Release Date: December 13, 2013
Recommended By: Kara of Nocturnal Book Reviews
Genre: YA Steampunk
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 the first book in the The Dharian Affairs Trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance that takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue. And, of course, kissing.
Before I proceed, know that THIRD DAUGHTER is currently FREE at Amazon so be sure to grab a copy before the sale ends!
That said, I'd like to formally thank Kara over at Nocturnal Book Reviews for reviewing this a while back. I saw the ARC at NetGalley but ignored it because the cover art did not appeal to me. Oh well, another lesson on not judging a book by its cover literally because THIRD DAUGHTER was a unique and amazing read! The blurb is spot-on in summing up this novel and for the purpose of comparisons (to convince you to read this) the world is as rich as Meljean Brook's Iron Seas although on a micro level. The story is concentrated on Dharia, the Steampunk version of India, and its relationship with the neighboring states/regions. The plot is politically driven with a side of romance, lots of intrigue, treason, and double-crossing.
5 Reasons why you should read THIRD DAUGHTER
- It's Bollypunk y'all! Like Bollywood minus the song and dance numbers and definitely badass. The world-building is simply amazing! Susan Kaye Quinn maintained the exotic and traditional feel of India and mixed it with Steampunk elements.
- She kept the sci-fi simple but plausible and the Steampunk elements wondrous. My favorite is the clockwork pen and her aethroceiver which acts like Morse code device.
- I love the politics and how it drove the novel and the series as a whole. Arranged marriages for the sake of alliances and peace, each region having an ace up their sleeve maintaining the balance in the region whilst making peace very precarious.
- The spy games enhanced the mystery and suspense of the conflict. Is Prince Ash of Jungali sincere or not? Is he trying to double cross Aniri and the Dharians or is he trustworthy? Who is the real villain here? You'll have your suspicions but you won't confirm it til the end.
- I'll expound more on the romance because though it's not a plot driver, it had lots to do with Aniri's character development and her relationship with Ash. There's a love triangle but it's not a deterrent, as Ash and Anari's are a political match I think it's not unnatural that one of them, in this case, Anari, is in a relationship. There's some mild tension and it was eventually resolved but as THIRD DAUGHTER isn't a romantically driven novel, the love triangle wasn't all that important nor did it have a bearing on the novel as a whole.
Look out for...
- The slow burning romance. This personally didn't bother me but as a lot of you love romance in your books, there's not much of that going on here.
- Prince Ash is dreamy!
- Anari's relationship with her boyfriend wasn't resolved and this is important as said boyfriend did something bad to Anari.
Okay the last two items aren't really deterrents so take it however you like it... THIRD DAUGHTER was such a pleasant surprise and truly unique. SKQuinn has carved a niche for herself in the Steampunk genre with this series and if you love fantasy and Steampunk then you must read this.