But when she imprudently touches a piece of fallen sky, her world turns upside down, and she is forced to leave her home for adventure in the very not-nice Fogwit City, as a Rising Star named Tangerine Cream. And a deadly threat is rising, that may come from the very heart of Hallah itself…
THE DEADLY CROCUS is an energetic adventure set on a wildly-imaginative fantasy world full of odd creatures just familiar enough to keep the reader from complete confusion. Glix Larue – a Queen of Niceness in the sweet and lovely land of Quince on the planet of Hallah – is a naive but entertaining heroine, who, the reader cannot help but feel, has been bottling up her less-oversweetened side far too long. Her determination and courage in the face of what is, for her, a completely topsy-turvy, confusing, and counter-intuitive new world is delightful, and it’s fun to watch her find aspects of herself she never knew were there. Her innocent ignorance of the larger world beyond Quince and the customs of other places lets us see the cities of Hallah through her eyes, allowing for us to learn what the place is like without requiring a lot of tedious explication or backstory.
A lively cast of supporting characters dart in and out of the book – sometimes showing up in very unexpected places – and while it’s sometimes difficult to keep them all straight without a notebook or a spreadsheet, it’s more fun just to watch them come and go. But do pay attention, as sometimes one or another character might come back in another guise, or say something of particular interest to the plot. Engaging personalities, bizarre professions, and ominous cults share the stage with members of odd (possibly) nonhuman races like pranksies and helpfairies, while weird creatures like windsharks, butterwings and sodbunnies add their own charms (and sometimes dangers). There are deeper plots underneath all the silliness and fantastical trappings, and they are just getting started in this book, presumably to be followed up on in sequels.
Author E.T. Ellison is quite good at subtly unfolding the deeper plot, bit by bit, underneath all the brilliant novelties, letting readers in on secrets through dream-sequences, cryptic utterances, and revelations that build on each other as the story continues. If you are the sort of reader who cannot bear a cliffhanger, though, it may be wise for you to wait to start this book until you have the next in hand, as the story does not resolve itself here but continues into the next book in the planned trilogy.
A whimsical fantasy with surprisingly dark undercurrents, E.T. Ellison’s THE DEADLY CROCUS throws its orange-haired heroine into a whirlwind of lively adventure, bizarre situations, and nonstop action.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader