Title: Flora Segunda
Author: Ysabeau S. Wilce
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
More Details: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher/Publication Date: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 1, 2008
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
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...
The story is about Flora who makes the mistake of taking the elevator in her house, which doesn’t work properly since the butler was banished. The resulting trouble served as one of the main conflicts of the book. The idea of a house with eleven thousand rooms, diminished into disrepair, was very interesting and handled quite well. I did enjoy Wilce’s writing style. It had the right amount of descriptive language and dialogue, and had a nice flow to it, making it easy to get into the story.
Flora’s adventures were pretty cool, even if she spent half the novel trying to hide her secrets to keep out of trouble. She had a lot to worry about—everything from her upcoming birthday, to her future (which was basically planned out for her, according to family traditions), a mountain of chores, and, of course, magical trouble. Flora’s friend, Udo, was an interesting side character. It was easy to see that he cared a lot about her, as a friend. And, as far as characters go, Flora and Udo made a pretty good team when they needed to.
The setting was centered on the house and the surrounding area, which fit perfectly with the story. Wilce spent some time building up the setting, giving it a history that was imaginative, and added an extra layer of depth to the story. So, despite the synopsis, the book wasn’t only about the magical houses and their impressive—sometimes mischievous—butlers. Flora Segunda was also about Flora learning how to speak up for herself—to say what she really meant.
Flora Segunda is the first book I've read by Wilce. Suffice to say, I was pretty impressed. Overall, it was a really good book, and I would be interested in the rest of the series.