The Executioner's Daughter, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A thrilling adventure set in the underbelly of the Tower of London.

Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory's 'Order of Darkness' series and Percy Jackson.

Moss hates her life. As the daughter of the Executioner in the Tower of London, it's her job to catch the heads in her basket after her father has chopped them off.

She dreams of leaving, but they are prisoners with no way out.

Then Moss discovers a hidden tunnel that takes her to freedom, where she learns that her life isn't what she believes it to be and she doesn't know who to trust.

Her search for the truth takes her on a journey along the great River Thames.

Could the answers lie deep in its murky depths? With guest appearances from Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, young fans of historical fiction will be transported back to a vividly realised past.

Perfect for readers aged 9+. Look out for the heart-stopping sequel River Daughter.

Jane Hardstaff is a major new voice in children's historical fiction.

She longed to be an artist, but somehow became a TV producer.

She grew up in Wiltshire with her brothers, hunting mayfly-nymphs with her father and reading fairytales with her mother. Now she lives in London's East End, near the great, wild River Thames - the inspiration for her novels.

Praise for Hardstaff: "A strong, new voice in children's fiction - draws a wonderfully authentic portrait of a wilful tween desperate to find out more about her origins and flee the house of death". (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." (The Sunday Times).

The Executioner's Daughter was chosen as Children's Book of the Week by The Sunday Times and The Times.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont UK Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Adventure
  • ISBN: 9781405268288



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..of kings and towers and superstitionsMissing children along the River Thames, a daughter trapped inside the tower with an unaccounted for past and tales to explain why she must never leave the tower. Moss, the Executioner's daughter is on the verge of an awful truth.Stolen moments lead to outside the tower through a hidden way, stolen boots lead towards a new and unlikely friend.What is the mystery of the Witch of the Rivers and what does Moss have to do with her?Set against the backdrop of the Tower of London, Hardstaff weaves a story that gathers together, in the language of legends, a world bordering the reality of those who live outside the tower. A world where reality, superstition and witches meet on the eve of Anne Boleyn's downward path from Queen to traitor. A place where children are warned against being taken by the Riverwitch into the depths of the Thames.Moss's meeting with Anne is a lovely vignette of the doomed Anne whose flame might be fluttering but whose determination and character is very evident.Moss was born and saved from drowning by the Riverwitch, who in giving her back declared that she would come for Moss in twelve years. Moss it seems is bound by that utterance. She is haunted by the apparition of the Riverwitch glimpsed beneath the icy Thames. Only she can in the end calm the ravages of the Riverwitch.Hardstaff's language is strongly evocative. I felt the terror of the beheadings, the dank sliminess of the tunnel under the tower, the icy coldness of the river edges in winter, and the insidiousness of the faceless figure that nearly catches Moss.A fascinating read portraying the Tudor times from a different perspective.A NetGalley ARC

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