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Spells by Aprilynne Pike

In clean, fresh prose, never wilting in momentum as some middle volumes do, this second installment stays fragrant throughout. Laurel’s a faerie, and faeries are plants. On her back, a blossom sprouts annually; she binds it down under her shirt to keep the secret. Briefly visiting magical Avalon, where she was born (but which she doesn’t recall), she studies plant lore and faerie society. As is traditional in supernatural romance, two boys want her: human David, warm and devoted, and faerie sentry Tamani, sizzlingly attractive and pining for Laurel’s return. Trolls stalk and entrap Laurel and her loved ones in the human world, seeking revenge and the gateway into Avalon, while a slick human woman with a special-ops team helps defeat trolls but rouses Laurel’s suspicion. As in Wings (2009), Pike brazenly codes physical deformity and asymmetry as evil, and her engagingly clear prose sometimes blunders into floridness when describing Avalon. Among the current cornucopia of supernatural romances (and despite the presumably unintentional humor of a heroine who literally tastes like nectar), though, this one blooms.
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