Welcome to MMGM, Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing book 2 in The Luck Uglies series, Fork-Tongue Charmers by Paul Durham. To read the review of book one, click here.
Now that Rye knows her father, Harmless, is actually the leader of the Luck Uglies, things will never be the same. Rye meets a splintered group of Luck Uglies called, the Fork-Tongued Charmers, men who want to take leadership away from her father and sow discord around the land. Even worse, her family are declared outlaws and her mother's exotic store is burned to the ground. They take refugee at the inn, but even from there they are forced to flee, and Rye finds herself on a boat set for the island of Pest, her mother's native land.
On Pest, Rye finds that her once proud grandfather has fallen to poverty and the people fight amongst themselves. The people of Pest hate the Luck Uglies because of a long ago slight, and Rye worries about her father. When ships full of soldiers are seen off shore, Rye knows their troubles have followed them.
It is up to her and her friends to device a plan to save the town that defeats both the soldiers and the Fork-Tongued Charmers.
This is another fun book that middle graders will love to read. Rye is a spunky character who really takes control of her situations and fights for what she believes. On the island of Pest she is introduced to cousins and family and finds herself understanding her mother and why she is as she is. Plus, as she digs into family history, she learns about life. I think the author does an amazing job at showing how wonderful and strong Rye is when Rye is forced to save her own life while stranded on a rock.
This book was not as adventurous as book one, where we uncovered secrets about Luck Uglies and Bog Noblins, but it still held together well and presented tension and action. I think I would have liked more magic or cool secrets, but the story line did not go that way. I think my favorite thing was finding out who or what dwelt in the attic.
The author is able to develop all of the characters more in book 2 and the readers will come away with a good understanding of motives and goals. It is also very interesting to learn about the splinter Luck Ugly group. In book 1, they seem united and strong, yet in this second book you see dissension in the ranks. Overall, a good book and worthy of a read. 4 stars!