Monday, November 11, 2013

The Blood of Flowers - Anita Amirrezvani

The Blood of Flowers
So, this is one of those books where the heroine never gets a name.  I've seen this before, most memorably in Daphne DeMaurier's Rebecca, but I don't particularly like it.  I know the book is written in first person, so we shouldn't really need that much of a name, but I still like knowing how to refer to the main character.  However, I didn't actually realize she doesn't have a name until I wrote this review.  Throughout the entire book, I did keep wondering what her name is, but I just presumed that it was mentioned and I forgot about it.  So I guess it works, as long as you don't really want to discuss the main character with anyone.

This is the second book of Amirrezvani's that I've read, the first being Equal of the Sun.  Honestly, I liked EotS better.  The main characters were far more engaging, the setting more entrancing, and the plot actually moved.  Most of The Blood of Flowers involves the heroine wanting to get married, making rugs, drawing pictures, and being subjected to the whims of her wicked aunt.  While this isn't a bad lifestyle (hey, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I would be perfectly fine being a 50s housewife) it's not exactly the most thrilling to read about.  Most of the intrigue comes from the heroine's relationships with other people, but even those peter out and aren't as artfully dramatic as they could be.

I was expecting more of this book.  The back promises that the heroine "blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets."  She doesn't.  She makes one good design throughout the entire book, and can't even pull that off without copious amounts of work from her uncle.  While I appreciate that Amirrezvani wanted to show her heroine stumbling, making mistakes, and learning from them, I just felt like some awesome storyline was being missed out on.  Something about the heroine's genius rug designs and using them to gain influence and power or make political statements or something like that.  Something, I don't know...more Equal of the Sun-like.  This was a completely different premise than EotS, and I can respect that, but that doesn't mean I particularly liked it.  While the writing is generally good, it tends to telling more than showing in some places, and the story just isn't as engaging as it could be.

On the other hand, I did learn a lot about making rugs.  So there's that, I guess.

2.5 stars out of 5.

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