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Steampunk YA Review: Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn

Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn (The Dharian Affairs Trilogy #1)


Ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

From the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, The Dharian Affairs is a new series filled with equal doses of action-adventure and romance, meant to appeal to fans of Mindjack.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *
What a beautiful book, folks! Vivid, lush and boisterous. I would recommend it to any fan of YA fantasy with strong female leads.


Aniri is just 2 weeks short of her 18th birthday when she will reach her majority and as a third daughter of the Queen of Dharia will be able to marry who she chooses. She is in love with a courtesan and a diplomat who promises to take her to his country where they will search for her father's killers.

However her mother asks her to consider an engagement and a possible marriage to a barbarian prince from neighbouring lands Jungali to provide peace and ensure that his land is not building a possible flying war machine. She is actually outright asking Aniri to spy.

Aniri is heartbroken that she won't be marrying her beloved but she agrees to help her country and her mother out of sense of duty, and let's be honest, - she craves an adventure, and this is it - a grand adventure of a lifetime. Our gal is a talented fencer, climbs like a monkey and too brave for her own good. So, armed with her arsenal of cold weapons, a favourite maid and a grumpy bodyguard, she joins the prince on the ride to Jungali.

Prince Malik was a surprise and a sheer pleasure to read about. I think we had here a definite gender stereotypes swap. He was a poet and a scholar, much more humble, honest and willing to play second to Aniri than I was expecting. Aniri on the other hand was pragmatic and very sangfroid in her approach to the problems the couple faced together, and I absolutely loved it!

Overall, this book was a fantastic addition to the steampunk genre with its own East Indian colourful flavor. Very much recommended! A lovely adventure.

* * *
С огромным удовольствием читала Третью Дочь, дамы и господа! Мало того, что эта книга придётся по вкусу всем любителям подросткового фэнтэзи с сильными героинями, автор привнесла в этот жанр оттенки стимпанка в красочной атмосфере сродни Восточной Индии, что сделало эту книгу яркой и запоминающейся.

Анири ждёт не дождётся когда ей исполнится 18 через пару недель, и как третья дочь королевы Дарии она сможет выйти замуж по любви за своего кавалера, дипломата и куртизана из соседнего королевства, который пообещал ей помочь найти убийц её отца.

Однако мама призывает её к себе и просит рассмотреть предложение руки от принца Малика из варварского королевства Джунгали, на границе с которым у Дарии происходят постоянные столкновения. Королева беспокоится о возможной войне между странами, так как до неё дошли слухи, что Джунгали разрабатывает военную летающую машину, и она прямиком просит у дочки пошпионить на благо государства.

Анири чувствует себя несчастной из-за того, что ей придётся расстаться со своим любимым, но в то же время отказать матери она не может. С одной стороны её чувство долга и гордость от того, что мать впервые попросила её сделать что-то на благо королевства не позволяет ей сказать "нет". С другой стороны, всё это для бунтарки Анири, которая превосходно фехтует, постоянно попадает в неприятности и занимается скалолазанием кажется превосходным приключением. Так что, она принимает предложение Малика и вместе с верной служанкой и ворчливым телохранителем отправляется в Джунгали.

Принц Малик оказался для меня приятным сюрпризом. Клянусь, герой и героиня поменялись местами в половых стереотипах. Малик - поэт и школяр, без возражений позволил Анири занять ведущую роль в их приключениях. А сама Анири оказалась прагматичной и смекалистой героиней, и читать об этой паре для меня было одним удовольствием.

Очень советую, прекрасное дополнение к жанрам стимпанка и подросткового фэнтэзи!

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