The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey, James MallorySeries: One Dozen Daughters #1
eBook, English, 304 pages
Debut: August 5, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Read First: July 3-19, 2014 | Snuck from: Netgalley -- I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my 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.
Rogue Chronicles Entry No. 123
recommended by Kimberly @ Turning the Pages
I'm not so sure what I'm to do with this review. Yes, the story was adventurous and magical, but it wasn't at all what I'd expected to get, since it was neither all that piratey nor all that deep.
The world build started really slowly, but that was very good, since it is a really big, new world. However, once in the story full force, the heavily detailed descriptions don't get any shorter which hems the pace big time -- and an action movie in slow motion is just, nah! There are a lot of pages filled with trivial things that could've been well better used to go into more character depth.
There were a lot of characters, and most of them defined themselves by their actions/speeches. They showed, let's say, two layers. Then there was Clarice, protagonist and basically narrator of the story, who could tell us so much more about herself or the others by monologue, yet she only reveals one, maybe two more layers about herself, which could've easily been four. It's rather disappointing, because I really liked Clarice. She is kind-hearted, well-mannered, smart, and a good leader. I would've loved to get even more insight into her.
The same goes for Dominik, the male lead. Defined by his actions to be of a kind heart and fair, and by his story about his past to be prudent, but not a coward, he made a good match for the oldest princess. But we don't get to know him all that well beyond that, either. Not one tab into his head, despite the third person narrator.
The plot went through several stages, but the arc of suspense wasn't holding up. It was going up quite good, but then went into a slump of exploring things that lead to nothing exciting, before the next good part started to build, and then another slump at the end. It wasn't really captivating, and it really wasn't all that piratey. After the first part, I thought it would come to a great tale of pirates looking for adventure and for treasure, but since their quest was forced, it missed all the good thrill, and not even the treasure could make up for it. At least not in my eyes. So since the quest started off on the wrong foot, I just couldn't get into it, although the twist was basically interesting, and so I muddled my way through the whole second half without really caring how it ended.
So overall, there was a lot of talk that came to nothing, and plot as well as characters had so much potential which just wasn't explored to the fullest. At least the vocab and wit were something for the mind, if you are someone who likes to admire the handiwork of the word.
Area Scan: Idea: 4/5 -- Flow: 2.5/5 -- Vocab: 5/5 -- Plot: 3/5 -- Heroes: 3/5 -- Sidekicks: 3/5 -- Villains: 3/5 -- Romance: 2/5 -- Drama: 4/5 -- Action: 3/5 -- Suspense: 2/5
Discovered: Barely 3 Hoods
One Dozen Daughters:
#1 The House of the Four Winds -- #2 (tba)