Monday, March 5, 2018

[Review] Daughters of the Storm (Blood and Gold #1) by Kim Wilkins

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

Series: Blood and Gold #1
Rating: 4 stars

Release Date: March 6th 2018
Format: ARC

Goodreads Synopsis:

They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose's heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom, who is risking everything for a forbidden love. The twins: vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. And Ash, who is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift--or a curse.
But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, they must come together on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences, and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.
I read Daughters of the Storm at a perfect time - during my ongoing Skyrim obsession. So I was able to picture the world and its characters with ease.

One thing I must say, I don't think this book is YA? All the sisters seem to be in their early to late twenties. Though we never really got an age for them. Moving along...

The King of Almissia has been elf-shot and fallen into a deep sickness that no one can figure out the cure for. The kingdom is now on edge as his daughters search for a cure. What makes matters worse is the daughters all have issues of their own, and must work together to stop the King's stepson from taking over the throne. 

My favorite sisters had to be Bluebell and Ash. Bluebell is the heir, a ruder, brasher Brienne of Tarth who prefers combat to secrecy and lies. She has no need for any of that, and she's just straight to the point and that makes her an entertaining read. I love her devotion to her country and her sisters. As well as her humor, which had me in tears.

"You have never loved," Rose said.
"And I don't expect to. That would fuck up just about everything." Bluebell touched Rose's hand. "I've got my mind on Almissia's security, Rosie. Wengest won't be friends with me if he finds out you're being poked by his nephew..." 

Bluebell waved to them with both arms and shouted, "Sansorthinn!"
"What did you say to them?" Ash asked.
"I called them cocksuckers in their own language." Bluebell smiled grimly. 

"I want you to fear me, Bluebell, for I am the kyndrepa. Do you know what that means?"
She spread her hands as though nonchalant and exaggerated a shrug. "Limp dick?"

Ash's storyline and her character were also great, because she has just found out she's an undermagician with powerful magic. Unfortunately, as she is also a seer of sorts, she's foreseen her untimely demise in the future and must learn how to master her powers in order to stop it. She's the levelheaded sister. She's definitely the most relatable and I'd say the most likable. Bluebell is the fiery one but always listens to her. The two of them make sense. 

Everyone else... sigh. 

It's not that I didn't like them because I loved the story. But I just wanted to smack Ivy and Willow. Although I definitely understand Ivy's motives for wanting to sleep with every man she sets her eyes on - while she claims she's in love with them, she just wants power. So though she did some very cringe-worthy things... I get it? Kinda? Willow was just all over the place with visions from Maava telling her to do some really crazy stuff. And Rose got a million problems that she doesn't know how to solve herself.

The sisters all did a lot of questionable things over the course of this story but I really felt bad for the predicaments they all ended up in.

Wilkins's prose is different because it isn't very rife with metaphors and purple prose. It's very straightforward (and at times disengaging; ex: every time Bluebell curses - she curses like a modern day sailor). Less flowery and more action-y is a good way to describe it. Which is something that was different and enjoyable for me, though some may be put off by it.

The story flips back and forth between the five sisters and Wylm, the stepbrother. But each character has their own distinct voice and storyline that you're enraptured.

Plus, the world the story takes place in is so lively and tangible (at least for me, because I was in Skyrim-mode). We're presented with a clear view of the different kingdoms and their cultures - religious views, gender norms, etc. 

I'm really looking forward to the sequel!

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