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Flora's Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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Well, it's not really a resolution. Flora obviously still has work to do at the end of the book, but her dilemma between PrettyBoy and FurryBoy is handled as both in-character and a brilliant sendup of the problem in other books. But listen to how she describes it.
"Udo and Sieur Wraathmyr glared at each other. Neither one looked at me. In all the cheap romance novels, the heroine is always thrilled when her rivals fight. In real life, it was just horribly embarrassing. I was not the last piece of bacon."
Flora/Nyana is trying to track down her mother, and along the way, she meets dangerous denizens, attractive delivery men, and gorgeous pirates. She's baked in the sun, assaulted by were-panthers, and has heartfelt hissyfits about how no one tells her ANYTHING. At no point does she overcome her motion-sickness.
The thing I like best about Flora is that even when she makes a bad decision, it's because she thinks about her options. The pirates have been sent by her mother to kidnap her? That's what THEY say, she's going to go off on her own, thanks.
I really appreciate the Nini Mo ... koans? scattered through the book. "That day, that sorrow", she says "Dare, win, or disappear." "Everyone has a talent."
Also, I cackled out loud when I found a little bit of Kipling buried in a scene in a remote and dusty outpost fort. "A cup for the dead already, and hurrah for the next to die." I think Kipling would have enjoyed this world, and reading Nini Mo stories. STOP THE PRESSES! I went to look it up and realized that all these years I have thought Kipling wrote "The Revel", but it turns out to have been written by one Bartholomew Dowling. In my defense, it's about soldiers dying of plague in India. You can understand my confusion.
Cut off from the land that bore us,
Betray'd by the land we find,
When the brightest have gone before us,
And the dullest are most behind--
Stand, stand to your glasses, steady!
'T is all we have left to prize:
One cup to the dead already--
Hurrah for the next that dies!
I stand by my assertion that Kipling would like both Nini Mo and Tiny Doom.
Read if: You have liked the other books. You want a sassy, competent, but not superheroic girl who does her best, hates wet socks, and wants to be in on all the secrets.
Skip if: You are annoyed by constructed dialect. Um, no, I actually think it's awesome all over and everyone should read these books.
I also love that she is not a supposedly reluctant meddler. She LIVES to meddle. And this causes all sorts of problems- and solutions- for her and for everyone else. (I have long felt a true avatar of Eris would be a teenaged girl... and probably one trying to do the Right Thing.)
The romantic triangle was semi-resolved in an excellent way, but one that will clearly have implications in the future. (It is pretty clear that this trilogy is not the end of the series.) So were most of the plot threads from the previous 2 novels, though they too leave many possibilities open for future tales.
The world is an interesting alternative history, sort of; it's set in a VERY alternative California, where the Aztecs are the main political power. It's intriguing but- as is true of the magical systems- our perception of the whole is choppy since it's through the eyes of a teen.
Don't start here- you won't understand half the action, at least. If these books sound like fun- and they are- start with "Flora Segunda".
If you love the books as much as i do, i would recommend The Parasol Protectorate, by Gail Carriger and the Bloody Jack series by L.A Meyer as books w lovable yet actually formidable and realistic heroines.
My annoyance side note: I've read some reviews that actually say they could not understand the book... this is not a problem. for an elementary school reading level. i, personally, could have managed this in first grade. my friends, who are average readers... say the reading level is prob about on par with ella enchanted which they did as a 5th grade book in school. anyone who can't manage to "understand" this by middle school... should prob just call reading quits, stick to their tabloid magazines and not add to the gene pool.