Second in the Rebel Angels series (Firebrand, 2013), an otherworld fantasy nominally for young adults, that first appeared in the U.K.
The Veil separating the mortal realm from that of the Sidhe is failing. Previously, sociopathic Sidhe witch-queen Kate NicNiven provoked a quarrel with rebellious Sidhe warriors Seth MacGregor and his half brother, Conal, as an excuse to exile them to the mortal world, where she charged them to seek the Bloodstone, a talisman she needs to manipulate the Veil. But Kate’s real ambition, as Seth knows all too well, is to destroy the Veil and enslave the mortals. In the mortal realm, time has moved on to the present day, though Seth and Conal have found no trace of the Bloodstone. During one of their frequent illicit forays into the lands of the Sidhe, one of their friends is killed, and his wife, Stella, swears bitterly that her baby daughter, Finn, shall be told nothing of her heritage. Seth, meanwhile, becomes involved with a mortal woman, Mila, who pays little attention to her feral young thief of a son, Jed, and slowly descends into drug addiction. Jed becomes friends with Finn, who can’t understand why everybody either ignores her or treats her cruelly—until she suddenly discovers she has the ability to manipulate their minds. Soon, Finn discovers a way through the Veil and, astonishingly, brings Jed with her. This developing story, with its ferocious tangle of family politics and passions, sometimes grows unintelligible to anyone except the characters themselves. An unnecessarily complicated narrative structure, with multiple first- and third-person points of view, doesn’t help. Still, patient, persistent readers will be rewarded with a conclusion of terrifying savagery and reassuring precision.
Demanding, sometimes unreasonably so, but on balance, worth the effort.