Blood and Flowers by Penny Blubaugh
Publication Date: 1 March 2011
I received an ARC of this book through Star Book Tours.
Three years ago, Persia ran away from her drug-addict parents and found a home with the Outlaws, an underground theater troupe. With time, this motley band of mortals and fey, puppeteers and actors, becomes the loving family Persia never had, and soon Persia not only discovers a passion for theater but also falls in love with one of the other Outlaws. Life could not be more perfect.
Until an enemy makes an unfair accusation against the group and forces them to flee their world and hide in the neighboring realm of Faerie. But in Faerie, all is not flowers and rainbows. With bloodthirsty trolls, a hostile monarchy, and a dangerous code of magic, the fey world is far from the safe haven the Outlaws had hoped for..
Long Story Short
Blood and Flowers tells the story of Persia and the Outlaw theater troupe that she is a member of. In Persia's world, the Fae and humans live together, but the Fae, with their fairy magic, are not trusted by the humans. Despite this, Persia and her friends see to be living a relatively good life together, until a few wrong words turn their world upside down.
What Worked (for me)
Blood and Flowers is told from the point of view of Persia, but is by no means just about Persia. In fact, this book is about a multitude of characters who are all well developed and easy to relate to. From Tonio, the de facto leader of the Outlaws, and his partner Max, to Floss, the fairy who uses magic to make their performances truly come alive, to Lucia, who in the past wanted so bad to go to the fairy realm that she wished herself there, Blubaugh has done a great job of creating characters that have individual personalities and all contribute to the outcome of the story.
I also liked the development of Persia and Nicholas' relationship. I've read many books recently where boy and girl meet and there is this instant attraction and BLAM! they're in love. With Persia and Nicholas, their relationship started out as good friends that slowly developed into something more as the story progressed. I liked how much more realistic this felt.
What Didn't Work (for me)
The ending of the book was very abrupt. One minute I'm enjoying the story and then it's over. Of course I knew the book was ending, but after the buildup I was expecting something more. I still really enjoyed Blood and Flowers, but the finale did leave me wishing the story didn't end there. It's looks as if this is a stand alone novel for the moment, but maybe Blubaugh left it open-ended so that she could make it into a series if warranted.
Underneath it all, Blood and Flowers explores how latent prejudice and a few wrong words can affect the attitudes of many. The fae are used as a scapegoat to place blame on. Because of the fae's other-worldliness, it is easy to convince humans that they are the cause of all the bad going on.
Blubaugh has written a collection of wonderful characters. I was able to connect with them, and felt personally invested in their individual stories, as well as the overall plotline.
My Rating is 4 stars
Picture and Description courtesy of Goodreads.
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