Review: Flower's Fang
Mammabear Book Review
*A bear trundles in with a book under one, fuzzy arm*
My first encounter with the world of Flower's Fang was reading the prequel novella, Snow Flower. While I enjoyed that one, I wasn't prepared to love Flower's Fang as much as I did. The novel takes the characters and situation set up by the novella and turns them into something quite magical and fully fleshed out.
Arara is a member of a tribe of dog-like people whose culture is based on physical strength and the dominance of the alpha members. She is small and unusually colored and has suffered a great deal of difficulty growing up as an underdog who is not nearly as submissive as she "should" be. When the prince comes to town, a member of a race of floral beings who partner psychically with Arara's lot, the little white rebel is thrust into a competition to be the prince's bonded that leads her straight into trouble, conspiracy and attempts on both her life and the flower prince's whom you immediately just "know" she is destined to end up with.
I found the world of Flower's Fang so original and intriguing. I was frustrated at times with the discrimination against Arara and afraid for her a lot. Keller gets your emotional investment from the first page, and she holds it through a series of twists and plot turns that lead the reader on a great and unexpected series of adventures.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, was satisfied by the ending, surprised by the twists, and left most definitely waiting for the next installment.
Flower's Fang gets Five Enthusiastic Claws
Character: Arara and the prince are both incredibly sympathetic and well embedded characters. They are also realistically flawed, diverse and felt "real." Even the "bad" characters are not cookie cutter villains, and a few might even surprise you.
World-building: The world is unique and very well developed. I thought Keller's races went well beyond the simple "animal people" level and the floral kin were amazing and interesting as was they psychic bond between the two races.
Plot: The book kept me guessing and surprised me more than once. Keller is great at not taking the obvious path out of a situation, and not allowing her characters an easy answer.
Pacing: Steady and forward moving. I was never bored in Flower's Fang, and couldn't stop reading.
Shiny: For me the special shine on Flower's Fang is the races Keller has peopled it with. Not only are the kin and canines uniquely portrayed, they individual characters are deep and, well, individual.