After reading Witchling, I wasn't sure I wanted to carry on with this series. It had a wonderful premise and some promising characters, but was bogged down in heavy exposition that often detracted from the story. However, I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Changeling from Ms Galenorn, and was happy to find the second book in the series a vast improvement.
Middle D'Artigo sister, Delilah, is a shapeshifter who turns into a tabby in times of stress. By day she works as a private detective, and it's this job that brings her into contact with Zachary Lyonnesse of the Rainier Mountain Puma Pride. His pride are embroiled in a battle with a clan of werespiders, who may or may not be connected to the demons trying to invade earth. Delilah reluctantly takes the case and she and her sisters, Camille and Menolly, soon find there's much more to it than meets the eye.
With the info-dumping about the sisters and the Otherworld out of the way, Galenorn's writing shines. Delilah is a charming heroine, vulnerable but brave. Moreso than Camille, we really get a sense that Delilah is trapped between two worlds - the Faerie and the Human - by her mixed blood. In her relationships and love life, she is honest and thoughtful, and always true to herself.
We have sinister new villains in the form of the werespiders, far creepier than the demons of Witchling. The entire book is pervaded by an atmosphere of insidious fear as the sisters learn the extend of the werespiders' power and influence. We also get a better grip on the politics of the Otherworld and the royal struggles there that have isolated the sisters on Earth.
If there is a flaw in the book, it's Galenorn's obvious favouritism of Camille. Even though she's not the narrator of this story, she seems to get more page time than Delilah, and her every move, kiss and change of outfit is documented in loving detail. I like Camille more in Changeling than I did in Witchling, but she does tend to take over the action to a slightly irritating extent.
That aside, Galenorn is building a truly compelling world of Faerie and Human love, war and magic. And since my favourite sister, Menolly, is up next, I'll be sticking with the series for a bit longer.
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