This is a YA (Eleven plus) fantasy novel.
Set in the closed in city of Agora, where there is no money only trading and anything can be traded. Parents can trade their children up to the age of twelve and feelings and emotions even bad ones can be traded too. Anyone who has got nothing left to trade can not survive and there is a plague in the slums.
Just before his twelfth birthday, Mark is sold to the grandson of the great astrologer Count Stelli. Mark was traded by his father so that he could get medicine for himself. The Count’s grandson Dr Theophilus was born a healer and he is researching and trying to find a cure for the plague. At the Counts tower Mark meets Lily an Orphan girl who is also almost twelve. Lily is working at the tower as a servant and also assisting Dr Theophilus in his work.
When children turn twelve in Agora they become free and own themselves. When Mark and Lily reach the ages of twelve they are living very different lives. Mark finds that he can trade astrology predictions to the merchants of the city that are afraid of what will come in the future. He is a success at this. Meanwhile Lily helps the unfortunate by running a charity giving them shelter and food. At first Mark and Lily stay in touch by writing letters, but they soon find that they keep crossing paths and are connected a lot by the same people.
Unknown to Mark and Lily watching over them from afar is the powerful Director of Receipts.
Could Mark and Lily destiny be told in The Midnight Charter a mysterious document?
Will the future of Agora be determined by Mark and Lilies actions?
This is a novel that will appeal to both older children and adults too. Wrote with a wonderful quick pace which captivates the reader from page one and keeps the reader entertained all the way through the book The Midnight Charter lays the foundations for which is set to be a fantastic series of books. This is a brilliant debut fantasy novel from David Whitley.
David Whitley was born in Chester in 1984. At the age of seventeen he was short listed for the Kathleen Fidler Award for a children’s novel and at twenty he won the Cheshire Prize for Literature for a Children’s short story. TV quiz fans will have spotted David on the BBC 2 show University Challenge when he was a member of Oxford’s Corpus Christi team who became series champions in 2005.
For more information about the author, click the following link: http://www.davidwhitley.co.uk