Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend! Mine included fantastic ribs, time with the kids, two busted computers, and few great reads. Today I want to share a YA steampunk/adventure/romance from Susan Kaye Quinn–my dear friend and writing buddy. I reviewed THIRD DAUGHTER a few months back, and I’m hooked on the series.
SECOND DAUGHTER is the second book in this series–it is advisable to read these books in order.
About the book:
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.
When last we saw Aniri, she was due to marry Ash, Prince of Jungali, in a week. Her mother and eldest sister have arrived in Bhatki, Jungali’s capital city, for the wedding and Aniri had iceberg feet. She’s barely 18, and unsure that she could make a good Queen–let alone a good wife. Plus, she fears that her affection for Ash was the product of their adventure together. She knows he’s a good man–Aniri feels a bit…unworthy.
Then, on the eve of their wedding, Aniri’s pregnant sister, Seledri survives an assassination attempt and Aniri takes Ash’s skyship to Samir (with Ash’s permission yet against his reservations) to “visit” Seledri; even Aniri’s maid Priya and her personal guard Janak know Aniri’s planning to remove Seledri. Why not? There are serious rumors that Samir is planning to invade Aniri’s homeland Dharia–which would put Seledri at greater risk.
Arriving in Samir, Aniri finds the situation more dire than she expected–her sister’s husband is in a battle for the throne with his younger brother and Seledri is a pawn in the struggle. Aniri gets unexpected help from her former “lover” Devesh and and a person she hasn’t seen in eight long years, both of whom have questionable loyalty.
Still, they are able to rescue Seledri–not without casualties–and the return to Jungali should be triumphant. It is not. Aniri made some key mistakes in the mission, and Ash is ready to send her back to Dharia unwed. Her intelligence gained–that Samir likely has an armada of skyships–hastens Ash’s defensive plans, and his efforts to get Aniri far from danger. And out of his country. Of course, Aniri’s fickle heart had finally decided that Ash was The One….had been ready to pledge herself wholeheartedly, until he didn’t want her.
But, the best things in life are worth fighting for, and Aniri’s a spirited girl. She makes amends the best she can, proclaiming Ash’s worth to his people and rousing the Jungalis for the looming battle. Will it be enough to win him back?
Maybe. I’ll tell you now, the book ends with a heavy cliffhanger, but not regarding Aniri and Ash–their feelings are made plain before the book ends. Unfortunately, their romance is still on hold as Bhakti faces the first wave of Samirian aggression and Aniri has an even bigger battle on her hands…
Oh! I just CANNOT wait for the conclusion of this series! The tension has been great. Aniri’s mix of undecidedness over marriage and resolution to save her loved ones is a great back-and-forth. She is young and headstrong and courageous and foolish. Her imperfections remind us of those parts we see in ourselves, undoubtedly. She has only known Ash two weeks–that’s kinda short for a commitment like marriage, and her natural reluctance is refreshing. She isn’t a gal prone to instalove, but wants a lasting connection to her partner. All respectable ideals.
And Ash is very compelling. Far more so than Devesh, though that guy has come out better in this tale than the first one. Either way, Aniri’s got a lot to do next book to reunite with her love, and save Dharia and Jungali from war.
About Susan Kaye Quinn:
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. It’s possible she’s easily distracted. She always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can find out what she’s up to by subscribing to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!).
She is also NOMINATED for the Illinois Librarian’s “Soon to be Famous Author Project” wherein librarians hope to discover local authors whose “work will jump off the page for readers.”
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!