Fork-Tongue Charmers (Luck Uglies, book two)
By Paul Durham
Published 2015 by HarperCollins
Read my review of book one here.
Though Rye O'Chanter now at least knows who her father is, that knowledge is certainly not making her life any easier. Her family has been declared outlaws by a sinister new lawman and, in order to survive, they must relocate to the Isle of Pest. But Pest holds secrets of its own - more secrets about Rye's family - and soon, Rye finds herself in the middle of another terrifying and life-threatening adventure.
I read the first book just a few short months ago (and named it our Cybils winner!) and was thrilled to discover that the sequel would be released soon. One of the benefits of changing up my reading resolution is getting to keep up with series as they're released, and I definitely took advantage of that here.
I almost feel like you could just read my review of book one again and you'd know how I feel about book two. I absolutely love these characters. Rye's frustrating and anxiety-inducing pigheadedness is once again present in this volume and, of course, it leads her into some trouble. But she makes these stubborn decisions out of the love and goodness in her heart, so it's pretty difficult to fault her for them. Though I was glad that Folly and Quinn accompanied Rye to Pest, it did feel a bit too convenient. Durham still manages to introduce some local characters in Pest and I like both Folly and Quinn immensely as well, but it just seemed a bit of a plot contrivance for them to abandon their families and accompany Rye's.
I think Durham does a nice job creating a new and intriguing environment on Pest as well - I particularly enjoyed the scene with the shellycoats. Taking the characters to a new location was a great way to introduce more backstory about Rye's family and their personal history with the Luck Uglies. Once again, I liked that Durham didn't shy away from the dark stuff - the villain is, again, pretty awful, and that personal history with the Luck Uglies I mentioned is full of some not-nice stuff.
Again, Durham manages to wrap up the story in one volume while still connecting it to the first. I think this is a great way to write a series that will keep kids engaged, but also won't completely alienate readers who skip around within the series. I'm very much looking forward to more volumes in this series - I could read about these characters all day (and I'm still waiting for more with Quinn)!