Fork-Tongue Charmers (The Luck Uglies #2)

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March 17, 2015
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Rye O'Chanter was shocked to discover that her father was the leader of the notorious band of outlaws known as the Luck Uglies. Now she too has been declared a criminal in her own village, and she must flee to the strange and remote Isle of Pest while her father faces off against the Luck Uglies' bitterest rivals, the Fork-Tongue Charmers, on the mainland. But all bets are off when the battle moves to the shores of Pest. To defeat the Fork-Tongue Charmers, Rye must defy a deranged earl, survive a test meant to judge the grit of the fiercest men, and lead the charge in defending the island against a strangely familiar enemy, which means uncovering some long-buried family secrets. . . . The first book in the Luck Uglies series was named an ALA Notable Children's Book as well as a New York Public Library Title for Reading and Sharing, and it won the Cybil Award for Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. This second installment ratchets up the humor, charm, and adventure, taking the series to brand-new heights!

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Intricate plotting and mysterious characters collide in this Luck Uglies installment
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With a vicious Constable rampaging and the appearance of a mysterious bunch of Luck Uglies that call themselves Fork-Tongue Charmers, Rye O’Chanter has a lot on her plate. When danger once again strikes her village, her and her family must flee to the Isles of Pest, her mother’s homeland. There, Rye will discover secrets, mysteries, and enemies she never expected.

In this sequel to The Luck Uglies, Paul Durham once again weaves a masterful and intricate plot with many layers. Each unfolding requires extensive build up that occasionally makes the story read a little slowly, but ultimately accomplishes its mission of creating serious, impactful twists and turns. Much like Rye’s home village, Pest is full of strong world building and uniqueness. From accented locals to new folklore, I love how rich this new setting is and how Rye and company grow to adjust to their new surroundings.

As in the prior book, I once again found myself drawn to Harmless and Abby. Some mysteries and secrets behind them find answers in this book, but their characters are so complex and intriguing you know they still have more secrets in store. Durham’s talent at crafted equally superb children and adult characters make this a strong read for both audiences. The new friends Rye makes at Pest offer even more opportunities for humor, fun, and character development, and I hope to see some of them pop up again in the next book.

While this book doesn’t have quite as much charm as the first, The Luck Uglies: Fork-Tongue Charmers delves further into the mysteries and darkness of Rye’s world and delivers another breathtaking plot to readers. This group of characters will stay with readers long after the last page and leave them eager to find out what dangers will brew in the next book.
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