May 10, 2007

Dare, Win or Disappear

The book is Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog. The title alone is guaranteed to slightly goggle the mind, and readers will read on until every element in the title is discovered – but the two ominous butlers, eleven thousand rooms and one red dog are only a sideline to the magical circus that is Flora Segunda.

Flora Fyrdraaca Segunda -- that is, Flora the second, since her dear sister of that name died before she was born -- is about to turn 14, and for that auspicious date, there is Ceremony and Pomp and Circumstances. Flora is to sew herself a dress and prepare for her Catorcena party, which is like a Quinceañera , only instead of being ready for all the joys of womanhood, Flora Fyrdraaca will be eligible to, like her mother, and her grandmother and her grandmother before her -- to join the military.

The Fyrdraacas have a long and honorable tradition in the military; Flora's Mother is the second in command to the War Leader, and Flora’s Poppy, currently a drunk, had a long and glorious past as the right hand man of a certain dashing general. Problem is, Flora doesn’t wanna join the military. She wants to be a ranger, like her long-admired Nini Mo, use magical words and derring do and spy for sake of the kingdom.

Being a ranger is not honorable, however. Flora is sure her Mama will disagree with her choice. Fyrdraacas are soldiers. They are not magic-users. A soldier found using magic would be put to death, immediately.

But something’s gotta happen for Flora, it's simply got to! The Fyrdraacas and their lovely Crackpot Hall with its eleven thousand rooms are simply relics of the past. All of the glorious things seemed covered in decay and falling to ruin. The magical butlers have been banished, Poppy stumbles around, roaring and trashing things, and the house – which is magically sentient – is shifting like mad. All Flora has to look forward to is hanging out with her best buddy, Udo Landaðon, taking care of her mother’s legions of hounds, and looking after her Poppy while her mother is away making war.

Flora deserves to have some kind of life – but taking things into her own hands puts her on a wilder ride than she could ever have imagined!

1 comment:

a. fortis said...

Nicely written, T!