Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

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


At the age of eight I received as a gift a little book with Indian folk tales: The Story of Prince Sobur. At that time I fell in love with Indian stories and with the drawings that accompanied them and conveyed the splendor of the Indian world. Later, as any young person- I think - I went through the stage of Eastern spirituality. Years passed by, and unfortunately this fascinating world of contrasts and extremes began to be presented in bad taste. All the sensitivity, sense, and all the beauty seemed to be pushed aside, making room for the shrill and the vulgar. So, for me, The Third Daughter had to face the challenge of Bollywood (the name itself sounds so awkward). Fortunately, The Third Daughter has nothing to do with the bad taste.

Although the author’s major focus was on the details of the characters' attire, she was able to shape a fairy image of the Indian world and to create the necessary atmosphere for the story. But what clothes!! It was so easy to imagine them ... and to crave for them ... or for the jewelry ... Now do not think that there are no other details or that we will read a brief overview of the events. Everything is described in such a way, that you can see the story unfold before your eyes. A love story and not just that. A story in which are harmoniously entwined: the self-discovery and the true love, the coup d’Etat or sabre thrusts, the fantastic and the real, the things you can control and the ones that are controlling you, offered or desired kisses, the despair and broken hearts and hope. The pace is sustained: something is always happening, always a “special” line is served, something is always prepared to happen and you won’t feel how the focus will switch between the romantic and the adventurous side of the story. I think that the steampunk hardcore fans, especially those who are looking for the special contrivances and devices, will be satisfied, albeit the author does not go into too much technical detail. The steampunk elements are the heart of the story, but not the soul.

Regarding the characters, they are well built. I could put myself into Aniri’s place, I understood her fears and desires, I felt her pain. Even the slightly naivety that evanescence over time, never disappearing completely, is credible but not annoying, and gives flavor to the tale. The other characters are not neglected even if Aniri is the main character. Each has something to offer or to hide. As always, I chose from the beginning my "favorites" and I must admit that sometimes the author gave me “emotions”; she managed to creep doubts and to leave open annoying little doors for various possible scenarios.

In the end I can say that The Third Daughter gave me a state of wellness, made me fondly remember about the childhood tales and I think that many of you will like the story too.

PS: While preparing this post, I saw the subject of the following two volumes of the trilogy. I can only say that I wish that the author would turn it into a tetralogy so that there could be a book for Janak and Q. Read the book and see why!
Book Description and Excerpt


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. 


“I love you, Aniri,” Devesh whispered.

When he pulled back, she smiled. “I hate to tell you this, Dev, but I already knew that.”

“If you go off with this Prince Malik, and anything happens to you, the Queen may dispense an army to come after you, but I will beat them there.”

Aniri drew in a shaky breath. Prince Malik said he would allow her a lover, even though arranged marriages were expected to be true marriages, especially among royalty. But could she live that kind of life? A secret love on the side while performing the duties of Queen in a foreign land? The idea made her shudder. It pained her every day her love for Devesh was kept hidden. She couldn’t imagine a lifetime of it. Nor could she picture Devesh, with his love of the court and all things political, banished to the frozen wastelands of the north simply to be her consort.

He must have seen the emotions warring across her face. “Tell him no, Aniri. Refuse him and come away with me. We could leave today.”


He cut her off with a kiss. “We could return to Samir,” he whispered against her lips. “We won’t be rich, but we could travel anywhere you wished, all the places your father would have taken you. We would have all the time in the world. To be together. To learn the truth about your father’s killers. To make a family of our own.”

It was precisely what they had planned. Now it all seemed like a hopeless fantasy. “Dev, I can’t simply abandon my country. If I refuse Malik, and there is war to pay, I cannot just run away… Is this the confidence you wanted to tell me?”

Devesh looked torn, like there was something more he wanted to say but was holding it back. “I cannot offer you a Queendom, Aniri. My love is all I can promise. I hope it is enough to convince you to refuse Prince Malik’s offer.”

He stepped back, and with clasped hands and a short bow, he turned and strode away. Her heart tried to beat its way out of her chest to follow him. If she accepted Prince Malik’s offer, she would lose the man she loved.

Unlike the Jungali prince, she wasn’t sure that was a price she was willing to pay.

About the author:
Author 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!) or by stopping by her blog (www.susankayequinn.com).

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/24/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

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