For regular readers of Luke Reviews, seeing a review of a book by Danielle Ackley-McPhail should come as no surprise. This reviewer has frequently been impressed with her work, most recently her collaboration with Day Al-Mohamed, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, which I was beyond impressed with. The Redcaps’ Queen, part of the Bad-Ass Faerie Tales series, is a direct sequel to Ackley-McPhail’s The Halfling’s Court.
The Redcaps’ Queen picks back up with the Wild Hunt, a group of bikers that happen to be a mix of humans and magical beings, featuring Suzanne, who is recovering from a vicious attack from a group of redcaps, flesh eating creature that need blood to survive. While the physical injuries are gone, Suzanne’s struggle with overcoming the emotional trauma of the event is far from over.
But all that is just a launching point, as machinations from the fae high court that Suzanne used to belong to pick up, Lance, Suzanne’s lover, encounters a threat from dark faeries, and roller derby women into the world of Suzanne in a big way.
The adventure is wonderful, but the gritty seriousness of the internal struggles of the character is where Ackley-McPhail shines brightest. The wedge growing between Suzanne and Lance is just as important as the larger-scale conflicts the characters become involved in.
Fans of The Halfling’s Court and the Bad-Ass Faerie Tales series will clearly want to pick this title, but it is also a great fit for readers looking for a strong urban fantasy title that embraces the world of faerie.