I don't normally review three books in a series all at once. That is because I usually take quite a bit of time to read and review them. However, I am participating in a reading challenge I created for my students while they are out of school for winter break. I let them set the minimum number of books I should read. They chose 20 based on my reading ability and the average number of books most of them chose. So with plenty of reading time due to the fact I told my family I was participating in a reading challenge so they would leave me alone, I've had plenty of time to read multiple books each day. These were read Friday the 26th.
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Adult, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Source: I received copies to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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.
The author has done an excellent job of fleshing out her characters and creating a world that is both detailed and intriguing. I have to say that I’ve not been a big fan of steampunk in the past. Why did I try this knowing it was a steampunk novel? I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the other books by this author. This steampunk was different in that we have Indian characters. The third daughter is Aniri, who is unlike her other sisters. Nahali, the first sister, is expected to be queen one day. The second daughter Seledri married a Samirian to form an alliance. Aniri has few responsibilities or expectations as the third daughter. She has plans to marry Devesh a fencing instructor, who is also of Samirian birth. Things don’t always go as planned. Prince Malik, called “Ash” of Jungali has trouble in his country. He needs to form an alliance with Dharia. There is only one way to do that, marry Aniri. Her mother approves of this with the understanding that it is a marriage for the sake of alliance and she is to spy for their country. No one planned on Aniri falling in love with Ash.
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.
This book begins where the last one ended. In this second book, the eveing before Aniri’s wedding to Ash she learns her sister Seledri is in trouble. Someone has made an assassination attempt. Aniri leaves to “rescue” her sister because there are rumors that her sister’s new country is planning war against Dharia.
With the war begun, Aniri, Third Daughter of the Queen, has to battle not only a prince with a deadly skyship, but her own sister, the First Daughter, who finally sees her chance to become Queen. With their mother gravely ill and the Second Daughter kidnapped along with Aniri's husband-to-be, Aniri embarks on a desperate mission to save the people she loves from a war that will tear all three countries apart.
We have a great conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. Aniri’s mother is injured so her sister Nahali must take the reigns of the country until her mother has healed. This is a complication. She has always been jealouse of Aniri and therefore sees no reason to rush to rescue Aniri’s love. Ash, Selendri, and her husband Pavan have been kidnapped by none other than Pavan’s brother Nathesh. Aniri’s sister Nahali readies her country for battle while Aniri takes a more direct approach. First she must sneak into Samir and try to start a rebellion against Natesh. She gets help from her former lover Davesh who is a Samirian, as well as others we are introduced to. The author has thrown some unexpected and unforeseen twists and turns into this third novel. Throughout the entire novel a them of love of country and family was woven. She has created strong women who do not fit the stereotypical damsels in distress. This definitely has the ability to change my mind on steampunk.