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
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).
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