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Fantasy Early Review: The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory (One Dozen Daughters #1)


Egalley thanks to Tor Books

Synopsis from Goodreads
Mercedes Lackey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Valdemar series and romantic fantasies like Beauty and the Werewolf and The Fairy Godmother. James Mallory and Lackey have collaborated on six novels. Now, these New York Times and USA Today bestselling collaborators bring romance to the fore with The House of Four Winds.

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 with 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.


Release date: August 5th 2014.
 
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US| The Book Depository | Fishpond

8/10

* * *
Alright, folks. Truth be told, this is my first Mercedes Lackey book, and while it was utterly charming it was too middle-grade for me.


Clarice is eighteen when she goes on a journey to the new world in order to make her name as a sword mistress. When the ship she chose sooo unfortunately rebels against its sadistic captain, she decides to join the rebels and ergo becomes one of the pirates.

And while being a passenger, could have exonerated her of the crime the rest of the crew committed, her own moral judgement and her budding love towards the ship's navigator prevents her from getting off at the first port and disappearing into the sunset.

The world-building is lush, exotic and minimal. We are told only what we need to know for matter-of-fact plot development, so do not expect any depth. There are also no ambiguous characters - they are all pretty much black or white. The doctor is a martyr and the witch is evil, and of course young love will prevail with unexpected help, and everyone will get a happy ending.

As I said, despite the age of the main heroine, the book has a feel of middle grade read which presents a white-washed, pre-approved version of the story that should have had a much darker, grittier feel. It was charming and lovely, and I enjoyed this light realistic fantasy, but ultimately it wasn't for me.

* * *
К сожалению, моё первое столкновение с Мерседес Лакей меня не впечатлило, так как от книги этой веяло очень незрелым чтивом в жанре миддл грэйд, чего я по возрасту главной героини совсем не ожидала.

Кларис - восемнадцатилетняя принцесса из очень бедного и очень маленького королевства отправляется в Новый Свет, чтобы нажить славу мастера фехтования и зарабатывать на жизнь, беря учеников. Амбициозный план, к которому она готовилась с 10 лет, так как её родители настояли, чтобы каждая из их дочерей выбрала себе ремесло, чтобы выжить, и план бы этот сработал, если бы Кларис заплатила за билет на нормальном корабле.

Однако принцесса решила сэкономить, и экипаж корабля, на котором она оказалась, на полпути взбунтовался против своего садистского капитана, и Кларис встала на сторону бунтовщиков. Более того, она могла бы сойти с корабля в первой попавшейся бухте, и избежать неприятностей, однако её чувство справедливости и  зарождающаяся любовь  к молодому навигатору корабля превратили нашу принцессу в пирата.

Милая вышла книжка, даже очаровательная и лёгкая, однако герои - чёрно-белые, и не ждите от них глубины. Построение мира хоть и яркое и экзотичное, однако минимальное. Нам скупо выдаются крохи, необходимые для развития событий, и больше ничего.

Несмотря на мрачноту сюжета, происходящее выбелено цензурой до тошноты, чтобы не шокировать "впечатлительных" юных читателей, добро побеждает и все получают заслуженный хэппи энд. Читать можно и очень даже легко, но вот не моё это было чтиво. А вот для детей в возрасте от 10 до лет так 14 это самое то.

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