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Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog (Magic Carpet Books) Paperback – 1 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Magic Carpey Books; Reprint edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152054391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152054397
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Flora Segunda A rich, witty fantasy comes to paperback Full description

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Flora Fydraaca's Catorcena is coming up and she hasn't finished her dress or her speech. The main problem with the speech is that it's supposed to celebrate everything great and glorious about her family, the Fyrdraaca's, and her home, Crackpot Hall, and it all has to be true. Unfortunately, Flora doesn't find either of these things to be particularly great or glorious. Maybe they were once, but not since Flora can remember.

Once her father was a great champion fighter and rider. Now he just hides up in his rooms, and occasionally has fits of insanity. He went crazy years ago during the war, when he tried, and failed, to rescue the first Flora from abductors. Flora's mother is the Warlord's Commanding General, so she seems pretty glorious, but she's hardly ever home. Flora's sister Idden is a general in an elite part of the army, but Flora's not interested in that. Even though it's what she's expected to do after school.

Crackpot Hall sounds like it was unbelievable before Flora was born, but then her mother banished the magickal Butler. Ever since then the windows leak, the garden has become a jungle, stairways forget to finish, hallways end in nothing, etc. There are 11,000 rooms in Crackpot Hall, but Flora and her family can only get to a few of them. Those few rooms stay only as clean as Flora can manage between school, her father's outbursts, and taking care of the dogs.

One day, already running late for school, Flora has to run back inside to get a well-overdue library book. Knowing the risk, she takes a chance and takes the elevator. She ends up in a part of the house she never even knew existed. A place that contains a million books and what's left of the now very bitter, banished Butler. He's literally wasting away to nothing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Wilce creates a fascinating fantasy world that combines elements of early 19th century European history, Mexican mythology, Scots/Aztec fashion but adds originality and wit. By having Flora Segunda tell her story in the first person, Wilce allows the reader to slowly settle into the world she creates without restorting to bulky exposition and although this may be too sophisticated for younger readers, those over the age of 13 should find it a blast.

Flora lives with her father, Hotspur, who was driven insane after being captured and tortured by the Huitzils and witnessing the death of Flora's sister (Flora the First) and who veers between bouts of drunkeness and rage in the family's Crackpot Hall. Flora's mother, Buck, is in charge of the Caifa army and rules her family with an iron fist but is frequently away from home, which leaves Flora in charge of looking after her father and keeping the Hall in order.

Flora is unenthusiastically preparing for her Catorcena (basically an adulthood ceremony held when you turn 14) because Buck wants her to join the army afterwards, a tradition followed by all of the family. Flora however, wants to be a Ranger, a group of spies and magic-users led by the legendary Nini-Mo who used to support the army but who were forcibly disbanded and sent into hiding. Flora meets Valefor, the official Butler to Crackpot Hall but who was banished by Buck as she disapproves of magic and who is forced to hide in a disused room of the Hall. Valefor and Flora enter into a pact whereby Flora will help restore Valefor to power, in return for him taking over Flora's chores. That's where everything starts to go wrong ...

The rest of the story involves warlords, the Dainty Pirate, more Butlers and more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a good enjoyable and creative story with a strong female protagonist. I was drawn to the book by the wonderful title, which made me think it would be a little more tongue in cheek than it actually was. Nevertheless it was a good story about a girl born to a role which she does not want in a dilapidated magical home in an imaginatively wrought land.

I did not love this book as much as some I have read, but I felt that this was almost certainly because the book was written more for girls than boys. I accordingly gave it to my niece who was very happy to have it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is one of the most original page turning books you could hope to discover, i have a vast collection of fantasy books and its the first i have ever reached the end and re-started, i have recommended and given copies as presents,its population of new and fresh ideas seems endless, its fun for all ages,it has dark true villains not so obvious bad guys (and gals) fools and the bewildered and the dream of a yellow book library. thankfully the authoress has produced further books in the series, read this one you will read the rest !!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 55 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Very Highly Recommended!! 4 Jan. 2007
By Sarah - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! It has a terrific narrative voice; it's told by Flora Fyrdracca herself, who is about to turn 14 and, unfortunately, be sent to study war, like her mother, Buck, the Warlord's military leader. Flora would far rather become a Ranger like her hero, Nini Mo--and man, so would I. Rangers are independent scouts and spies who can do magic and have amazing adventures. Flora lives pretty much on her own (Buck is often away and her father, Poppy, is mad and/or drunk most of the time) in a rambling, crumbling magical house. Things start to liven up for poor Flora (who stays pretty lively, despite having a tough time) when she discovers Val, a Butler, a magical being who is supposed to keep the house in order.

The tone of the book is wonderful, and the voice sizzles with energy. Take, for example, this exchange about Buck between Flora and the Butler:

"Mamma is not afraid of anything." In her youth, my mamma killed a jaguar with a shovel. She's won the Warlord's Hammer twice. She's fought three duels, one bare-knuckled, and won them all. And, of course, she's been married to Poppy for twenty-eight years, which alone takes a lot of sand.

"Pah. You can be as brave as a lion on the outside, Flora Segunda," Val answered, "and fight bears with your fingernails and stare down monsters until they melt into little puddles of goo at your feet and still be a coward inside, in your heart, where it counts."

And here, part of the Butler's tour of the house:

"...Slippery Stairs, where Anacreon Fyrdracca broke his nose sliding down on a tea tray...Beekeeping Room, don't bother them, Udo, ad they won't bother you...Formerly Secret Cubbyhole...Because it can't be secret if you know where it is, that's why, Madama Smartie...Luggage Mezzanine...I wonder if that salesman is still in the linen basket, I should come back and check...Eternal Atrium, look how large that tree has become, I must raise the roof in here or it's going to go right through the ceiling...The Gun room, what on earth did Buck do with my .50 caliber Gatling...The Halfway Point--"

You get the idea--it's a tremendous amount of fun.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Magick worth the wait 7 Dec. 2006
By Erika L. Hamerquist - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Several years ago I read a short story by this author which was so jaw-droppingly fantastic it turned me into a cyber-stalker, always on the prowl for more. Needless to say I was delighted when this novel finally popped up. Although plainly written for young teens, with prose and content adjusted accordingly, Flora Segunda provides another glimpse into the vibrant world of Califa, the product of such a singular imagination I'm at a loss for words, Grammatickal or otherwise, to describe it. Quiero mas y mas, Madama Wilce!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Is the world ready for Wilce? 13 July 2007
By Bluejack - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Here's a fact: Ysabeau S. Wilce is profoundly original. If you read all the customer reviews here, you'll get the sense that this is not your formula fantasy. But let's make that point more clearly--you will never read another story like this one (unless, possibly, it's her next one, which we all eagerly anticipate).

This is the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of what could, and certainly should, be the next story franchise that graduates from cult status to mainstream blockbuster. Wilce doesn't sugar coat the risks of adolescence: she dips them in ice cream, lights them on fire, and serves the reader a flaming torch of strange wonder.

Laughter and thrilling excitement are delightful companions all through this romp. The subtitle gives a sense of the former, but don't underestimate Wilce's storytelling: great characters in real trouble make for great reading, and Flora is a heroine who speaks equally to the reality as well as the ambitions of young people.

Oh yes, and while this is not specifically a unique observation, I'd also like to note that it is always refreshing to find a fantasy that does not take place in something that could pass for Northern Europe.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Original, spirited, and funny 4 Jun. 2007
By Pauline J. Alama - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ysabeau Wilce has created a truly original imaginary world refreshingly free of the cliches of the fantasy genre. What's more, she's provided the perfect tour guide to this world: Flora Fyrdraaca, an irreverent, eager, believably adolescent narrator scheming to escape the expectations of her family and become a Ranger--a magic-using secret agent--instead of following family tradition into the army, madness, and doom. Assigned to write a speech in praise of her noble House, Flora narrowly rejects openings like "Crackpot Hall has 11,000 rooms but only one potty." Indeed, the ancestral pile has seen better days, partly for reasons bound up in the power plays of Flora's illustrious mother, a famous general who tolerates no insubordination and has disabled the magical Butler that should keep the house in order. Motivated partly by sympathy and partly by the desire to have someone else muck out the stable, Flora sets herself a quest to restore the Butler to his rightful place, but she soon discovers that the price of a little help with the housework can be, almost literally, her soul. Flora's quirky comic voice always keeps the danger of her predicament and the dysfunctionality of her family from weighing down the story, which bounces lightly along to its conclusion--or rather, temporary conclusion, because this is the first volume of a trilogy. I'm no Young Adult, and this is a Young Adult book, but I can hardly wait for Volume 2.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Strange and bizarre.... 29 Jan. 2007
By mimagirl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Synopsis from Harcourt's website: "Flora knows better than to take shortcuts in her family home, Crackpot Hall--the house has eleven thousand rooms, and ever since her mother banished the magickal butler, those rooms move around at random. But Flora is late for school, so she takes the unpredictable elevator anyway. Huge mistake. Lost in her own house, she stumbles upon the long-banished butler--and into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever."

This was a lively read, never a dull moment for Flora and co. The characters were all interesting, but rather bizarrely so. The book itself had some wonderful moments and adventures, but at the same time seemed to leap, hop, halt and skip around like an untamed colt. The whole thing was so odd, so different, that I couldn't quite get myself to like it. Excitement, check. Page-turner, check. Interesting (albeit weird) characters, check. The writing itself was good, I suppose. However, everything in this world seemed so unconnected and the surprises in the book would be more aptly termed shocks! For characters, I preferred Flora's papa and her friend Udo Landaðon to Flora herself.

Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog was a little too strange for me. (Although how can you not love that title?) In ways I want to recommend it because it was a unique, funnish sort of tale. But the mishaps outweighed the magic for me. Read it if it sounds interesting to you, but beware its un-normality.
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