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Steampunk YA Fantasy Review: Second Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn

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


Ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

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

 7/10

* * *
I don't know what went wrong with me here, ladies and gents, but I could not get into this book until the last third of the novel. I was a bit taken aback considering how much I enjoyed Third Daughter, the first book in this series. Oh well, as the say: "sh*t happens".


First of all, Aniri coming to Samir and playing hide and seek with all her entourage against the royal guards felt a bit silly. I understood her desire to save her sister, but she went about it in a very half-arsed way, and that's from a girl who was so delightfully sharp in the first book! It also took a very long time, so I was relieved when she returned to Jungali.

Aniri's lack of concern about her dear old dad whom she wanted to find or find out what happened to him in order to avenge his death for so many years turned out to be another anticlimactic moment in this book. What could have been a pretty dramatic twist deserved no more than a shrug and was treated in a way that made me feel like a lot of plot potential got wasted.

However, don't despair or give up on this novel yet. After Aniri arrives back to Jungali, things get more interesting and the novel ends with a shocking bang which makes the reader stomp their feet in frustration because they want to know what would happen right NOW!

Overall, it's a steady second instalment in the series with a lush, wonderful world-building even if I haven't enjoyed Second Daughter as much as I thought I would. Recommended.

* * *
Я оказалась по большей части разочарована во второй книге серии о дхариийской принцессе Анири, и меня это очень удивило, так как первую книгу - Третья Дочь, я просто проглотила на лету.

Вторая Дочь страдает от типичного синдрома второй книги серии, которая обычно становится перекусом между важными событиями в книге первой и третьей. Первые две трети романа я читала очень медленно и постоянно отвлекалась, так как они описывали неудачные попытки Анири спасти свою сестру и увезти её из Самира.

Мало того, что я эту игру в кошки-мышки с королевскими гвардейцами не могла понять (зачем, например таскать всю толпу из пункта А в пункт Б и В, когда можно всем разделиться на пары и улизнуть втихомолку?), я также оказалась глубоко разочарована отсутствием какого-то эмоционального влияния на Анири встречи с ей отцом, которого она мечтала найти много лет ещё будучи в Дхарии.  

Я не могла отмахнуться от мысли, что автор потяряла огромный потенциал для сюжета, ограничив их взаимодействие короткой встречей в 15 минут и мимолётными мыслями об этой встрече самой Анири.

Единственное, что читалось быстро - это последняя треть книги, которая началась возвратом Анири в Джунгали.  Концовка оказалась вообще характерным для автора драматическим взрывом событий и оставила нас, читателей, в состоянии полной неудовлетворённости ибо хочется сразу же хватать книгу третью и читать. Как же, ведь Вторая Дочь остановилась на самом интересном месте! В общем, читайте на свой страх и риск.

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