Author: Paul Durham
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Rye O'Chanter has nothing to fear from the Bog Noblins. There haven't been any sightings since they were chased off by a group whose name is barely even whispered in the most secret corners of the village Drowning: the Luck Uglies. But when a Bog Noblin stumbles into the village and even Rye's own mother seems to be keeping secrets, it's up to Rye and her friends to discover the truth about these forsaken outlaws and whether or not they might come back to save the day once again.
The Luck Uglies felt wonderfully familiar. It reminds me distinctly of something else that I've read and loved. (The fact that I can't recall what this is irritates me to no end.) But I can say that Durham's novel deserves its rightful place on any happy adventurer's bookshelf. Equal parts The Deep Freeze of Bartholomew Tullock, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, and The Secret of Castle Cant, this book charmed and held me to the very last page. And I read said-page at an unnatural hour in the morning which is a recommendation all on its own.
Initially, I picked this little gem up for the cover art—which is splendid—and when I saw who had reviewed it on the back, I knew this story had the potential to become a favorite. Stefan Bachmann (author of The Peculiar), Jonathan Auxier (author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes), Christopher Healy (author of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom) and Melissa Burt (author of Storybound, which isn't exactly a favorite of mine, but a very good concept), were all names I recognize and most of which I love.
Maybe I was just in a really good mood when I read this book. Maybe the reading of The Luck Uglies put me in a really good mood. Either way, I'm looking forward to more from Paul Durham and quite satisfyingly recommend this magical novel.