(Piskies, Book 2)

The Magic Knot

The Phoenix Charm
by Helen Scott Taylor
(Love Spell, $6.99, PG) ISBN 978-0-505-52828-5
Helen Scott Taylor first introduced readers to the Cornish Piskies in her debut, The Magic Knot, a wonderful tale of romance and intrigue. That book highlighted the relationship between Niall and Rose. The second installment in the series, The Phoenix Charm, stars Niall’s brother, Michael, who possesses the silver tongue and fairy glamour to seduce any woman.

Pisky wise woman Cordelia Tink, who hides her water nymph sensuality under Celtic runes on her skin, longs to respond to his allure, she knows he’s not the type to settle down. But her vow to steer clear of Michael comes undone when Gwyn ap Nudd, Welsh king of the underworld, kidnaps Fin, one of the king’s sons, left under Michael’s care while the pisky king and queen travel to America. Cordelia, responsible for the piskies protection while Niall is away, feels responsible too, and the two, along with Cordelia’s cat familiar, Tamsy and Cordelia’s ward go to Wales to rescue the child.  

As with any plan though, this mission has complexities far beyond their expectations. To complicate matters more, Michael and Cordelia learn their feelings for each other go much deeper than they thought, but it all might evaporate before they have a chance to explore a relationship. Greed, revenge, magic and evil all play a role in this magical story that will transport readers to a faraway land even if only for a while. 

Helen Scott Taylor captivated the imagination of readers in The Magic Knot and continues to do so with her second novel. Taylor has a talent for vivid descriptions, especially realistic in the “courtroom” of the underworld and the length and bleakness of the terrifying “Dark Road.” Her characters, too, come to life with the fears and longings to which readers can relate. She has surprises in store as well and explores the interesting concept of bonding for life by touching the magic knot of another. A Magic knot contains three stones, mind, body and spirit, and each individual has one.  

While the book touches on concepts of good versus evil as in many stories, Taylor’s book offers more. Her plot contains enough twists and turns to remain unpredictable, and her characters explore concepts ideas that may stick with readers. Immortality, for example: Would you take the chance for immortality if offered? Definite food for thought. I highly recommend this novel for fans of paranormal romance in general and fairies and magic in particular as well as to those with a penchant for Cornwall, Wales or Ireland.

--Katherine Petersen

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