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Flora Fyrdraaca is the scion of a once-glorious family, but since Califa lost the War and her mother banished the magical butler who kept Crackpot Hall in order, Flora has been reduced to babysitting her crazy alcoholic father and mucking out the stables (as well as performing every other unpleasant chore that needs doing). As if this weren't bad enough, she's approaching her 14th birthday, the age at which all Fyrdraacas are expected to enter military training — but Flora would much rather be a Ranger, a spy who uses magic. When she accidentally stumbles across the banished butler, she thinks restoring him will solve at least a few of these problems. It doesn't.
Tropes found in this series include:
- Action Girl: Califa seems to be a very militaristic society that doesn't discriminate based on gender at all, so there are a lot of these, including Flora's mother, who's the Warlord's Commanding General.
- Aerith and Bob: Flora and Udo, for example, are attested names; Idden and Reverdy, not so much. And then there's Juliet Buchanan Fyrdraaca ov Fyrdraaca, who seems to encapsulate the trope quite nicely in a single name.
- Anachronism Stew: Technology seems mostly 1800sish at best, but the youth culture is very modern (even if their rock bands do feature banjos instead of guitars and use magic for amplification).
- Badass: Buck, Tiny Doom, Hotspur, Lord Axacaya, Nini Mo, The Dainty Pirate... the list goes on and on.
- Bigger on the Inside: Crackpot Hall
- Bilingual Bonus: There's a lot of Spanish in these books.
- Blind Seer: Lord Axacaya
- The Butcher: Butcher Brakespeare is a Rare Female Example.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: The Zu Zu
- Camp Straight: Udo's makeup and extravagant frilly wardrobe are pretty fabulous, but he gets a girlfriend at the beginning of the second book and eventually ends up as Flora's Victorious Childhood Friend.
- The Dandy: Both Udo and the Dainty Pirate
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Flora's father, when he's sober.
- Driven to Villainy: Spring-Heeled Jack claims to have been, but who knows how true that is?
- Drowning My Sorrows: Hotspur all the way...
- Despair Event Horizon: Hotspur again and Flora to some extent
- Exalted Torturer: Butcher Brakespeare, Califa's greatest war criminal and a sympathetic character in the second book who claims to have had good reason for everything she did.
- Face Heel Turn: Udo
- Fetish Fuel: Everyone in Califa wears skirts. Every man woman and child. From school children to soldiers and even The Warlord. There is not a pair of pants in the country.
- Cosmetics and fancy do's are also common for both sexes
- Fiery Redhead: Flora herself, for starters. Hotspur and General Haðraaða Segunda/Butcher Brakespeare/Azota/whatever you want to call her, as well.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Flora doesn't show much romantic interest in Udo... until he hooks up with The Zu Zu.
- Happily Adopted: Flora herself, once she finds out that Butcher Brakespere was her real mother. Despite knowing that her Mamma isn't her mother, she knows Mamma will always be her Mamma, no matter what.
- Has Two Mommies: Udo has three dads, though one's dead; his mother couldn't decide which of her triplet suitors to marry, so she married all of them.
- Also Flora's biological mom is not actually Buck but she will always be her "Mamma"
- Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action: Quetzals are the Half-Human Hybrid result of human women mating with male eagles. Even in a world where magic exists, it's hard to figure out how that one would work.
- In Which a Trope Is Described: Both the title, "Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal 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." and the chapter headings:
"Mamma. Sleeping Late. An Overdue Library Book. The Elevator."
"Lost. Many Empty Rooms. Very Dusty Towels."
"Surprise. Denizens & Butlers. Many, Many Books."
- Late for School: How Flora begins the first book.
- Little Miss Snarker: Flora, and later (and less sympathetically) The Zu Zu
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Udo's family
- Mayincatec: The Huitzils; mostly Aztec, though.
- Military Brat: Idden and Flora (and both their parents in their days)
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The full title of Nini Mo's book:
- Narrative Profanity Filter: Not used much (if at all) in the first book, but practically omnipresent in the second, especially around Tiny Doom. (Though one wonders why it's necessary when Califan swearing seems to consist of words like "fike" and "scit"...)
- Never Found the Body: Butcher Brakespeare (or whatever name you want to call her by). Supposedly this is because the Huitzils ate her, but...
- Normally I Would Be Dead Now: Flora's dare
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The so-called Republic of Califa was never democratic as far as we can tell. Before the Warlord conquered it and turned it into a military dictatorship, it was under the seemingly just as oppressive control of the Pontifexa. Any truly republican origins before this have not yet been revealed by the author.
- Persecution Flip: The Califans, who seem mostly European-flavored despite a few Latin American cultural elements (and being native to pseudo-California), have been defeated and are controlled by the pseudo-Aztec Huitzils. One of the cases where the brutality of the now-in-power group may lend itself to Unfortunate Implications -- the Huitzils seem to be Always Chaotic Evil and literally baby-eating (well, people-eating, really).
- Promotion to Parent: Flora when Buck is away -- though she's the youngest child; the one she's parenting is actually her dad. Udo also seems to be left alone with his many, many younger siblings a lot.
- Puppet State: The main characters' country, Califa, is a vassal state of the Huitzil empire, because it was pretty much that or be conquered entirely. Many people are still less than happy about it, though.
- Replacement Goldfish: Flora Segunda is a replacement for the First Flora, her older sister who was captured along with her father during the war and is presumably dead.
- Servile Snarker: Valefor
- Shaped Like Itself: There's a bit in the first book about Flora seeing "Paimon's monstrous visage in all its monstrousness" or something along those lines.
- She Cleans Up Nicely
- Spell My Name with a "The": The Zu Zu -- well, it's her nickname, but it's spelled with a "the", all right.
- Switched At Birth
- The Warlord
- Whip It Good: Butcher Brakespeare, whose nickname, "Azota", means "whip" and is based on her habit of whipping subordinates who disobeyed her.