Amid the plague-ridden wisps in the alternative world of Limn, half-sprite, half-human Lottie Fiske attempts to sharpen her healing powers while undertaking a daring quest in this sequel to The Water and the Wild (2015).
With the touch of her hands—her keen—Lottie healed her friend Eliot once, but the longer he stays in Limn, the sicker he becomes. King Starkling has hacked down the apple tree that provides access to the human world in order to extract silver for his evil plan to build a world gorge—a conduit not just between worlds, but within worlds, allowing him to deploy armies. In exchange for access to an apple tree to visit home with Eliot, Lottie agrees to the perilous journey north to gather addersfork needed to kill the king. She and her companions encounter fearsome creatures, including large leonine-lupine Barghests, toads that triple in number when squished, huge ice crawlers, and an assassin. In the north she learns more about her parents from Rebel Gem, the sprite leader, who recognizes that Lottie’s keen works only when she develops empathy. The cliffhanger ending portends another book in the series; readers new to the series should start with Book 1. Ormsbee creates a robust magical world populated by a legion of characters, political intrigue, and a spunky heroine, depicted as white on the cover.
Readers of the first volume will settle right into this and then leave it eager for a third. (Fantasy. 10-14)