Flora's Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light by Ysabeau S. Wilce is a worthy continuation to an excellent series.
book, Flora is a cadet at the Barracks, having put aside her childhood
dreams of being a Ranger (at least for a while). She's on assignment as a
clerk in the General's office, so her duties are limited to errands,
paperwork, and baby-minding. Her long-time friendship with Udo is
strained, she's unsatisfied with her work, and she has certain plans of
her own. She knows she shouldn't be mucking around in the Current, but
there are a few things she just has to know -- and to find them out, she
will need to use magic. Her spell-casting attempt is interrupted by a
mysterious stranger, and shortly thereafter, she finds herself on a
voyage that will take her over sea and land, to places she's barely even
heard of, and she will learn much more than just the answers to her
questions. She'll also learn a few hard lessons about actions and
consequences . . . and maybe a little bit about romance, as well.
high-spirited hijinks will be familiar to fans of the series. I was
particularly impressed how, in this book, Flora really seems to mature.
By the end of the book, she's making decisions on her own -- not to
please or spite her parents, and not thoughtlessly following her whims,
but weighing consequences and choosing the course of action that she
deems best. She also gives up something precious at one point in the
story (I'm trying to avoid spoilers, so sorry if this is getting really
vague), and the results of that were poignant and hinted, I hope, at
things to come in future volumes. Flora will always be fiery and
temperamental, but I feel that she's developing into a truly strong
woman, and becoming someone I'd actually like to know.
reviews I have read have speculated that this is the end of the series
for Flora, but I think that can hardly be the case -- there are too many
loose ends, and all of Califa is poised on the brink of conflict.
Here's hoping that we'll see a lot more of Flora in the not-too-distant
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)