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The House of the Four Winds (One Dozen Daughters #1)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,116 ratings  ·  258 reviews
The tiny nation of Swansgaard is a lovely place with abundant natural resources, including the royal family, which has been blessed with twelve daughters and a son. As this boisterous baker's dozen approaches adulthood, the king and queen lovingly tell their daughters, "You must make your own fortune, for we cannot enrich you without impoverishing our people or leaving our ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Tor Books (first published August 1st 2014)
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This looks like it's going to be a series of books, each based on one of the twelve princesses of Swansgaard. This is Clarice's story...
Like the blurb explains, the kingdom is tiny, and her parents can't afford to marry off all of their daughters (with a nice dowry). But because they have progressive/loving/supportive/cool parents, each of the princesses has been trained in the profession of their choice.
Clarice (the eldest daughter) chose to train with a sword.
On her eighteenth birthday, she t
Katie Montgomery
Things Katie enjoys in a novel, as correlated with Lackey et al's new novel The House of the Four Winds:

_X_ Period-appropriate prose

___ Talking cats

_X_ Strong, sassy heroines who have no trouble kicking it with the boys

_X_ Believable, likable characters

___ Pandas

_X_ Swashbuckling

___ Dragons

_X_ People wearing awesome hats

___ Perfectly executed genre mashups

_X_ Fairytale flavors that induce minimal eyerolling

___ Spaceships and/or lasers

_X_ Princes/princesses who have their shit together

_X_ Romance
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It’s been a while since I’ve read a satisfying maritime fantasy. “I wish you luck, love, and adventure,” says a character to the protagonist in the beginning of this novel, and incidentally that’s exactly what we get. Starring a princess masquerading as a young man, along with pirates, magic, a secret map and untold treasures, perhaps the “adventure” part is what we get the most of all in this story that takes place mostly
Olga Godim
I received this Kindle ARC through NetGalley.
This novel promised much more than it delivered. A girl masquerading as a boy, a princess playing a common swordsman, seafaring adventures and pirates, sorcery and deadly beasts, plus a dash of romance – it should’ve been a fascinating book. Sadly, it wasn’t.
Princess Clarice is the oldest daughter of the Duke of Swansgaard, a tiny idyllic principality somewhere in the mountains of an imaginary world. Clarice’s home isn’t even on most maps, and her f
Friends, if you were to ask me to name my top ten favorite authors, Mercedes Lackey is always going to make the list. As a tragic little awkward tween, her books were sometimes my only friends, and I ate slept and breathed Valdemar in a way that probably didn't help with the lack-of-real-friends issue.

And yet. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m no longer dependent on fictional characters to keep me from slumping into a bottomless angst-filled twelve-year-old-girl depression or what, but I have f
Review Posted from TenaciousReader:

The House of Four Winds has the air of a fairy tale. A fairy tale that features pirates, nonetheless. It’s an interesting setup; the royal family of a struggling land has a dozen daughters. They are each tasked with learning a trade seeing as how their family can’t support them all. The eldest daughter, Clarice, takes up the sword as her trade and on her eighteenth birthday sets out to gain experience, and more important
This is turning out to be the summer of pirates and girls disguised as boys for me, and The House of Four Winds has plenty of both! (Well, really only one girl.) I felt like this one finally combined all the elements of sea-faring adventure and disguise that I was hoping for in those other books. There’s an unspoiled princess who is not above taking care of herself, and knows how to fight and how to read situations. There are real pirates, mutinous crews, ghost ships and treasures, curses and ma ...more
The first time I had a look at the cover of Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory’s The House of the Four Winds, I thought it wasn’t my sort of book. I mean, I read seafaring and swashbuckling tales with relish in my younger years, but it’s not my usual cup of tea these days. Then the kind folks at Tor sent over a note about its release, and I always try to give my email an honest read before answering it, so I did more than skim the description. Lo and behold, this was a fantasy (I should have know ...more
Tabitha (Pabkins)
THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS is the kind of fantasy book you read if you want an adventure that is quick and fulfilling but not especially deep. The characters are very straight forward, and it’s obvious who the villains are as well as the direction the story will take but in a way that was part of its charm. It is exactly the kind of book I want to read in a day in between heavier books that demand more concentration. I loved that this one didn’t ask much from me and reminded me of the fun I had ...more
Althea Ann
Just recently, I was bemoaning the lack of good, fun pirate books. And then, entirely by coincidence, in one week I read two! (The other being Kage Baker's excellent 'Or Else My Lady Keeps the Key.')

This is a more YA-oriented adventure, but I found it to be rollicking good fun. Clarice is a princess of a small duchy. Her parents have recently produced a male heir, so they've encouraged their twelve daughters to go out and seek their fortunes. This book follows the eldest (I suspect more daughter
This review can also be found at my blog, There were books involved...


This book was fun. I'm a huge fan of nautical, pirate-y adventures, and in that aspect, The House of the Four Winds definitely delivers. It's fast-paced, and chocked full of everything a pirate adventure needs - storms, swordfights, sea monsters... If you're looking for a book with a seriously awesome "swashbuckling"/sailing-the-high-seas atmosphere, you can't go wrong with Four Winds .

☆αlly☆ (litєrαry єscαpist)
DNF @ 28%

Impoverished nation or not. If I was a Princess there is no way I'd willingly leave my castle.

There is so much about this story that I simply do not understand. Clarice turns 18 and her parents basically tell her that they have fulfilled their obligation to her. They had 13 kids (way to plan ahead), only one a son, he will carry out their reign and the girls are all shit out of luck. Go find your own fortune.

So Clarice becomes Clarence and travels on a ship to find her destiny. What par

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, side
28/9 - YAY!! I'm the first person I know to read this. That doesn't happen very often, usually I'm way behind the trend, reading the most popular book of the year five years after the fact. *Shrugs* There are a lot of books out there, sometimes it's hard to keep up with what's popular when it's popular.

Anyway, as I had no trusted friends' reviews I just had to go with the fact that I loved the cover and that the blurb reminded me of a favourite romance from the 90s - Seduced by Virginia Henley -
This review was originally posted on Avid Reviews:

Acclaimed fantasy writers Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory have joined together again to create the first novel in the new One Dozen Daughters series. Like much of their previous work, House of the Four Winds is an epic fantasy in its purest form. It has the tone of a fairytale, a protagonist who is a girl coming of age during a swashbuckling voyage, and a light-hearted plot filled with romance and magic. Tho
Oct 27, 2014 kari rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I don't know about this one. I've never read this author before and since she is popular and prolific, people must like her books, but I did find this one a bit "lackey." (Please pardon the pun.)
Since this is the first book of this author that I've read I don't know if this is representative of her work or not, but for me, it falls a bit flat.
And I had a big problem with the location. It starts out by saying their little principality is near Poland and then goes off into all these maybe imagina
The blurb and cover gave me high hopes but in the end I was really disappointed. This book just wasn't enough for me. Not exciting enough, not romantic enough, and not adventurous enough. I had to force myself to finish it and it never really improved. There were bits and pieces of interesting storyline like the secret pirate island but even that proved to be a bit dull. And it is well written I just didn't find the content very captivating.
First, even though the title is catchy, it only pertained to about 1/8 of the book. Second, this book was way too short. I wanted more on all fronts - more plot, more dialogue, more character building. I feel that I was just barely given a glimpse into Clarice's world. It was such a compelling world that I definitely wanted to spend more time there. I know that there will be sequels, but Clarice was such a great character that I feel we didn't get enough of her. Lackey is famous for her worlds, ...more
Lynn Williams
Strong 3.5
House of the Four Winds was a holiday read for me whilst I was recently away in Amsterdam and as such it worked well. A lighthearted nautical adventure with piracy, sea monsters and a pirate ship graveyard thrown in for good measure. I can't say this brings anything new to fantasy and I'm not going to go overboard looking at all the elements - for me, this was fun more than anything else and I think that's the way the book should be approached.

In "The House of the Four Winds", a sword and sorcery yarn set on the high seas, one small duchy decides that it will let its daughters make their own way. Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, who teamed up in the dynamite "The Obsidian Trilogy" have chosen a lighter tone in this navel fantasy, but it serves them well. More importantly, these two veteran authors know how to pen a believable female character and romance with snappy dialogue and smart character portrayals.

Princess Clarice, who has t
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I fell madly in love with the cover when I saw it and I knew that I had to try the book and discover the story as it was. And then a plot featuring pirates? Who would not be interested? Especially when the heroine in question is a girl disguising as a man to be able to live the adventures she wants.

Clarice is the eldest of twelve sisters and a brother, a princess who arrives at the age of 18. But the Duchy is very small, and the Clarice’s parents can not meet
I would like to thank NetGalley & Tor Books for granting me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review.

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/Clare
Jul 14, 2014 Brenda added it
Shelves: dnf, netgalley
I thought this one sounded like a fun read, but it just didn't do it for me at all. There is no way I was going to finish this before dying of boredom, so I gave up about halfway through.

I'm honestly a little tired of the whole girl dresses up as a boy thing and fools everyone because she binds her chest and talks in a lower voice. It's overdone, and is also rarely done well.

The writing style got on my nerves a bit too. Most noticeably was near the first when it said the main character asked so
2.5 stars

Arc provided by Mcmillan-Tor/Forge

I've just finished reading this story, and although it ended being better than what I expected, considering the first twenty percent of it _in which I seriously doubted I would be able to finish it _ this just had a lot of issues for me to give it a full three star rating.

In the end if you ask me, if I liked it... I'll have to respond with: "parts of it..."

Here's the thing _for me_ this story worth is in its plot, because character wise _especially if
This review originally appeared on my blog,


I was so excited to start THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS. THE FIRE ROSE by Mercedes Lackey is one of my “comfort books,” a book I can read over and over, one that I love. So I was hoping to find another favorite in THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS. Unfortunately, this book won’t be joining my favorites list.

The book got off to a rocky start. I was almost ready to put it down after the first couple of chapters because I got tired of trying to reme
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Thanks to Netgalley and Tor Books for giving me this book to review.

Clarise is the eldest of the duke and duchess of Swansgaarde’s thirteen children. With twelve daughter’s and one son, Dantan, they have realised that there will be no Duchy for Dantan, if his twelve older sisters receive a dowry. They have decided that when each of their daughters reaches their 18th birthday, they will go their own way to make their
(Full review here:

Aside from the major plot derailment at the end, the rest of the book was fine. Better than fine. It was a great fantasy adventure on the high seas, set in a world that’s based upon (or was simply just meant to be) an alternate Earth, with a good narrative, detailed descriptions, and characters that feel bright and shiny and new, even if a good number of them lack depth or development. It’s the kind of fantasy you read when you want you
Janet Martin
A princess in disguise, pirates, an evil sorceress, treasure, treachery and magic--a perfect fantasy! This first volume of a series about 12 princesses out to seek their fortunes is a charming adventure on the high seas. Clarice, the oldest sister, dresses as a man in order to gain enough experience to become a swordmaster, but she takes passage on a trading ship, things turn sour quickly There is plenty of action, terrific characters, a fast moving plot and just a little romance to make this a ...more
E. VanZwoll
Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory introduce us to a new universe and storyline, that of the "One Dozen Daughters" series. The rulers of tiny country of Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes, so it is decided that they will go out to make their own fortunes after their 18th Birthday. As each daughter has been encouraged to learn a trade growing up and also to be self-sufficient if needed, this is not as ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

While fun, THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS was an action packed smorgasbord of a novel, full of random plot arcs and frequently undeveloped characters. It was as if the authors didn’t know what they wanted to write – fantasy, romance, adventure – and tried to smash everything into one book. Though fast paced and never boring, THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS nevertheless suffered for it.

My biggest issue with THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS was that a lot of time wa
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how is this a sequel to Crown of Vengeance? 2 32 Feb 19, 2014 11:46AM  
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &a ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1) By the Sword (Valdemar: Kerowyn's Tale, #1) Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3) Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar, #3)

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“Well,” Clarice said, once the pirates were safely out of earshot. “Nobody shot us.” “Yet,” Dominick answered.” 0 likes
“It is only a fairy tale. They always end sadly.” 0 likes
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