In this largely successful sequel to Burn Mark, Lucas and Glory, trained in the use of their considerable fae powers to fight witchcrime, pose as students to investigate Wildings, an elite Swiss boarding school believed to have terrorist ties.
Each is restless, conflicted and awkwardly aware of their growing mutual attraction. Connected to a leading coven/crime family, Glory’s not entirely happy to be working for a government whose centuries-old Inquisition once terrorized witches and continues to marginalize them. Her tough working-class demeanor masks vulnerability and pain from her mother’s abandonment. Unlike Glory, reserved, upper-class Lucas considers his fae, which ended his father’s Inquisitorial career, more liability than gift. Remote and well-guarded, Wildings is where the rich and powerful discreetly park offspring who’ve developed fae powers. (One has ties to Glory’s family.) While Glory’s risk-taking pushes Lucas out of his comfort zone, it advances their investigation, which leads to a South American country whose brutal government tolerates witchcraft. Immensely likable, Lucas and Glory are major assets, along with vivid settings and Powell’s wry political savvy. But explaining what’s gone before in this complex world slows the opening chapters (making the case for restoring synopses to series fiction). That duty discharged, the pace accelerates and the plot grips.
Smart, suspenseful and delicious. (Urban fantasy. 14 & up)