Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn

Skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue... and, of course, kissing.

The Third Daughter of the Queen wants her birthday to arrive so she'll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince's proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince's proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.

Third Daughter is a steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance that takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world. It is the first book in the The Dharian Affairs Trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter).

From the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, The Dharian Affairs is a new series filled with equal doses of action-adventure and romance. Third Daughter has been nominated for the Illinois Librarian's "Soon to be Famous Author Project" wherein librarians hope to discover local authors whose "work will jump off the page for readers."
My Rating: 4
My Review:
It's hard not to instantly fall in love with Third Daughter. One of my favorite things about Steampunk is the incredible world-building involved with the genre. There's always adventure, and just about anything seems possible. Quinn did such an excellent job with the world of the novel that readers can easily become absorbed in the story. 
Third Daughter combines the delicious back story of royal houses and the kingdoms they run with the gear-spinning, metal-clunking adventure of Steampunk, all the while throwing in loss and betrayal and love. Really, readers get the entire package in this one.
I could not get enough of the plot of Third Daughter. It really kept me guessing, and I cannot recall a slow scene or chapter that I wasn't eager to read. Many parts were suspenseful, keeping me leaning forward and excited. There were some great reveals that really plowed the story forward to the satisfying end.
Plus, you know, I'm a sucker for Skyships.
I'm also a sucker for good characters, and Third Daughter doesn't disappoint. All in all, I enjoyed Aniri as a protagonist. Sometimes I wanted to slap some sense into her (in the most loving of ways) but she's strong, stubborn and capable of a lot more than she initially believes. I knew I loved Ash before I knew that was his actual name. If the ladies are looking for a great romantic interest, look no further. One of the real character gems for me, however, was Janak. Not only does the reader question him, but he has a wonderful back story reveal that really shows his true colors. And he can kick some ass. (Lastly, I'm a sucker for assassins. In fiction, mind you.)
The writing of Third Daughter is as engaging as it is beautiful, and all of these components - plus others I did not go into - really come together to craft a wonderful story. Whether you are a tinker-at-heart reading this through your goggles, or someone who still doesn't quite know what Steampunk is, Third Daughter is not one to miss.

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