The Second Path – Virginia King

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Second Path 518Rc++jdTLBlurb:  Naked and confused. Selkie Moon can’t remember.

When Selkie Moon finds herself naked on a Hawaiian beach, she has no memory of the past two weeks. Recovering at a friend’s house, she wakes to find a bizarre collection of items scattered across the floor, items she apparently gathered in her sleep: a rock, a spoon, a message scrawled in lipstick … What do they all mean? Only her subconscious knows.

A dark fairy tale journey takes Selkie around the globe, from Honolulu to Sydney to Paris. Filled with mythical clues, fear and laughter, The Second Path has Selkie unravelling the mystery behind the strangest clue of all – the word that keeps haunting her: home.

Join Selkie Moon and a cast of quirky characters through a maze of mythical clues and psychological suspense to a conclusion you’ll never see coming.


Firstly, I definitely recommend reading The First Lie first!

This series is packed with mysteries, but the overall thematic link is the personal journey of Selkie into her own psyche, and so you get the most from the books if you are there from the start of her path.  That said, the story here does contain a number of self-contained mysteries too, and the necessary backstory for the plot is filled in briefly as you go along.

As with book 1, The Second Path is bursting with symbolism and psychological puzzles to solve: there are cryptic clues, dreams and visions, mysterious objects and sounds.  In fact, every word is a carefully crafted piece of the whole story-jigsaw and nothing is wasted or insignificant.

There is plenty of mythology included too; not only relating to selkie legends, but to the various artefacts Selkie gathers and the places she visits (France features in her travels this time).  Virginia King cleverly balances the spiritual and paranormal with the rational and mundane, so the reader can choose what to believe about events.  Personally I like to think that there is more to heaven and earth…

‘Being Sleek’ makes a reappearance in the plot and perfectly represents the blend of magic and reality; creativity and logic; freedom and control, that makes Selkie and her adventures so compelling.

My only minor quibble is that Selkie’s relationship with Alister made me feel a little uncomfortable.  Her ambivalence and anxiety (the urge to continually hide and flee) gave me the impression that whilst she likes him, she either doesn’t like him enough or she just isn’t ready for a relationship yet.  I really wanted him to give her more space and I wanted her to make a decision one way or the other.  Luckily, the author must have read my mind, as the situation developed over the course of the book (as did Selkie’s character).

I definitely recommend these books for readers who enjoy both mysteries and cryptic crosswords, and like their stories to be driven by character and full of soul.


Something I must remember.  Something important.  I try to hold it but it dives into darkness.
Derek’s shoulders slump.  “Amnesia only happens in bad movies.”
“It’s not amnesia.  I know who I am.”  That feels important.
“If I put this scenario in one of my stories, my editor would call it convenient.”
“This isn’t a story.”
“Isn’t it?  You’re living out your own fairytale, Selkie.  Disappearing for two weeks, then turning up in the same place everyone’s looked a hundred times, with no memory of where you’ve been, naked and without even a scratch.”

– Virginia King, The Second Path


18555931_1317485501620160_7022502784766272941_nFind more from Virginia King here, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out my review of Laying Ghosts in my Short Story Special here, my review of the folktale companion story collection Leaving Birds here and my review of The First Lie (Selkie Moon Book 1) here.

The Second Path is available on Amazon right now!



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