YMMV / The War of the Flowers

  • Complete Monster: Nidrus Hellebore, Lord of House Hellebore and the shadow dictator of the Faerie lands, maintains power by murder, torture, labor camps and treachery. Having usurped power from King Oberon and Queen Titania, Hellebore keeps them in an induced coma to leech off their energies and keep the kingdom functioning. With human belief in the supernatural waning, Hellebore uses numerous faeries in power plants to drain them of their magic. Ready to cement his rule, Hellebore unleashes dragons he had secretly kept to annihilate a rival house, resulting in massive casualties. When his co-conspirator's daughter Poppy allies with the hero of the novel, a changeling named Theo, Hellebore has her arrested and tortured, and reveals that his ultimate plan involves sacrificing Theo's soul to be devoured. He also offers a blood sacrifice of one of his own men, and when he hears the goblin race is rebelling against his rule, he furiously orders the slaughter of an entire generation. Wanting nothing more than to rule as a brutal autocrat, Hellebore considers no crime, no matter how heinous, too great to achieve his selfish goals.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: As with all of Williams's DoorStoppers, it takes 100+ pages for the action proper to get started.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Williams was tempted (possibly pressured) to remove the initial attack by the dragons because of something that happened during writing: 9-11-01. The similarity is striking and, for some, unpleasant.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The irrha. There's a lot of Nightmare Fuel in this book, really, but the irrha definitely takes the cake.