Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: Second Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Assassins, skyships, and royal intrigue...

With plans for a second skyship exposed, Third Daughter Aniri fears her sister, Seledri, will be caught in a war between the three Queendoms. Seledri is the Second Daughter of Dharia, which means she had no choice in her arranged marriage to the First Son of Samir—a country with whom they may soon be at war. As Aniri fights to free her sister from a husband and a country she does not love, she questions her own rushed betrothal to Prince Malik, the noble barbarian who controls the skyship—and whether a love pledged in the heat of adventure can survive the looming threat of war.

Second Daughter is the second book in The Dharian Affairs trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, assassins, royal romance and intrigue.
My Rating
My Review
Step 1: Purchase Second Daughter today.
Second Daughter is another great installment of The Dharian Affairs trilogy, and definitely had me falling in love with Susan Kaye Quinn's work all over again - even if the ending made me throw things and scream into pillows. The sequel is just as fast paced and exciting as the first novel and will have readers begging for more. (And, you know, throwing chairs or something.)
It isn't always easy to have a strong voice while writing in the third person, but Quinn manages to do that with this work. Even though Aniri is quite different from most of us - given that she's royalty and in an awesome steampunk universe - it's not hard to connect with her. Of course, there are points in which I want to slap some sense into her (because I share Janak's opinions when it comes to Devesh) but she has a good heart that's in the right place and it's very interesting to follow the internal debates and realizations that change throughout the novel. Not to mention, the relationship between her and Ash is probably one of my all-time favorites. As a reader, I can't help but want for them to be together - so badly that I'm practically feeling all the same emotions that they do. (So, fans of a good pairing, look no further). Plus, it doesn't hurt that Ash is an excellent character with excellent character (strong, noble, caring and dreamy?).

I also loved the continuation of the world-building that continues from the first book of the series. The excellent description allows for readers to clearly envision the natural beauty of Jungali, contrasting with the metalworking technology of Samir. The differences in the cultures between these countries, as well as Dharia, makes for a very intriguing back story and an overall dynamic setting. However the strong imagery does not end with the nations, it also works well with the airships and aetheroceivers, so the die-hard steampunk fans need not worry.

It's always refreshing to find good novels with diversity, and Second Daughter is one of them. As a reader, I definitely enjoy being immersed in other cultures - whether entirely real, entirely fantastical or something in between - and The Dharian Affairs allows for readers to do that. It also contains economical and social diversity. The leading characters are nobility and royalty, which follows a very different lifestyle than what most of us are use to, but also contrasts with characters like Priya or Karan, which only adds to the story.

Second Daughter is a wonderful read. It has plenty of turns in the plot that will keep readers hooked all the way until the ending (the ending!) which promises for an exciting conclusion to the series. I can't wait to continue.

To read my review of THIRD DAUGHTER, the first book in The Dharian Affairs trilogy, click here

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