Thanks to an ill-worded bargain with Faery Queen Tiana by Steven V Darrow, Noli isn't a human any longer. Tiana basically turned her into an adult Sprite. The only thing V did right is to join his brother James in preventing Noli from fully transforming into a Sprite forever. What makes things worse for Noli is when V is forced into breaking her protection bond by Tiana that sends her over the emotional cliff.
The Sprite has made it hard for Noli to concentrate or be herself and it doesn't go unnoticed especially from her own brother Jeff who she joins on the Vixen's Revenge airship or Jeff's kickass girlfriend Captain Vix Adler or Kevighn Silver-Tongue who somehow manages to find his way onto the Vixen's Revenge. I think there is more to Jeff and Vix's story, especially when it comes to their dealings with the Fey, and I hope Lazear doesn't just sweep them aside as not being important to the overall picture.
Noli is a character that is hot and cold for me. I like the fact that she's tinkers with machines and wants to break the 1900's stereotype that women of a certain statue are expected to marry at a young age while leaving things she actually loves behind which is Flying Figs. I love the fact that apparently the Sprite has given Noli a bit of her own magic that comes in handy from time to time. I didn't much care for the fight with the Sprite over going to parties, wearing beautiful dresses, and shiny things that need beautifying or the fact that the Sprite takes over at the most inopportune times when Noli is needing to be sharp and on her feet. I also hope beyond hope that Lazear stops with the fatal attraction between Kevin and Noli. It is kind of disturbing on so many levels especially since she's only 16 and he's not really a good guy when you get right down to it.
As for V (Steven) and his brother James (who is suffering from the loss of his love Charlotte), they are ordered by Queen Tiana into going on a quest to find something highly unusual and entertaining for her. Can I just say that she's a really, really awful mother and be done with it? Good. Although, Uncle Brogan isn't the cat's pajama's if you dig and is as psychotic as Tiana is. V is still trying to figure out a way to fix Noli before it is too late. After all, it is his mistake that cost Noli her humanity in an effort to get her back home. V and James are challenged at each and every turn since Tiana likes to play her reindeer games hoping that something terrible happens to the boys. In the end, an awful event sends them back to Faery and revenge is definitely a dish best served cold.
Kevighn Silver-Tongue is the character who started all of Noli's troubles by luring her into Faery then forcing her into eating Fey food which pretty much guaranteed that she wouldn't be leaving any time soon. As we soon find out, he has been exiled from Faery and is no longer Tiana's huntsman. He tries to find any kind of work in order to keep him in booze and opium. It's no surprise that he eventually ends up finding a way onto Noli's ship and discovers that things have definitely changed and not exactly for the best. There is an interesting side story in regards to Kevighn which I won't spoil other than to say that things are getting really, really interesting, and the end game should be fascinating to read about.
Because this is the middle novel of the Aether Chronicles trilogy, there are more than a few questions left that need to be answered. What will happen to Noli? Will she and V find a way to cure for her being bound to the Sprite or will she remain in Faery and give up her humanity for good? Will her brother and Vix play any part in the next installment? Will the evil Tiana meet her match, and will V and James get revenge on Brogan and reclaim their fathers crown?
*Recvd via Netgalley 03/27/2013* Expected publication: August 8th 2013 by Flux
Author - Suzanne Lazear
Title - Charmed Vengeance
Publisher - Flux
Released - August 8, 2013
Genre - YA Steampunk
Received via Netgalley from Flux