Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BLOOD AND FLOWERS by Penny Blubaugh

BLOOD AND FLOWERS

By Penny Blubaugh

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-172862-4
Publisher: HarperTeen

As in Serendipity Market (2009), Blubaugh blends the magical and mundane into an original fantasy, told here by an 18-year-old who finds a home among an eclectic group of human and faerie folk. With a “penchant for dropping out of school” and “a mile-wide love of Shakespeare,” Persia left her “drugged-out, fey-bashing parents” a year ago to join The Outlaw Puppet Troupe, known for its fringe, slightly subversive underground performances. Finding The Outlaws was “like coming home to the place” she’d “been looking for forever.” Persia’s unidentified world is rife with illegal pixie-dust dealing, a tumbling economy and environmental troubles. Fey-phobic authorities blame the faerie for everything bad, and The Outlaws are prime suspects with a faerie puppet-maker wielding magic behind the scenes. When their gay artistic director is subpoenaed on false charges by Major, his corrupt, vindictive ex-lover, The Outlaws flee their world of blood and flowers into Faerie, a practically perfect place. Here they assimilate with local faeries, trolls and griffins, until Major appears to deliver an ultimatum. To avoid becoming “a lost bunch of misfits,” The Outlaws stage what could be their final production. While the denouement feels anticlimactic, atmospheric language, arresting “culture mash-up,” unique characters, an alluring overlap of fantasy and reality and strong themes of family and friendship create a provocative read. (Fantasy. 12 & up)