The House of Four Winds, by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Fantasy. Hardback, 300 pages. First in the One Dozen Daughters series. Giveawaybox.
Clarise, eldest princess of Swansgaard, decides to go adventuring to discover her fortune. She disguises herself as a gentleman of fortune and ends up on the Asesino. This ship of dubious captaincy - but with a stellar and naive young navigator - is headed for the new world, supposedly. But the slovenly captain and his heavy-fisted first mate drive the crew to mutiny, ending up with the young navigator voted in as pirate captain. Then they discover that the ship was never meant to make land in the new world.
This is a Lackey book built from the lighthearted side of her craft.Though, with that description, I have to be willing to accept about one hundred nameless deaths and about a dozen named ones. I regretted the killing off of a few of the characters, but thankfully Lackey didn't dwell on their deaths or their loss to the rest of the crew.
This book has a typical Lackey smattering of good banter, fast fighting, quick and entertaining characterizations. It is a story that hangs as much on the characters as on any plot-craft. There was one plot twist at the end that I really didn't see coming until two pages before, which was fun in a book that almost rode on rails.
I picked up this book for airplane reading. I recommend it to someone looking for beach-bag books if your taste runs to swashbuckling fantasy of predictable lines. It was cute, fast, and obvious.
Note that, while it is labeled for the giveawaybox, I may very well pick up the next one. I like candy too.Books for 2014