Monday, September 15, 2008

Flora's Dare

How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room)
by Ysabeau S. Wilce

While it is possible for it to be read as a stand-alone, Flora’s Dare is the smashingly good sequel to Flora Segunda (my review), so go read that first, as it is also an imaginative work of Extreme Originality. I shall try to refrain from spoilers for those who have yet to read the first.

Flora Segunda’s latest adventures begin with an essay on what she learned last term, made up of the most unusual lessons that also serve as a cleverly un-boring reminder to readers of what transpired in the last volume. This time around, Flora has to deal with a now-sober father who tries to keep Crackpot Hall in military order, from Flora’s lessons to what time she goes to bed. But Flora is desperate to learn the magickal language of Gramatica, an essential for becoming a ranger like her role model, the legendary Nini Mo. When the chance to see disguised magician Firemonkey play in the band he uses as a cover, she leaps at it.
During the concert, a large tentacle suddenly grabs Flora, who believes she has discovered the cause of the mysterious earthquakes that recently began shaking Califa. She has to stop it before the entire city collapses on itself, but how will it ever be possible the only people she can turn to for help is one of her mother’s enemies (and a dashing one at that), Crackpot Hall’s whiny, dissipating Butler, her overly fashion-conscious best friend Udo (who is also obnoxiously obsessed with the supercool, sophisticated Zu-Zu), and a plushy pig? Oh, and she’s confined to her room until her mother (Commanding General of the Warlord’s Army) returns from Fort Jones, and who knows when that will be?

After the highly exciting, extremely original and, quite frankly, bizarre first novel in the series, Flora’s Dare does not disappoint. The characters develop nicely (although some things Udo does don’t seem to fit him at all), the action and adventure move along at breakneck speed, and it never, ever lacks in inventiveness in any way. The only thing left to say is, Ms. Wilce, when shall the sequel be released?
There are a few more mature themes in Flora’s Dare than there were in Flora Segunda.

1 comment:

  1. I've never read the first Flora, but now I think I should...another book to look forward too!


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