Flora Trilogy by Ysabeau S. Wilce
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t understand why this series isn’t super successful. This should be topping all best-seller lists, at least when it comes to YA.
Ysabeau S. Wilce has one of the most delightfully inventive gifts for language, starting right away with the books’ full titles:
Flora Segunda: Being the Magical 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
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)
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
Flora Segunda (thus named because she’s the second Flora, the first Flora, her sister, is gone) lives in a wonderful world: a mishmash of Spanish occupied California, with Aztec overlords, pirates and bestial majordomos.
Flora is part of one of Califa’s great families: the Fyrdraacas, and thus lives in Crackpot Hall, a house with eleven thousand rooms, an absent workaholic great army General mother, a father who became insane after being tortured for decades by the enemy, and a bunch of dogs. …and the banished butler, which she just found out about.
Every great house has a butler: a magical being who manages the estate and all the minutiae of the houses’ occupants’ lives.
Flora is tired of having so much thrust upon her shoulders, especially now, with her catorcena just around the corner.
Her best friend, Udo, is too busy being impossibly vain and trying to become a pirate without his parents (one mother and two fathers [one father dead before the story started]) managing to stop him.
Then Valefour, the banished butler, shows up and he can make everything okay. All he needs is a tiny little thing… just a little bit of Flora’s soul.
I posted a parody about the first book (I won’t be mentioning the others because that would be incredibly spoilery), and you can read it here.
Anyway, this series is so good my paperbacks are starting to look pitiful, I’ve read them so many times! Give it a chance!!