Review: The House Of The Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey

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Publisher: Tor
Publishing Date: August 2014
ISBN: 9780765335654
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher Description: The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes. Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Review: Cover art is lame. Looks like the DVD cover of a bad porno…”Butt Pirates of Borneo” or “Shiver Me Timber”.

So “princess” Clarice (disguised as a man named Clarence) sets out to find her way in the world and make a living. What is weird to me, is that she cannot be a princess if she is the daughter of a Duke. She would be addressed as “Lady” were she single and then it resides in peerage depending on who she marries (Countess etc.). She eventually books passage on a suspect ship with evil officers, excepting a few. It is a short step to mutiny and the privateers life. Based on Clarice’s past, we can all assume that she is fairly pretty. It is stretching the imagination that a woman can dress up as a man, and be taken seriously as one without makeup. A corset and raspy voice would never fool anyone for long, especially in the absence of an adams apple and heavier brow. Never mind mastering a mans movements.

Princess hottie pants is eventually unmasked, and Sir Hotness Dominick loves her back, they trounce the evil witch and find treasure. The best part about this novel were the bit players and character actors in supportive roles. The main characters were kind of dull in a dimwitted way.

The mild/major detractions in this novel was the overuse of phrasing…yes phrasing where at the end of each sentence in a particular diatribe the author uses, for example, “said wryly/dryly” or “said moodily”, “said grimly”, “said mildly”, “thought waspishly”, “said quellingly” or “said repressively”. I am not even sure that ‘quellingly’ is a normative contraction of ‘quelling’.This conjunctive crap to expedite scenes can really wear on you if you let it. This author(s) must have trained at the Simon R. Green school of literature. It’s too bad really, as the novel lost a rating star because of it. There was a lot of word overuse as well. For instance murmured, growled and scowled, our old friends, were back in earnest. The author must be a star trek fan as Dr. Chapman considered changing his name to Leonard Deforrest, post mutiny, in order to hide from the law. There was also a ships mate named Geordie. Coincidence? I think not. Clarice at one point puts her hand on her saber, ready to fight. Only she uses a rapier. Sometimes it is the small details that make a difference.

Despite some writing fall downs, the plot was good and married well with the story line. The characters were interesting and the scene descriptions were vivid and well done. This was a light hearted read, not to be taken seriously. If that doesn’t bother you, you can have fun with this novel and get lost for awhile.

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One thought on “Review: The House Of The Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey

  1. Pingback: The House of the Four Winds: Shoddy plot and no romance | Fantasy Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews

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