Book 3 of my most delightful new-found author’s stories of Flora Segunda. I forgot where I first read of her (I suspect io9), and she was on my reading list for a medium-long period of time before I hauled myself in the direction of another fantasy/science-fiction reading binge, but once I started the first of the (currently and hopefully not ending at) three, Flora Segunda, I immediately looked to see if Wilce had written anything else then fell over with joy at the sight of two more books yet unread, all of Flora.
The last couple of years, I’ve been mostly and consciously only reading women authors. Yes, obviously there are exceptions; I’m not dogmatic, however I make a point of specifically paying attention to half of the population who are consciously underrepresented. If there’s an article on new skiffy/fantasy book releases for next month, I’ll skim through and check out the female authors first – and obviously non-Anglo-American if there are any – sure, I’ll check out the male authors also, but my feeling these days is that the really interesting, smart, beautiful stories in these genres are being written largely by women. And given the comprehensive ignoring of women as writers, directors, actors, audience in all forms of media from computer games to Hollywood movies to books, it’s an act of rebellion against that erasure and lack of representation by these companies to say I will only pass my money into a system and to a company that throughout and at its end recognises women and affords them representation.
So then, Ysabeau S. Wilce, book 3: 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. Not quite as good as book 1 or 2, but ach, maybe I read it a little quick, binge-reading the three one after the other and had indigestion. It’s still very good though, highly imaginative, many characters besides Flora I’d love to read more of, a little like the world of China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station, and honestly, it’s better writing and a better story than Harry Potter, which I’ve read three or four times, so it’s a certainty I’ll read Flora again (once I’ve dealt with my incoming deluge of books).