5 stars · book review · Character Typing

book review: A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge 5/5 stars 🎉| Goodreads Review

I’m back from the UK! I went to Edinburgh for vacation and headed down to London for my graduation ceremony ;;; I’m still recovering from jet-lag but my jetlag from China seems to have reset, so now I only have a 6 hour difference to get over. Anyway! I bought A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge from the airport bookshop on a whim because it was shiny and it was about ghosts and I did not regret it at all. It seems to be a reoccuring theme that I invest heavily in historical or historical-based fantasy books all while history was my worst subject, but I can’t help it, it’s my niche.

I’ve already written a review on Goodreads linked above, but I’ll put some more thoughts about the book here too!


I loved this book so much, I can’t believe I had suck good luck with buying this book on impulse.


  • Makepeace is hands down by favorite protagonist of the year so far. It’ll be hard to dethrone her, but if 2018 is a good year, I’ll be happy if there are good conteders that give her some competition. She is purposefully unassuming and very exacting and clever and by the end she sasses tf out of everyone who’s wronged her – exactly what I love in my protags. I’ve seen in some other reviews that she is a typical main character from Hardinge, which if that’s the case, I would be a forever loyal reader and would definietly pick up another book by Hardinge.
  • Symond is my other fave LOL he’s scummy and self-serving but is still a very interesting character. He even acknowledges how clever MP is but his aristocratic bocchan pride means he still has to be the best even in reality he isn’t. I love his interactions with Makepeace in the latter half of the novel because it showcases how GOOD Makepeace is – she outwits him more than once and hits him with logs/sticks/idr even though he thinks he’s in charge. LOL gg Symond that’s what you get for messing with Makepeace’s 2-years-and-a-season plan.
    • He is another evil blonde… (and a bocchan!) I thought I had my year’s fill after Ryo from Devilman. Western fandom has Draco in leather pants meanwhile anime has reiterations of the evil blonde archetype inspired by Ryo. I feel like Symond is the latter despite not being from an anime/manga.
    • I know this is bad but I ship MP and him.
    • I know in any other genre they’d be my book Yamaken and Shizuku. I love their dynamic, ok? This reminded me strangely of Yamashizu from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. All I did was cheer for them to fight everytime MP and Symond talked to each other.

Plot + Writing – So much happens in so little time, but it never felt like there was no down time to process everything as they happen. Bonus points for overthrowing the status quo @ MP. I love piecing together the reveal as I’m reading instead of being spoonfed information. The writing was very clear, but still left enough mystery and room for interpretation.

Misc. notes – me and my MBTI impressions just because I can.

I would type my girl Makepeace as ISTJ and James as ENXP (leaning more towards ENTP). I’ve been seeing a lot of this type pairing lately (Mallory and Bri from Grace and Frankie, Caitlyn and Cisco from the Flash) and it’s the gift that keeps on giving me life.



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