The War of the Flowers

The War of the Flowers

by Tad Williams
4.3 21

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams

This standalone portal fantasy transports unsuccessful rockstar Theo Vilmos from modern California to a land of magic and mystery.

Returning to the fantasy genre that made him a coast-to-coast best-selling phenomenon, Tad Williams writes this stand-alone contemporary fantasy novel, set in Northern California—and also in the strange parallel world that coexists in the farthest reaches of the imagination.

Theo Vilmos is a thirty-year-old lead singer in a not terribly successful rock band. Once, he had enormous, almost magical charisma, both onstage and off—but now, life has taken its toll on Theo.

Hitting an all-time low, he seeks refuge in a isolated cabin in the woods. While there, he reads an odd memoir written by a dead relative who believed he had visited the magical world of Faerie. And before Theo can disregard the account as the writings of a madman, he, too, is drawn to a place beyond his wildest dreams...a place that will be, and has always been, his destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756401818
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 05/04/2004
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 832
Sales rank: 469,140
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.75(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tad Williams is a California-based fantasy superstar.  His genre-creating (and genre-busting) books have sold tens of millions worldwide. His works include the worlds of Otherland, Shadowmarch, and Osten Ard—including the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and The Last King of Osten Ard series—as well as standalone novels Tailchaser’s Song and The War of the Flowers. His considerable output of epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, comics, and more have strongly influenced a generation of writers.  Tad and his family live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a suitably strange and beautiful house. He can be found at or on Twitter at @tadwilliams.

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War of the Flowers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Minor league California rocker Theo Vilmos feels he is at the bottom of the food chain when matters turn worse when he loses his pregnant girlfriend. Thirty, alone, and his music going nowhere, Theo feels down. He decides to get away to relook the direction of his life that seems to be in free fall. At his mother¿s remote cabin, Theo finds an ancient looking tome handwritten by his weird Uncle Eamon about another realm, that of Faerie.

Soon Theo is shocked to learn Faerie exists when the sprite Applecore arrives at his abode. She escorts the reluctant musician through the gate to a magical land that quickly seems quite dismal to the visitor. War appears everywhere so much so that Theo feels his home planet seems relatively peaceful. While Theo begins to learn secrets about his gene pool, he falls in love, but this is a land in which life is not precious so he must show caution to survive especially when bombardier dragons attack.

This stand-alone fantasy is a great satirizing of current conditions on planet earth as seen through a looking glass mirror. The story line is extremely dark and grim yet often humorous as the plot shreds anything and everything of proud filled boasts about our compassionate great society. Theo is a fine character who serves as the center of the myriad of subplots, but it is the cantankerous, nasty Applecore who steals the show with her tinkering and editing of words of wisdom. A tad wordy, perhaps, but fans of Tad Williams, which probably includes Jonathan Swift, will appreciate this cutting faerie tale.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only reason I am giving this 4 instead of 5 stars is because Tad Williams characters are so often whiney. A little slow at the beginning but got much better. I would love to see more of Theo and friends. What happens next? Are the king and queen alive? Please revisit Faire !!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book although found some aspects of it to be overly tacky and annoying. Sometimes I felt the speech to be contrived, forced and irritatingly 1990's or 80's. Why so much cursing? In the fairy, now and then, it's endearing. The plot though is very enticing and although the main character irked me, I did want to see how everything turned out. I read this book because I read Tailchaser's Dream. The author's first book is his best, fantastic for its simplicity, and ironically, humastic nature. I loved the spiritual explorations too. Not unlike the hobbit of the cat world. Lovely. Thank you.
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RGrivois More than 1 year ago
The War for the Flowers is a modern fantasy about a washed-out singer named Theo Vilmos. Theo doesn¿t believe in magic; he doesn¿t believe in anything. But when a monster crosses the border between worlds and tries to kill him, Theo realizes that it may be time to reconsider his beliefs. With the help of a Barbie-sized sprite named Applecore, Theo manages to escape with his life, only to find himself in a world that he had never dreamed existed: Faerie.
Literary Devices
The author uses a lot of detailed similes and metaphors to describe Faerie, which are necessary for readers who are unfamiliar with it, such as: ¿The towers of Faerie were like the ones back home in Santa Fe,¿ and ¿Her skin was porcelain of the finest craftsmanship.¿
He also uses many onomatopoeias in the action-packed book to describe everything from the clanging of swords to the sound of a hovering pixie¿s wings, like ¿whoosh¿ and ¿clang¿.
Best Part
The best part of The War for the Flowers is when Theo meets Applecore, because she is by far the best character in the book. He had always pictured sprites and faeries as being like something from a Disney movie. Applecore immediately changed that. Despite the fact that the sprite was only about six inches tall, she had more attitude than a stampeding rhino. She has the largest vocabulary of dirty words that Theo had ever heard and could consume almost as much alcohol as he could. But she was Theo¿s first and most loyal friend in Faerie, and without her, he wouldn¿t have made it very far.
Worst Part
The worst part of The War for the Flowers is when Theo¿s girlfriend miscarried their baby, because it¿s the part of the book where he¿s at his lowest. Even after being chased across a strange, mythical land, Theo never felt as badly as he did that night. To make matters worse, that was also the night that his girlfriend broke up with him, claiming that they had only still been together because of the baby.
I would strongly recommend The War for the Flowers to anyone who likes fantasy or science fiction, because the book is packed with everything from elf sword fights to time travel.
Rating: ¿¿¿ out of 5
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Guest More than 1 year ago
As a big fan of the 'Memory,Sorrow,Thorn Trilogy' I was worried that this book wouldn't be AS good. I soon found that there was no cause for worry. Although it starts a little slow, don't give up on it because it gets tons better and soon you'll find yourself not being able to put it down. Without a doubt, the best character has to be the sprite Applecore who will never cease to entertain readers with her ready wit and sarcasm(although main character Theo is enjoyable as well). Anyone who likes fantasy books should read and buy this one, it is FANTASTIC!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tad Williams is a pro and it is delightful to surrender my imagination to his worlds. I've yet to feel his books a waste of time or money- something rare these days when the racks are so full of formula and imitation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tad William's work has covered a wide range of themes in the genre of speculative fiction, from the superb sword and sorcery of the 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' series, to cyber-fantasy in the self-indulgent but richly imaginative 'Otherland' series. However, in 'The War of the Flowers' he appears to run out of ideas. The basic premise is sound, if unoriginal - principal character with mysterious past is whisked to another world (Faery) where it transpires that he is the only person in either world who can save both humankind and Faery from the bad guys. The end result, though, is a sort of 'Tom Clancy plus pixies'. The characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue hackneyed, and magic world of Faery seems to be designed along the lines of 'The Flintstones' or 'The Jetsons' - in other words, take conventional Western technology and social practices and transform them ancient/future/magical analogues. The joke wears thin very quickly. If you really want to see some truly magical writing, might I suggest Neil Gaiman's magnificent 'American Gods', or John Crowley's 'Little, Big'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a major fan of Tad Williams and this book did not let me down. It is a perfect encorporation of old fairy folk lore and modern day science fiction. While it isn't as complex as Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn or Otherland (it's a stand alone book, whadda ya' expect) it is still a magnificent piece of fantasy. It is a remarkable story about a bum of a man who overcomes his own problems to become the hero everyone know he could be. If you like Tad Williams this is a must read book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While not quite as engaging and endearing as his absolutely spectacular ¿Memory, Sorrow & Thorn' series, Tad Williams has crafted a wonderful voyage through the land of the Fey. In the genre of the adult faerie-tale, ¿The War of the Flowers¿ rivals Neil Gaimans' ¿American Gods¿, surpasses Gaimans' ¿Stardust¿, leaves Stephen King & Peter Straub's ¿Talisman¿ in the pixie dust and stomps James Herbert's ¿Once...¿ mercilessly INTO the aforementioned pixie dust. And unlike the goblin-stories of True Arden, there is no hole in ¿The War of the Flowers¿.