Title: Blood & Flowers
Author: Penny Blubaugh
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 344 Pages
ISBN-10: 0061728624 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0061728624 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Three years ago, Persia ran away from her drug-addict parents and found a home with the Outlaws, an underground theater troupe. 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 Nicholas, one of the other Outlaws. Life could not be more perfect.
Until an enemy with a grudge makes an unfair accusation against the group and forces them to flee the mortal world and hide in the neighboring realm of Faerie. But in Faerie, all is not flowers and rainbows—with blood thirsty trolls, a hostile monarchy, and a dangerous code of magic, the fey world is not quite the safe haven the Outlaws had hoped for. And they must decide what’s more important: protecting their right to performer protecting themselves.
From critically acclaimed author Penny Blubaugh comes this mesmerizing tale of family, faeries, and finding a place to call home.
Quick & Dirty: This was a YA fantasy filled with mysterious characters, an intriguing setting, and a unique idea. Some of the aspects fell a little short, but overall it was a very enjoyable read.
Opening Sentence: “In case you don’t know, you use a thin paste of the flour water to stick the poster down.”
Persia ran away from home to live with a traveling group of theater performers. They are considered outlaw’s because the plays they perform are very controversial and full of fairy magic which is illegal. Persia grew up with parents that were drug addicts so she never felt like she was safe, so once she discovered the outlaw group they became her family and her home. She loved being a part of it and loved all of its members. They all contribute to the performances in different ways, but they are all treated equal.
Their group has started a new production and it is their most popular play yet. They are getting rave reviews and have sold out performances. Then an old enemy of the group’s leader makes an appearance and he will stop at nothing to bring the group down. They are being accused of far more illegal things than just using a little fairy magic and the law is not on their side. To try and protect themselves the group decides to leave and go into fairyland. They start over and get ready to wow the people in fairyland with their unique skills, but soon they realize that running away is never the answer. When you have a problem you need to stick up for yourself and take care of it.
There is a large cast of characters in the group and they all have a vital role. Max is the protective one, Tonio is the leader and director, Floss makes the costumes and adds the magic, Lucia is the vulnerable shy one, Nicholas is the smart charismatic one, and Persia is thoughtful observant one. Persia is the main focus in the book, you get to see it all through her eyes. I really enjoyed the characters but they fell a little flat for me. This book was so character driven that I felt like I needed more from them and I just didn’t get it. I’m not saying I didn’t like the characters, I just wish they would have been fleshed out better so they could have made a stronger impression.
The setting and idea behind the book was very intriguing but I would have liked a little more description about the world. I wasn’t quite sure if it was a modern day setting or not which was confusing at times. The pacing was a little slow, but I really enjoyed the writing. It had a sort of lyrical feel to it which worked really well. The characters were really interesting and very unique, I just needed more to connect with them the way I wanted to. There was a little bit of romance that was sweet, but I would have liked there to have been a few more romantic scenes. I think the story could have used it. I feel that this review has sounded negative, but I actually did enjoy this book. It had a lot of flaws, but overall it was a beautifully written book that I liked. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good mysterious group of characters and likes faeries.
By the time we were done we’d survived a minor electrical fire and one broken mike, but those were the only stumbling blocks. Everything else went exactly as planned. Puppets walked, suns rose, even the fountain in Act 2 sprayed water where and when it was supposed to. And the applause-oh, fury, the applause was loud and long and more that I’d ever heard for an Outlaw opening night.
When the audience was gone, when the house lights were up, when we all looked at one another with pleased expressions-that was when Max swung his arm around Lucia’s shoulder and planted a kiss on her cheek. “Brilliant, kiddo. An Outlaw home.” He fanned out the night’s takings. “Good people. Good money.”
Then he grabbed Tonio. “And to you-good call. You listened. You acted. You overcame. I love you.”
Lucia grinned and bumped shoulders with Floss. I, emboldened by the night’s events, leaned over and kissed Nicholas on the ear. He looked confused, then swept me into a Bastardly embrace and squeezed. Happy Outlaws. The world seemed to be a perfect place.
FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Blood & Flowers. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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