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sarahf1984

Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

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

The House of the Four Winds - Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory

28/9 - YAY!! I'm the first person I know to read this. That doesn't happen very often, usually I'm way behind the trend, reading the most popular book of the year five years after the fact. *Shrugs* There are a lot of books out there, sometimes it's hard to keep up with what's popular when it's popular.

Anyway, as I had no trusted friends' reviews I just had to go with the fact that I loved the cover and that the blurb reminded me of a favourite romance from the 90s - Seduced by Virginia Henley - which was loosely inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (separated twins and the girl pretends to be the boy leading to a case of mistaken identity for an unwary man). There are no twins in The House of the Four Winds (although you might imagine the mother of those one dozen daughters and one boy would wish there had been), but there is a case of mistaken identity due to Clarice (main character and oldest of the 'one dozen daughters') deciding that the best way to achieve her dreams of adventure is to dress as a man. So far I'm really enjoying this, it might not be high literature but at least it's lots of fun, which is more than I can say for the last few books I've read. I can't wait to keep reading. To be continued...

 

Later - This is an interesting combination of 1800s-ish rules, laws, manners, propriety, fashion, and technology mixed with magic that is commonplace, if not expensive, all set on what appears to be an alternate Earth. Swansgaard is a tiny nation located somewhere between Poland and Turkey in the continent of Eurus. So we have some of what is familiar to us mixed in with the alternativeness that makes up this different reality the book is set in. To be continued...

 

Later - The blurb on the inside flap says that after the crew mutinies and resorts to piracy Clarice becomes Dominick's first mate. This is completely untrue, and illogical, Kayin is made first mate after Dominick is elected captain by the crew. The likelihood of Clarice/Clarence, a landlubber who had never even seen the sea before signing on as a passenger, being made first mate is laughable and the story would have become laughable if that was what had happened. With a complete novice as first mate it would be likely that in the event of any kind of sea-going disaster the ship would capsize or descend into another mutiny, with even more severe results than the first one. Whoever wrote that blurb needs to familiarise themselves with the story a bit more, the wrongness of that statement is embarrassing. To be continued...

 

Later - Okay, so now she's been made first mate and the fact that she knows nothing about ships or sailing has been discussed and dismissed as not important. She will just have to pretend to be an experienced first mate because she carries the talisman/medallion/map thingy (not sure why Dominick can't carry it and Kayin can't carry on being a perfectly good first mate, but anyway) and therefore must have an important enough position on board the ship to make her ownership of the medallion plausible. She talks a good game, but I hope she's a fast learner as she won't be able to talk herself out of every situation she comes across that requires the knowledge of a first mate. To be continued...

 

30/9 - I really enjoyed this!! A rip-roaring adventure, with a couple of annoying (but not fatal) holes. Shamal tells Clarice and Dominick that she needs someone of royal blood, a virgin, and someone who can sail the ship in order to get to The Heart of Light. Once this is out in the open, and Dominick and Clarice have admitted their feelings to each other I don't understand why they don't do the most obvious thing and foil Shamal's plan by having sex. No more virgin, no more need for the ship, and since Dominick would no longer be under Shamal's spell (broken by true love) he and the rest of the crew would be able to fight back. There's no reason to think Gregare wouldn't have done whatever it was that he did (the reason for his whole transformation thing wasn't clear to me) in my proposed situation, just as he did in the book. I definitely wouldn't call this a romance (and I'm surprised it's the second most popular shelf), while Clarence and Dominick become very good friends and Dominick comes to rely on Clarence, there is no evidence of any deeper feelings on either part until very near the end, and even then one kiss a romance does not make. I do wish it had been a bit longer. Three quarters of the book was the lead up to the big finale, but the big finale could have been much bigger and more exciting if a few more pages had been devoted to it. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, and at this early stage I'm excited at the thought that there will be 12 more books in the series.