Katie M.'s Reviews > The War of the Flowers

The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams
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Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: contemporary-and-urban-fantasy
Read from May 08 to 27, 2012

The world-building in Tad Williams's The War of the Flowers is top notch. Most of the book is set in a Faerie dimension parallel to our own world, but instead of the usual faux-Medieval setting this Faerie more closely mirrors the modern world, with magical equivalents of cars, trains, skyscrapers, and even cell phones. Class conflict is one of the major themes. It's a detailed and inventive world, but without an offputting number of made up words like some epic fantasy novels. (I say this as a frequent fantasy reader who already recognizes names of many different traditional types of fairy folk; novice fantasy readers may need the glossary more often.)

However, I felt like it took a solid half of the book before the plot really picked up and engaged my attention. When the book is 800 pages long, that's far too long. I feel like this book could have been improved immensely if it were 200 pages shorter. The latter half of the book is quite exciting and full of interesting twists. There are also some well done creepy moments throughout the book.

I found Theo Vilmos, the protagonist, to be mildly irritating and a bit too much of a blank canvass. While he grows a great deal over the course of the story, he mostly becomes a rather generic everyman who is brave enough to do what's right. I couldn't really figure out why his love interest was all that into him. The supporting characters were more interesting, especially Cumber Sedge, a scientist from a lower-class species of fairy, and Button, a goblin leader.

Overall, I enjoyed The War of the Flowers, but I doubt I'll read it again.
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