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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) Hardcover – September 1, 2008

22 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Flora Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—The feisty protagonist from Flora Segunda (Harcourt, 2007) returns in another fantasy adventure. It's three months after her 14th birthday, and Flora, now officially an adult, is wrestling with new challenges. She's determined to find someone who will help her expand her Gramatica vocabulary (and thus her ability to do magick); her best friend tries on a dead outlaw's fancy footwear with alarming results (the boots attach themselves to Udo's feet and he takes on Springheel Jack's evil persona); and, having discovered the source of the frequent earthquakes threatening Califa, she vows to take action before the entire city topples. Flora's world is highly imaginative, and the politics, teen angst, and family dysfunction are integrated neatly with the fantasy elements. The setting, which geographically resembles California, and the Spanish-language-influenced names and words set this book apart from similar titles. However, this ambitious sequel misses the mark. The plot will make little sense to those who have not read the first tale, and even fans of Flora Segunda may find this installment occasionally hard to follow. Many scenes are so fast paced that they come across as superficial, and it often feels as though the author is trying to fit too much into the telling. Consider purchasing Flora's Dare only where the first book is popular.—Genevieve Gallagher, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville, VA
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Praise for Flora's Dare

Winner of the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

"Wilce creates a fantastic and unique world. . . . Guaranteed thrills, chills, and amazing revelations."—VOYA

* "This fresh and funky setting is rich with glorious costumes, innovative language and tantalizing glimpses of history."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Never loses its sense of fun."—Booklist


Praise for Flora Segunda

"Highly original, strange and amusing ...treats young readers with respect."—Diana Wynne Jones

* "A thoroughly original magical world marks this witty debut...Tantalizingly, the open-ended conclusion hints there might be more to come from this compelling and funny heroine."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Like [Philip] Pullman’s Lyra Silvertongue or [Terry] Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching, Flora Fyrdraaca is a descendant of Jo March rather than a fainting beauty who needs rescuing."—The New York Times Book Review


Praise for Flora's Fury

"[A] thrilling, bizarre ride."--The Horn Book

"Readers return to our heroine at a pivotal moment in her growth . . . Flora fans will love old mysteries solved."--Kirkus Reviews

"Offers some enjoyable twists . . . fans of Flora will not be disappointed."--VOYA, 3Q 2P J S

"A charming conclusion to a fine fantasy series."--Booklist

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152054278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152054274
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,831,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In addition to the Flora novels, Ysabeau's stories have appeared in various anthologies, including "Steampunk!"; "The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror"; "Eclipse 1"; "Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine" and "The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy".

She has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award and been a James Tiptree finalist. In 2008, "Flora's Dare" was awarded the Andre Norton Award.

In her spare time, Ysabeau enjoys chewing, sleeping, and folding paper-towels into napkins. Someday she hopes to go down the Colorado River in a barrel.

She currently lives in Northern California with her husband, child and border collie. They do not, alas, have a butler.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Erika L. Hamerquist on August 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Maybe I should stop right there, with a one-word review. It's not easy to describe a novel that defies comparison to anything else I've ever read in nearly half a century of bookwormery, nor seen, dreamt or even imagined. Ysabeau Wilce's stories are always a weird and wonderful concoction of woolly West and court manners, mosh pits and magic mansions, humor and gore, and Flora's Dare (etc.) is a worthy follow-up to the first book in the series, Flora Segunda (etc.). I had just finished the YA bestseller Twilight when I read this, and wow, what a perfect antidote! You won't find anything insipid about the characters, the plot or the writing style in Flora's Dare. Instead be prepared for a strangely spiced dish that leaves you craving more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cary on January 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Flora Segunda's world a great deal - very very inventive - but the plot arc suffered from inaction and lack of focus for most of the first half. The second half was much better, but the ending disappointed--felt stapled on. So when I heard Flora's Dare had come out, I wasn't too interested. Then a friend urged me to buy it, saying it was better than the first, so I searched it out. I have to say, before I go on, how very disappointed I am in the lack of marketing and visibility for this wonderfully inventive, enjoyable, creative book, worthy of Diana Wynne Jones' stamp of approval on the back--Indeed the author is the ONLY YA fantasy author writing now that I know of who has the potential to be a worthy successor to the amazing Diana Wynne Jones. I went to buy this book at the Strand, a huge, famous bookstore in NYC--and not only were they out (!), but the knowledgable staff knew nothing of the book! Why oh why is garbage promoted and this inventive creation invisible???? It's true that this book also suffers from lack of focus in the beginning--the first 100 pages or so could have been cut completely, and the book should have started at the party scene; any information such as the giant squid tentacles could have been introduced via short backstory. This is more the fault of the editor. But please hang in there, if you get a bit impatient at the slow pace of the beginning. It's a really good book, and I'm picky. For those who like intelligent creative fantasy, with a very well thought out world, strong characters, and (after page 100 or so), a strong plot with twists and turns, this is definitely very strongly recommended. And SPREAD THE WORD!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina on December 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Okay, as a rule, I don't really read all that much fantasy, so it was with mild reluctance that I started reading this one. As of page 2, I was hooked. Flora's Dare is a little gem of a fantasy/fiction book that brings to light a strong, daring, brave, intelligent and absolutely fun heroine with the name of Flora. I am a big fan of ANY book that makes its main character a strong female - even though she is obviously aimed at a younger audience - which is just fine with me. I love that the message in this book is a powerful one - Yes, a girl can be strong, brave, intelligent and fun!!!! As far as I am concerned that is a message that cannot be passed along at a young enough age.

I discovered that this is actually the second book in the series (I am going to buy the first book for sure). In Flora's Dare, Flora has alot to deal with - she needs to figure out a new language and for this she needs a special instructor. She has to deal with Udo's schemes (and their fallout), as well as her somewhat missing-in-action sister Idden. If that was not enough, Flora has just discovered the source of some deadly earthquakes that have occured.

I loved the writing, it was fresh and clip and the action was absolutely non-stop. I read this book in less than 3 days and enjoyed every minute of it. Yeah for Flora!!!! Girl Power!!! and all that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Monie Garcia VINE VOICE on August 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Flora's Dare is the sequel to Flora Segunda and although there are quite a few references to book one, this book is a stand alone. Flora is a typical teenage girl living in the Magikal city of Califa. Her parents expect her to follow the family tradition of joining the Califa army when she comes of age however Flora's secret goal is to become a Ranger. To do this she has to master the Magikal language of Gramatica. Flora is determined to find a teacher so that she can become as powerful as her Ranger hero Nini Mo.

Flora's plans are all changed as she's attacked by tentacle that comes up through the plumbing while attending a concert with her best friend Udo. She narrowly escapes the tentacle and figures out that the creature in the plumbing is the Lolgia monster trapped under the city long ago by a woman threatening to overthrow the government by unleashing the monster. Now Flora has to team up with Lord Axacaya who promises teach Flora Gramatica. Together they can free the monster and save the city. As the story unfolds Flora loses her best friend, gets grounded for passing curfew, travels in time, gets betrayed by someone close to her, discovers the truth about her family and of course saves the city.

At first I was hesitant about reading this book. It's second in a series that I hadn't read and it is 511 pages. However once I started it was hard to put down. Wilce writes a funny story that is great for both YA and adult readers of fantasy books. The magikal city of Califa is very believable and Flora's daring adventures keep you turning pages until the end. I will definitely be reading book one and eagerly awaiting book three in the sequel.
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