kids
‘a BRILLIANT novel…Once you read this novel you will never forget it.’ – Amisha McCrysta, age 12
‘The character development is superb, the historical setting is brilliantly described and the pacing is pretty much perfect.’ – Jim Dean, YA Yeah Yeah