In Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry, Evie lives a quiet life in a small village with her grandfather. She's the village healer, the person everyone turns to anytime there's an illness or emergency. One day, the village receives word that the king is coming, to see the famous feast of Saint Bronwyn. They very quickly clean up the town in order to make it presentable for the king. When he arrives, he brings with him a sickly Lord Chancellor. Luckily, Evie is able to save him, and Evie and her best friend Priscilla are granted a place at the university at the kingdom's capital. They have difficulties getting there, since the carriage is overrun by bandits and their ship sinks in a storm. Evie learns that she is
magical and has a pet leviathan. In the capital, she gets caught up with politics and becomes best friends with Annalise, a princess meant to marry the king.
Secondhand Charm was very enjoyable to read. It was well written and had an interesting plot. Also, there were no stereotypical werewolves or vampires. Leviathans were a nice change. Evie was a well-rounded character with realistic feelings. Her surprise at finding out about her heritage and leviathan were palpable. It was interesting to read about Evie's surprise when she discovered that she was a Serpentina. While some parts were predictable, such as the soon-to-be
Queen Annalise's motives, the book was not ruined. Overall, Secondhand Charm was an exceptional novel with interesting characters.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Charleston , South Carolina, USA