Series: One Dozen Daughters #1
Published by Tor Books on August 5, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy, Romance
Source: Library or Borrowed
Buy on Amazon
My Reviews in this series: House of the Four Winds
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.
THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS is the kind of fantasy book you read if you want an adventure that is quick and fulfilling but not especially deep. The characters are very straight forward, and it’s obvious who the villains are as well as the direction the story will take but in a way that was part of its charm. It is exactly the kind of book I want to read in a day in between heavier books that demand more concentration. I loved that this one didn’t ask much from me and reminded me of the fun I had the first time I watched Pirates of the Caribbean.
When Clarice turns 18 she must leave her life as the eldest princess of Swansgarde and go out into the wider world to seek her fortune. This is because she has 11 sisters and when their youngest sibling was born a boy the line of succession was set on him. As her kingdom is so small they can not afford to supply dowries for any of the girls. This is an excellent way to set up a fun adventuring series starring each of the princesses of Swansgarde. I’m already excited for the second book to release featuring the next sister.
There do be something crooked afoot
Clarice wants to make a name for herself in swordsmanship so she books passage to the new world of New Hesperia in hopes of gaining practical experience. But the ship she travels on, the Aesisino, is in for trouble with a tyrant captain, lis of flogging and starvation rations. I loved the details that were included of how the ships crew function. There do be pirates of course, yarrr, and we get them in more ways then one. We also get a handsome young ships officer Dominick, and the girl in disguise trope, which I personally always enjoy. There is magic, mystery, mutiny and light romance. And let me not forget sea serpents! What is adventure in the high seas without a sea serpent. Recommended for readers that enjoy maritime fantasy.