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The House of the Four Winds

(One Dozen Daughters #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  2,685 ratings  ·  443 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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Julie I did not interpret it as "attraction", nor did the author dwell on any kind of struggle to that affect. The story is not about that. There are differ…moreI did not interpret it as "attraction", nor did the author dwell on any kind of struggle to that affect. The story is not about that. There are different kinds of love; I would say he loved her before, but fell in love with her after.(less)

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 ·  2,685 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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Katie Montgomery
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
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
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
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 .

Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it

Sooo, this book was good in the beginning, like, I had hopes for it. Later on, I realized that this book was kind of *beepy*. (view spoiler)
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

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
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Sarah (needs a break from reviewing)
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 -
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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
Deborah Ideiosepius
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am trying to find the words for the depth of my disappointment and disdain for this book:

The House of Four Winds is book one of 'One dozen daughters' a series that is likely to follow the fortunes of all twelve of the daughters of Swansgard as they go to seek their fortunes, I hope I can be strong and avoid the next eleven.

World-building: Inadequate. Seems to be a kind of mish-mash of historical/fantasy. Swansgard and its surrounding neigbours are obviously loosely based on Europe, though ever
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-owned-read
This book could have conceivably been a series of short stories tied together by the fact they're stories of Clarice. There's several different "arcs" throughout the book that have a beginning, middle and end making this feel more serialized at times in fact. There's Clarice's decision to leave home and seek adventure as far she could travel (culminating with her finding passage on the Asesino), the precursor to the mutiny, after the mutiny and lastly outwitting a demon spawn witch.

In all fairne
Kathy Davie
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
First in the One Dozen Daughters fantasy series and revolving around Clarice/Clarence Swann. The couple focus in House of the Four Winds is on Clarice and Dominick.

My Take
It's a rollicking fantasy of fun — think expanded fairy tale — with Clarice both excited and a teeny bit sad about leaving. I do think her parents have done really well in ensuring their children will survive whatever may happen. Too bad more parents don't do as well. Especially with that sense of humor they have, lol.

Lackey sl
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/Clarence,
Booker Hookers
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Three Cutesy Booker Hooker Stars :)
What we loved: This was an entertaining little swashbuckler of a tale that delivered on exactly what was promised in the blurb. It has a good story line that kept us engaged, a likable hero, and a feisty heroine. She turned out to be our favorite part of the story...she's strong and a bit of a badass without being cocky, she's smart, and she goes against the grain in the best possible way.

What we didn't love so much: The story was a little slow to start, making
Ida Jagaric
Very awesome and fun! Not a complex or deep story but really enjoyable and I LOVE that era of sailing and pirates! And nice to have a magic, fantasy twist to it and I loved the characters. If you wanna read a similar novel, check out
The She-Wolf by Scarlet Ingstad. It's about the female pirate Anne Bonny and it was such an awesome read too! :)
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 _especiall
Lynn Williams
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.

Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-review, arcs, e-book
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
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Morgan Dhu
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it

With the publication of The House of the Four Winds, Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory have a new series on the go, though given the long wait for volume two of their Dragon Prophecy series, I find myself wondering if we'll ever see another volume of One Dozen Daughters - and that would be a real shame. Because The House of Four Winds is a delightful fantasy. And the series concept has a great deal of promise.

The premise is this. Duke Rupert and Duchess Yetive, the rulers of the very small and n
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
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Joy (joyous reads)
May 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Let the record show that I will keep reading books from this genre until I find one that I can legitimately love. Today is not the day, however.

In the tiny kingdom of Swansgaard, there lived 12 princesses and one prince. While it is wealthy by any kingdom’s standards, it is wealthy enough to provide dowries for all of the princesses. One day, the duke decreed for all his daughters to find their own adventures. This novel is the story of the first daughter to reach the ripe age of 18.

Clarice have
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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 & M ...more

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“Well,” Clarice said, once the pirates were safely out of earshot. “Nobody shot us.” “Yet,” Dominick answered.” 2 likes
“He held out the bottle. Clarice’s hand was steady as she took it from him. It is poison, she thought distantly. It will kill her. She tried to be horrified at the thought, but she couldn’t manage it.” 0 likes
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