Margaret's Reviews > Flora Segunda

Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce
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's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s-and-ya-fiction, fantasy-and-science-fiction, alternate-universe, authors-vw
Read from May 15 to 16, 2012 , read count: 2

As the book opens, Flora Fyrdraaca is supposed to be writing a speech for her fourteenth birthday party, wherein she will celebrate her wonderful family, house, and future. The problem is, she doesn't think any of them are all that wonderful. Her house used to be a Great House, until her mother banished the magickal Butler; now it has eleven thousand rooms and only one bathroom. There are only four Fyrdraacas left: Flora herself, her crazy father, her military mother, who's never home, and her sister Idden, also in the military. The military is a family tradition, but Flora would rather be a cunning, magick-using Ranger. When she discovers the exiled Butler, though, she gets a lot more magick and excitement than she bargained for.

I loved this so much that I can't really point to what I loved easily. It's set in Califa, a sort of alternate California, and the worldbuilding is wonderful; it's very refreshing to have something other than medieval or Renaissance Europe, and it's full of marvelous little details which make it feel very complex and real. Flora is a lovely narrator: clever and adventurous and adolescently impulsive. And the writing is just great, witty and full of inventive words without being twee (though I know other readers have found it a little twee). [ETA: On second read, yes, I also find it a little twee, but not unbearably so.) I do hope the sequel is as good.
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