Publisher: Tor Books
Source: From publisher for review
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.My thoughts:
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.
The book starts out where I think they all will, at Swansgaard. A king has too many daughters and not enough in the coffers for dowries. However, they are a progressive household and teach their daughters as if they were men. Knowledge in what they might need to rule one day and the ability to go into a chosen trade. This is the first story of the oldest who sets out to make her mark as a swordsmaster (or mistress) but needs adventure and worldly experience to make her true mark on the world.
I loved the way this started out. I enjoyed seeing women being able to be the equal of men and an ability to pursue it. Clarice isn't a fool either and I enjoyed seeing a woman able to take care of herself and not be cheated along the way. She did disguise herself as a man to gain passage and safety since even in this world men respected men more than women. There is magic for those that can afford spells and Clarice is apt at identifying spelled objects. This serves her well in the coming voyage.
My biggest complaints about the story is that the romance isn't fully fleshed out. In fact it happens rather quickly and as a side note. Granted you see Clarice fall in increments for Dominick, but for his part he falls for her as soon as he knows that she really isn't a Clarence. It just didn't feel romantic. I also feel that Clarice seemed to be a bit demoted in her abilities once her gender is revealed. I expected it from the crew, but she also seemed to personify someone a bit more meek in the end. It isn't obvious, so it may not bug others as it did me. Still, it really ended being a small niggle since it happened at the very end.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. While not without it's flaws I still had a fun time on the adventure with Clarice. I love the cover and I really want to read about all 12 daughters. I recommend this book to those that enjoy fantasy, swashbuckling with a bit of magic thrown in. :)
I'm also over at Melissa My World in Words and Pages for her blogoversary celebration. Check out my post HERE about some of my fave UF books I've read in the past year and also check out the various posts and prizes!
Ah it's true, you're right about the romance, I forgot to say that. But it was a nice story, I'm curious about the second.ReplyDelete
It wasn't really about the romance although it plays an important role in the last part of the book.Delete
Probably not for me. I am iffy on steampunkish stories so I would probably have a problem with the romance.ReplyDelete
I actually didn't see it as steampunk at all so I didn't label it as such. I was actually surprised when I heard it being labeled that way.Delete
It's a shame the romance wasn't fully developed but I've been on the lookout for a new steampunk novel and this seems to perfectly fit the bill. Thanks for into ducking this to me, Melissa--I'll have to add it to my TBR at once.ReplyDelete
You might think differently about the romance than I did.Delete
That's disappointing about the romance. I was really looking forward to reading this one, it really sounds excellent. I will probably still watch for a copy though cause otherwise it sounds pretty excellent.ReplyDelete
It doesn't play a huge role until the last part so it may not bug you at all.Delete
I love the premise - too bad it was fully realized.ReplyDelete
Karen @ For What It's Worth
It wasn't bad though. I'm curious to see where they take these stories from here.Delete
I really want to give this one a looksee. I love the set up for it and have really enjoyed the women hiding as men kind of deal. Knowing going in the romance is a bit weak will definitely help so thanks for the heads up.ReplyDelete
I love the sound of the daughters putting themselves on the same level as men! It's a shame the romance wasn't better fleshed out. I always have trouble with those guy is secretly a girl romances that just instantly happen once the reveal is done. It's a shame also that Clarice's gender reveal undid some of the work she'd done to equalize herself on the ship. Still this sounds too interesting to pass up! Lovely review :-)ReplyDelete
I have seen this one around and it is getting rather mixed reviews, so I likely will skip it,ReplyDelete
Running over to check your post now!ReplyDelete
And totes wanna read this one
I have this one and look forward to reading it, too bad about the romance.ReplyDelete
You know, if you've got 12 daughters and a kingdom, you'd better just suck it up and train those gals up right. I would definitely like more romance, though!ReplyDelete
Loving the look (what a great cover) and sound of this one, I'm not even put off by the fact the romance isn't fully fleshed out.ReplyDelete
Sounds like it could have been amazing if they'd just worked more on the romanceReplyDelete
I have this one and want to read it soon. People seem to be mixed on it. The romance aspect does sound a bit ... odd though.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I read some of the Mercedes ya stuff. Will have to check it out.ReplyDelete