I wasn’t quite ready to give up India just yet after the Wrath & the Dawn, so I went head first into another book of a similar setting. Except what I didn’t realize is it was anything but.
Third Daughter has all the elements of a traditional arranged marriage romance. A faraway prince. A lover at home. Who will she choose? And honestly, even if it was just that I would have still very much enjoyed the book.
It was written well, the scenery just beautiful. Once again, we have the cookie-cutter characters: the fearless girl. The tortured boy who feels responsible for everything. The spunky maid. The overprotective guard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s a good reason we like reading about these types of characters – they feel real. And they’re fun. Instead of feeling ‘cheated’ I feel like I’m given more. Others might disagree, but I really don’t care.
On to the twist I didn’t see coming: it’s a steampunk crossover. If I was reading this review, I would be cringing right now. The steampunk ‘genre’ is very strange to me. It’s one thing to create a futuristic story and have it be steampunk. It’s another to insert steampunk into a seemingly normal story, like so many authors do. It takes me out of the fantasy. It’s one thing to do that with magic – it’s another to live in an old farming village and have a sentient robot maid. Just sayin’.
Aaaaaanyway, what’s cool about this book is that I didn’t realize it was steampunk until way past the halfway point. Not because it wasn’t there, but because it was so artfully done that I truly believed it part of the world. Once the tinkering began it became very apparent and I had that ‘no way!’ epiphany. There were some things that felt a bit forced, but mostly it was pretty seamless.
Overall, this book gave me both the story I was looking for, and some surprising elements I wasn’t but enjoyed. I would definitely recommend it if you’re into arranged marriage romances with a twist.