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Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Blood and Flowers

Blood & FlowersTitle: Blood and Flowers
Author: Peny Blubaugh
Page Count: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: young adult, fantasy
Copy for review provided by Book it Forward Tours in anticipation of an honest review

50 words or less: Persia is a member of the Outlaws, a troupe of puppeteers who put on engaging, sometimes subversive shows using puppets brought to life with a hint of faerie magic.  When prejudice and enemies with axes to grind force the Outlaws into Faerie, they're forced to deal with treachery on a whole different level.

I was drawn to this book immediately through the vivid cover design and a really intriguing back cover description.  While there were definitely elements that ended up really working for me, ultimately I found that there were some issues with the cohesiveness of this book that prevented me from enjoying it as much as I'd hoped.

The setting of the book- where faeries are out in the open, sort of, but are very much a minority and face a hefty amount of discrimination and prejudice- rang true.  The descriptions of the puppets, the shops, the environment, were lush and vivid and drew me in immediately.  I read the description of the paper shop probably five or six times, it was that detailed and good.  I loved the ethereal feel of the different places where the cast found themselves, and if that level of detail had been extended to other elements of the story I would have been a much happier camper.

The issue I have with books that feature ensemble casts at the center of the story is that there are a lot of people to get to know and not a whole lot of pages per person in which to know them.  That's pretty much what happened here- I didn't really feel any connection to any of the characters, and felt like they had been given descriptions and back stories to fill space and that was it.  I'm not sure what I was expecting in this department but I was hoping for a more memorable cast.  I didn't really feel any differently about them at the end of the story than I did at the beginning.

Would I discourage anyone from reading this book? Not at all, and for fans of YA faerie novels there is definitely potential here.  The story didn't particularly resonate with me but the vivid details in the setting were worth the time invested in reading.

Overall Grade: C
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