Fantasy / Sci-fi

War of the Flowers

Written By: Tad Williams

Published By: DAW Books

Reviewed by Rowena Kemp


             The beauty of the internet is the network of friends abroad. One particular day I was chatting to a friend in Canada, a man who worked on the same account as me for IBM, and he suggested I read Tad Williams. He initially suggest Williams’ series of books called Otherland, but it proved rather difficult to find the series.  Instead, I found one of his newer books, a one shot called The War of the Flowers.

            Imagine if you will, being thrown into a land you’d always believed was just fiction. While trying to wrap your head around your strange and unbelievable surroundings, things started to get a whole lot stranger and suddenly you discover that somehow, for reasons that escape you like the night you went drinking with your pals, you’re part of something stirring under the very foundations of the world - the unimaginable world that is!

            Well that’s exactly the predicament Theo Vilmos has found himself in. Theo is just a young man, a singer in a struggling band, when his life takes a horrible turn and leaves him mentally numb. While sorting through his mother’s personals one day, he discovers a letter addressed to her by his Uncle Eamonn and a key. He discovers a manuscript, written by his uncle, that seems more like a novel - a fairytale of strange places and people; a journey to a world…a magical world.  But the more Theo reads it, the more he gets the feeling that the book wasn’t a novel, but a true account - a diary. Soon enough, Theo is catapulted, almost literally, into this world and into events leading up to a devastating war.

            In my opinion, Tad Williams did not write this engaging fantasy, he created it, like a carpenter crafts a special chair. Every page, every chapter leading up to the climax is perfectly carved out. He leaves no sharp edges, no unanswered questions, as he pushes you encouragingly through the story. Williams’ imagination is one with no chains or limits, and one can definitely witness this in War of The Flowers.


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