In the city of Agora, anything can be bought and sold. Even children are possessions until their twelfth birthday.
Mark has been sold by his father, and Lily, an orphan from birth, has bartered for her life. Thrown together by chance, in the ancient tower of Count Stelli, they face an existence of poverty and servitude, unless they can find a way to break free.
But, unbeknown to Mark and Lily, they are being watched by the ruler of the city. Can they survive the traps and treachery that await them and discover the dark secret that binds them together?
Their lives depend on this question: what is the Midnight Charter?
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"Charity, greed, freedom, fate and political scheming are all woven through debut author Whitley's richly conceived world. Readers will be buoyed by every small triumph that cannot be recorded in an account book." — "Publishers Weekly ""Deft world-building and crafty plotting combine for a zinger of an ending that will leave readers poised for book two. Surprisingly sophisticated upper-middle-grade fare, with enough meat to satisfy older readers as well." "— Kirkus Reviews""Exciting and gripping from the first heart-stopping line. . . . Readers will anxiously await the next installment as they reach the cliff-hanger ending." "— School Library Journal" "From the Hardcover edition."About the Author:
David Whitley was born in 1984 and at the age of twenty he won the Cheshire Prize for Literature. He later graduated from the University of Oxford with a double first in English Literature. TV quiz fans will have spotted David on BBC2's University Challenge, when he was a member of Oxford's Corpus Christi team who became Series Champions in 2005.
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