Fairies · review · YA-fantasy

Blood and Flowers – Penny Blubaugh

352 pages
Published March 1st, 2011
Source: Library


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 bloodthirsty 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 perform or protecting themselves.


I don’t know what I was expecting when I started reading Blood and Flowers but it certainly wasn’t what I got. I’ve read this author’s Serendipity Market which was a delightful and quirky collection of stories that were all interlinked by one major happening and, I guess, Blood and Flowers continues in somewhat the same vein. Both books have a folksy feel to them, folktale-ish, dare I say communal continuity to them that is at odds with the sharply individualized tales that I am so familiar with.

The premise is interesting, the cover art is breathtaking and the writing flows well. So what then is the matter with it? Why did it not grip me as much as I thought it would?

The thing is, this book tries to encompass too much within its pages. There is no one main character though some people will assert that Persia was the protagonist. But I don’t think that was the case since she was not given special emphasis – nothing more so than the others were given. At least, I don’t feel she was. The conflicts were not personal – they involved the entire group which while interesting, did not reel me in as a reader. I felt like the audience, a spectator instead of a character in the novel like I usually do when reading.

The romance was underwhelming and uncomplicated. I just… thought it was interesting, the book I mean but nothing to write home about. It could have been much more had the author focused on one character at a time and told their story alone instead of trying to tell them all at the same time. As it is, she didn’t and while the overall story was entertaining, it just didn’t do anything much for me. The cover remains gorgeous though. The story fails to live up to it. (The other way around, huh?)


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