Series: One Dozen Daughters #1
Published by Tor Books on August 5, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy, Romance
My Reviews in this series: The House of the Four Winds
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
The tiny nation of Swansgaard is a lovely place with abundant natural resources, including the royal family, which has been blessed with twelve daughters and a son. As this boisterous baker's dozen approaches adulthood, the king and queen lovingly tell their daughters, "You must make your own fortune, for we cannot enrich you without impoverishing our people or leaving our lands defenceless, and that we will not do."
Happily, the princesses of Swansgaard are eager to meet this challenge, for they yearn for adventures both near and far from home.
Clarice, an expert swordswoman, is the first to depart. Disguising herself as Clarence, she signs on for a voyage to the New World. The captain is vile and blackhearted, and the crew soon mutinies. Clarice becomes first mate - and finds her heart captured by the new captain, Dominick, who is, to his own surprise, increasingly attracted to Clarence.
Now outlaws, Dominick and his crew turn to piracy - though their hearts are not entirely in it. They soon run afoul of the Pirate Council, who orders them to retrieve the Heart of Light. All who have searched for this great treasure have vanished, with neither ships nor crews ever seen again and no sign of their fates ever discovered.
But none before have carried with them the sorceress Shamal, who stakes a claim of her own on Dominick's heart.
I am a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey’s style of writing. Non-pretentious, generally happy with well thought out plot lines fantasy. House of the Four Winds delivers on every mark!
House of the Four Winds is a new series, set in an alternate earth where magic (called Thurmautagy) exists. Our heroine is one of 12 princesses from a small royal duchy called Swansgaarde. Her name is Clarice. With the birth of an prince and heir, Clarice and her sisters must find a way to make it themselves in the world to avoid beggaring their Duchy with the cost of 12 dowries. As each girl comes of age, she will set off on her own to follow her dreams.
BEWARE POSSIBLE SPOILERS beyond this point as I’m summing things up! – So if you want to read the summary go ahead but be warned – Yarrrr
View Spoiler »As the eldest princess, Clarice is planning on becoming a fencing mistress after she gains experience and renown as a traveling adventurer. Her family sets her off with enough funds to live on for a year, garments to hide her gender and the pseudonym Clarence.
Clarice decides after traveling for awhile that her fortune and reputation will be made in the New World, and she promptly finds a ship to book passage. She is leery of Captain Samuel Sprunt and his slovenly manner, but the clean and handsome Dominick (an officer aboard the Asesino) reassures her and she pays for her passage to New Hesperia.
On board the Asesino, Clarice is introduced to the crew and makes fast friends with Doctor Chapmen, ships cook Mr Emerson, Mr. Greenwell and most of all, Ships Navigator Dominick. Tensions rise as the captain and the first mate drive the ship to the point of mutiny while they are under sail to the New World. Clarice has to make many decisions and she fights against her growing anger at the injustices she is seeing right in front of her. When the ship mutinies over the death of an innocent, Clarice joins to save the lives of those she has grown to care about, and becomes a pirate with them. A danger comes upon the crew that is left and they have to sail for secret coordinates that the vile Captain Sprunt was heading for without the crews knowledge.
At the coordinates, they find a pirates cove like something out of a movies! The name of the town is Dorado, and the general area is called House of the Four Winds. The descriptions are vivid and enticing! I love a good pirate story, and with the little bit of magic added… this novel delivers in spades. After they arrive at Dorado, the hopeful respite from their troubles, the crew is again beset by an evil sorceress and only through their cunning and wits can they hope to survive. Let me say this one more time to show my excitement: PIRATES! PIRATE COVE! « Hide Spoiler
Overall, this book was wonderful! I love a novel that has enough story and interest to keep me occupied without going into exhaustive detail. A map would have been nice, but I think it is set on Earth with everything having similar sounding names. The promise of 11 (possibly 12) more books makes me light headed with joy! House of the Four Winds reads like a YA Romance to me, as there is no hanky panky and the plot is solid and well explained. If each princess and the prince gets a novel with cameos from characters in previous novels gushing about how wonderfully happy they are… there you go. Romance series. I would recommend this to all female friends, family members and teenage girls who are looking for a little adventure, a little fantasy and a little love. A winning combo to me, and I am looking forward to more!