Just finished the lavishly titled Flora’s Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room), which is itself the sequel to the similarly sesquipedalian Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog.
Picture (if you can) an alternate San Francisco named Califa, where magic is spoken in sigils called Gramatica, where there lives an adventurous fourteen year old girl named Flora, descended from a noble house (all the noble houses have what appear to be semi-Scandinavian names, despite the liberal use of Aztec and other Mexican verbiage).
Flora desperately wants to be a Ranger, like her paperback (sorry, “yellowback”) idol Nini Mo. She seems to be well on her way, as long as she doesn’t get killed what with the entanglements with the tentacles in the trendy club’s potty, the fact that her maybe-boyfriend has gone Goth with the Warlord’s daughter, her maybe-psycho father is forcing her to take lots of lessons over her school break, and oh, let’s not forget the city may crumble because of earthquakes and it’s possible that the precarious political situation of Califa may crumble, what with the anarchists and all.
If Harry Potter had been written by China Mieville, maybe it would read like this. It’s worth your time. Besides, the Official Web Site of Ysabeau Wilce gets across enough of the flavor that you should be able to decide that Califa (and Flora!) are worth visiting. After all, it’s not like you were going to read Twilight, right? You have better taste than that. Plus, the author’s name is Ysabeau. Come on, you can’t possibly resist.
Am also midway thru Elantris, and so far it deserves its acclaim…