New books are starting to trickle into the Tucker Free Library much like water is slowly trickling into my house. The books, however, are much less likely to cause water damage and are more likely to be awesome. One such awesome book is Blood and Flowers by Penny Blubaugh. I read it this weekend in between wading through that lake that is now my basement. It was just the escape I needed.
Persia is a member of an amazing puppet troupe that performs renegade shows all over the city. Why renegade shows you may ask? Well, it is because members of their puppet troupe are of the fey persuasion and magic is a huge no-no. Too many people tripping on Pixie Dust. The elaborate shows they create are found by a loyal audience, and the rag-tag group of performers is happy working this way. That is until one of the younger members of the group, Persia’s friend Lucia, starts questioning their methods. Lucia escaped from a bad past by crossing over the borders into the realm of the faerie. She wants more people to find the troupe and for their location to be more permanent. With more people, comes more attention, and more problems. Soon malicious gossip is surrounding the troupe and trouble is on the horizon. With all of the gossip that is starting to surround the puppet troupe, escaping into the faerie realm does not sound like a bad idea. But faerie land is not all magic and sunshine, there is a dangerous element lurking there as well. Persia and her friends in the Outlaw Puppet Troupe need to keep on their toes to stay alive in this land, and find themselves wondering if this is a fair price to pay to save their art.
Penny Blubaugh’s writing is wonderful, especially her descriptions and characterizations. Every character has a wonderful depth and meaning that makes it easy to get lost in their stories and really immerse yourself in the world she creates. Persia is a great heroine, strong but not invincible, and the interactions within the puppet troupe are wonderful and believable. I am glad to see a book about the supernatural that does not involve some girl developing a “special power” or tottering helplessly after a boy. This clearly is a story about a rag-tag group of people who have become a family and create together, and no force, be it human or faerie is going to stop them.