The second part of the Knights of Liöfwende trilogy

Robin: Thousands of thrum are eating the roots of the trees of Liöfwende. Spiggot, now indeed a “faerie knight”, has been given a quest by the king of the Northumbrian fairies – to find the missing keystone of a cairn which should have kept the dire thrum in check. It is no simple hunt, however, as Spiggot believes the sorcerer Mallmoc has it, and to get it back will entail a full scale war against the ulcugga fairies. The ulcugga have already defeated the armies of the pixies and the elves in open battle, and Spiggot must win the support of the more powerful fairies and persuade them to band together under his leadership. Needless to say, he’s thrilled at the prospect.

After running into many clans of English and Welsh faerie in Spiggot’s Quest, in this book the band of heroes range further afield. After doing a deal with Cornish piskies, they go to Eri-niss (Ireland) in a glass ship and are attacked by sea fairies. Spiggot is keen to enlist some leprechauns, whose tricksy minds make them excellent strategists, but they are predictably elusive. Jack, ever unwary, is fooled by a phooka, driven mad by a ghost and captured by a one-sided giant. He also makes a useful contact in the mortal leader of the faerie host, whose changeling he knew back in Mortaland (coincidence is always happening in the land of faerie).

They fly to Thristlac (Scotland) to talk to the fairies of the seelie court. The unseelie court fairies are known to be vicious and viperous; the seelie aren’t exactly full of sweetness and light either, although they do improve on acquaintance. The potential thrum threat to their beloved evergreen forests – and a display of fighting prowess from Spiggot – wins their promise to join the battle; they even undertake to bring the unseelie fairies.

The next book is Boggart and Fen.