By Awnali Mills
As you can tell if you look through my book reviews, I’m a fantasy reader. I’ve loved this genre since my parents read Sleeping Beauty (Little Golden Book, Disney version) to me as a child. It was the first book that I remember asking to have read to me, over and over. My love has never died.
In the last few years, I’ve enjoyed a new trilogy, The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham. The last book, Rise of the Ragged Clover just hit our shelves. Well, it would have hit the shelves if I hadn’t snagged it immediately and read it.
Riley O’Chanter and her friends live in the village of Drowning. In the beginning of the trilogy (The Luck Uglies), Bog Noblins, huge creatures that live in the bogs, have begun haunting the village. Riley must figure out how to stop them, and in doing so discovers a very personal link to the Luck Uglies, a group of men who may or may not be trustworthy, and may or may not be the answer to the village’s prayers.
In the second installment, Fork-Tongue Charmers, in-fighting has divided the Luck Uglies, and Riley has become a pawn in the game of power. Unfortunately, their games are endangering her family and friends, so Riley must try to stop them.
The trilogy concludes in Rise of the Ragged Clover. The Luck Uglies’ fights are coming to a head, and Drowning has become an embattled encampment overrun by Bog Noblins, Fork-Tongued Charmers, and a River Wyvern. Riley is doing her best to save the villagers and her family and friends, but even her best may not be enough to save them. In the end, she may be forced to destroy everything she loves.
I really enjoyed this series, and love to recommend it. Riley is a strong and determined heroine, but she isn’t perfect. She is frequently torn between doing what’s right for her family, what’s right for her friends, and what’s best for the people of the village. She has to make hard choices, but is willing to face the consequences of her actions. In the end, she makes the best choices she can, even if it means that she may become an outcast. I love that she has a strong family, and is very loyal to them.
Recommend this book to kids who love fantasy, adventure stories, or strong female characters.