The winner of the 2015 Costa Book of the Year award has been announced. Frances Hardinge accepted the award at a ceremony in London on Tuesday night. She took home the prize for her novel The Lie Tree, a young adult novel set in the world of Victorian science.
Hardinge’s winning book is narrated by a 14-year-old girl and explores the Victorian scientific community, a male-dominated space. Judges called it a “dark, sprawling, fiercely clever novel that blends history and fantasy in a way that will grip readers of all ages.”
The Costa Book of the Year Award pits books of different genres against each other. Each year since 1985, organizers have chosen one book in five categories: novel, first novel, biography, children’s book, and poetry. Out of those finalists, the judges select one final book of the year to receive the Costa award.
Hardinge’s triumph over an impressive list of finalists is made all the greater by the fact that she’s the first winner to come out of the children’s book category in more than a decade. The last writer to win the Costa award with a children’s novel was Phillip Pullman, who won in 2001 for The Amber Spyglass.
Hardinge took home £30,000 (about $42,700) for winning the award. That’s in addition to the £5,000 that she earned for winning her category.