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By Venom's Sweet Sting: Hallowmere Book 2    by Tiffany Trent order for
By Venom's Sweet Sting
by Tiffany Trent
Order:  USA  Can
Mirrorstone, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Tiffany Trent continues her eerie tale of hallowed and unhallowed fey in the second Hallowmere installment, By Venom's Sweet Sting. While it is not quite as scary as In the Serpent's Coils, it does contain more dark fey folklore, which helps maintain the creepy mood.

After the burning of Falston and the stealing of two rathstones by the unhallowed Prince, the remaining girls from Falston, along with the headmistress, the priest, and two servants, are staying with Corrine's Uncle William. Over the holidays, another member of the Council of Elaphe, Sir James, sends gamemaster Euan to escort Miss Brown and the girls to Sir James's estate in the Scottish moors. However, to get there, they must cross the Atlantic on a terrifying steamship cruise where Euan proves to be more than he seems. Once safely in Scotland, the girls settle back into their studies. Corrine starts to learn how to harness the different elements and also learns something about herself that the Council had kept secret from her. When another rathstone goes missing and villagers start dying, it is up to Corrine to prove that it is not her fault, and to do what she can to save her friend.

Once again, Trent does a tremendous job of creating an eerie atmosphere - one that fits perfectly with the nineteenth century Scottish moors. Also, having most of the action take place in Scotland opens the story to the introduction of more types of fey, since the British Isles are home to many creatures of Western faerie lore. Not only does the folklore get deeper in By Venom's Sweet Sting, but the story also becomes more complex. Trent starts dropping subtle hints about Corrine's true connection to the fey, along with the connections of other characters. Also readers, along with Corrine, get to learn what Hallowmere is and why it is important.

Tiffany Trent's first book, In the Serpent's Coils, was a good start to the Hallowmere series, but By Venom's Sweet Sting will get readers hooked. So many questions are left open by the end, that as a reader, I absolutely have to get the next book to find out what happens.

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