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The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory Book Review

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Overview: The House of the Four Winds is one swashbuckling story. There's adventure, fighting, secret island, pirates and romance. Everything falls into a cliché in the opposite way. The girl kicks ass while the guy is steadfastly... innocent. The adventure was good, the romance better. One way or another, reading the book, what I find was me fantasizing on the handsome navigator Dominick Moryet.

Genre: Fantasy, Pirates
Authors: Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
Series: One Dozen Daughters #1
Date Published: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Tor books
Size: 231
Edition: ebook (ARC)
ISBN: 1466824204

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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 wth 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.


Review
The introduction was a bit striking. The Duke and the Duchess of Swansguaarde rule a small impoverished nation. They had 12 daughters before they could have finally sire an heir. With finally having a baby boy to rule Swansguaarde one day, it is high time that the daughters should make a living of their own. Besides, the dowry's too expensive shall all the daughters be married to other royal families.

Well, that sounds a bit off for a family. But setting aside issues of family planning, sexism and whatnot, the royal family of Swansguaarde is still one good family. Duke Rupert for one doesn't mind that his girls would want to learn to wield a sword and so they did. At least in the case of swordsmanship, it's clear there's no female discrimination.

At age 18, Princess Clarice is set out to seek her fortune. In the six months away from home, she had decided to play the role of a man as it's very easy to establish herself as a swordsman that way. To explore the world more, she boarded the ship, Asesino that will take her farther away into the New World. And that's where she met the navigator, Dominick Moryet.

And so begins the story.

Perhaps, it is because of reading The Riyria Revelations that I took a liking to sea-faring or pirate adventures that it wasn't hard for me getting into the spirit of this book for I'm already educated in how an old ship is run by her crew. So, was the adventure into the sea worth reading? DEFINITELY.

But the thing is, I just find myself looking forward for what's going to happen with the romance in the story instead of rooting for the adventure. The authors were successful at ingraining emotional connection to me with regards to Clarice's feelings for Dominick.

While there's emotional connection to the readers, the premise was just hard to believe. It's just so not possible for Princess Clarice to masquerade as Clarence Swann. If she's a beautiful lady, it's just hard to transform a lady-like face into a manly one without wearing fake mustache or beard or even cutting her hair. In this case, I say the story is like Disney.

Here is a binding only true love can break.

This is the first book of One Dozen Daughters. When romance is concerned, I like this book. As for adventure, not so much. Overall, I would want to follow this series whether there will be a dozen books or not.

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