Sunday, December 10, 2006

'Flora Segunda' by Ysabeau S. Wilce

ISBN: 0152054332
Format: Hardcover, 448pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Price: $17.00

Flora Segunda Nemain Fyrdraaca ov Fyrdraaca is last on the family list, and the second Flora. She has a huge name to fill but Flora has spirit - and if anyone could live up to such a heavy name she can.

In a strange, sometimes confusing, mix of slang and old-fashioned language, Flora Segunda is an original adventure about a Girl with Spirit. On the verge of turning 14, the legal adult age in Califa, Flora is getting ready for her Catorcena, the event that celebrates her move into adulthood.

There is to be a huge party which Flora is not looking forward to. There is a family tradition that each member of the Fyrdraaca family joins the Califa military and goes to the Barracks. Flora does not want to go to the Barracks; instead she wants to be a Ranger like her hero, the famous Coyote Queen. Nini Mo along with her sidekick Boy Hansgen were the greatest Rangers in the country’s history and more than anything Flora would like to be one of them.

Flora lives in the ancestral home of the Fyrdraaca’s, Crackpot Hall, which has 11,000 rooms that shift and change at random. The elevator is unreliable and Flora has been warned against using it but she is running late for school and has forgotten her library book in her room. Flora takes the chance and ends up in a part of Crackpot Hall that she has never been before.

she comes across the great library of Crackpot Hall and its banished butler Valefor. Flora’s Mamma banished Valefor long ago and now there is no one to clean but Flora. When Valefor offers to help Flora if she gives him just a little bit of her Will she agrees.

Valefor explains to Flora that because he has been banished he is beginning to fade into Elsewhere. But Valefor says that Flora can stop him from disappearing if she finds his fetish and restores him. But before Flora can save him she finds out the Dainty Pirate who is famous up and down the coast has been captured. The Dainty Pirate is Udo’s hero, her glass-gazing best friend. Together they decide that they must save him.

Flora and Udo have adventure after adventure. With such chapters as 'Discernment Sigil. Smoke. Searching A Tea Caddy." and "Sewers. Clowns. Cherry Cherry Slurps. Sad Songs." -- in which the author pays homage to Marie LaCoste’s poem "Somebody’s Darling" -- this is a hard book to put down.

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