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The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams

Review by Alleandra

This book starts in present day California, where we meet with 30 year old, down and out Theo Vilmos. A singer in a rock band where most of the members are 10 years younger, Theo's paying job is as a delivery man for a florist. A series of events occur to him, each worse then before, leading Theo to discover a manuscript written by his oddball great-uncle, Eamonn Dowd. The strange world of Faerie depicted in his great-uncle's 'novel' of course, turns out to be real. Theo learns this when a funny little red-haired sprite named Applecore crosses over for him.

The only past expereinces I have had with Tad Williams' writing was when Reading Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, which I have not yet finished. To me, his writing style in those books is plodding for 400 or so pages, and then picks up and heads to exciting conclusions. With this book, the pace is quick right from the start. Theo is not the most heroic of main characters, but he is not inane or stupid either. The book is interspersed with a very colorful cast of supporting characters (especially the forementioned Applecore, who is a hoot), and laced with a wonderful sense of humor.

Williams rendition of Faerie as a potentially wonderful if dangerous place, made grim by the abuse of the world by its inhabitants offers many parallels with our own world. The earth/faerie comparisons border on the preachy sometimes, but the energy and the humor of the novel keep it from becoming bogged down in its metaphores.

I give this novel 4.75 out of 5 amulets. A very entertaining novel.

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