The Palomas and the Corbeaus are more than traveling circus performers; the two families have magical bloodlines, and as with all magical acts, they have their secrets.
The white-scaled Palomas bury their secrets deep underwater; the black-feathered Corbeaus send them flying up to the highest boughs. One thing that’s not a secret: how much these two families hate each other. Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau first meet when she saves him from a beating at the hands of her cousins. After a chemical-rain disaster, Cluck repays the favor but ends up accidentally binding Lace to him and causing her exile from her family. Hoping to cleanse herself of Corbeau “black magic,” she ends up working for them, growing close to the deformed, scarred Cluck. The fabric of lies woven by both their families becomes unraveled, untangling long-standing myths as their own stories entwine. It seems Lace and Cluck are destined to repeat history when an unlikely event leads to answers to questions long left open. Slow momentum early on makes it hard to form attachments to the characters, but readers beguiled by the languorous language—a striking mix of French and Spanish phrases, wry colloquialism, lush imagery, and elevated syntax—will find themselves falling under its spell. The third-person narration alternates between Lace and Cluck, doling out twists and building to a satisfying, romantic conclusion.
A contemporary, magical take on an ever compelling theme. (Urban fantasy. 14 & up)