Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Review: The House of the Four Winds

The House of the Four Winds (One Dozen Daughters, #1)
Author: Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: One Dozen Daughters # 1

Mercedes Lackey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Valdemar series and romantic fantasies like Beauty and the Werewolf and The Fairy Godmother. James Mallory and Lackey have collaborated on six novels. Now, these New York Times and USA Today bestselling collaborators bring romance to the fore with The House of Four Winds.

The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.

Full of swashbuckling adventure, buoyant magic, and irrepressible charm, The House of the Four Winds is a lighthearted fantasy romp by a pair of bestselling writers.

Each princess, on the day of her eighteenth birthday, would go forth to “seek her fortune.”

But in the days she had spent watching the passengers board the ships and the ships set sail, Clarice realized she had made up her mind: excitement and adventure were to be found in the New World, and that was where she would seek them.

The thought of him went down with her into sleep that night.

All around her, from every corner of the captured ship, sailors began to cheer.

This series of books has such an interesting premise behind it. Clarice is one of twelve daughters living in the tiny nation of Swansgaard. Each of the daughters must learn a trade because the kingdom is not wealthy enough to support them all. The book has the feeling of a fairy tale, but not just any fairy tale – a fairy tale featuring pirates. As I said before this is Clarice’s story and in it she decides to take up the sword. So on her eighteenth birthday, she decides to venture out and look for adventure while perfecting her chosen craft. She finds adventure and so much in her exciting story and the first installment in what I am sure will be a fantastic new series from some very well-known authors.

Clarice is seeking adventure and hopes to earn a name for herself by participating and winning duels so that she may travel back to her home nation and teach others as a swords master. Needless to say she thinks that the best way to achieve that is to travel and disguise herself as a man. Quickly Clarice becomes “Clarence” and “he” sets off to have the adventure of his life. I do not usually like books where the female lead is disguised as a man, but for some reason this storyline worked for me. Clarice fit well into the role and she made it very believable for me. I enjoyed following her and I quickly found myself hoping that she did not get caught for fear of what would happen to her next. You could say that I easily bought into her story.

Clarice was not your average princess. I found that I loved that so much about her. She was not above going out into the world and finding her own way; she respected the fact that she had a loving, stable family but she never took advantage of it. This book is full of pirates, which I loved, and contains just enough romance to keep it interesting. Romance is not my favorite genre, but this book was the perfect recipe with just a dash here and there. I am excited to see where this series goes, as we all know I love books that follows sisters!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Tor Books in exchange for my honest review***

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