Review: Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
Series: Blood and Gold #1
Also by this author: Sisters of the Fire
Published by Del Rey Books on March 6th 2018
Also in this series: Sisters of the Fire
Five very different sisters team up against their stepbrother to save their kingdom in this Norse-flavored fantasy epic--the start of a new series in the tradition of Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, and Robin Hobb.
FIVE ROYAL SISTERS. ONE CROWN.
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.
Daughters of the Storm just grabbed me from the very beginning. I found the story to be fun and well paced, and the range of characters kept it interesting. There are five sisters, all daughters of the King, who is declining in health. Each of these women are incredibly different and each interesting in their own way.
The oldest sister, Bluebell, is a fighter that has pretty much shunned any marital or remotely feminine expectations of her. She is an amazing (and well known) warrior that has a very strong personality. I have to admit, I enjoyed her fierceness quite a bit. Rose is a sister that has been married off to help secure peace with a neighboring kingdom. She is a Queen, but she wants something different for her life. She feels trapped and would obviously prefer to flee if given the choice. Ash is interesting as she is quite powerful with magical abilities. She is way more powerful than anyone says she can be, so she keeps some of it to herself. And then there are twins, Ivy who kind of reminded me a bit of Sansa in the early Game of Thrones books (a bit eager for attention from boys that catch her eye and, well, maybe a bit vapid), and Willow who is obsessed with a forbidden religion.
One thing I enjoyed, and that found took me by surprise a bit, was how getting the perspective from one sister altered my opinion of another after getting their opinions and experiences with the character. It was different, and really helped to second guess the reliability of the narrators, not that they are being intentionally deceitful, but they are unreliable because of how they percieve themselves and the situations they find themselves in is a different experience from how another character will perceive them. This can be true of any narrator, but getting the viewpoints of different characters really helped.
Each of these women is driven, though each is driven in a completely different way from the others. And honestly, some are driven by motivations that are not ideal or really anything all that admirable, but to me that’s life. Some people are driven by motivations that seem a bit more shallow (and naive) and some people have trouble thinking beyond themselves and that’s the case with some of the sisters. Yes, there are a couple that I think might drive me a bit batty if they had a book dedicated to them and their views, but I felt like it balanced well overall.
An important thing to note about this book is much of the conflict is all drama with the sisters. I am not saying that as a bad thing, but I do know some readers prefer stories that focus more on conflicts with the grander scheme of the world, and less on interpersonal relationships. For me the relationships and personalities of the sisters was actually a bit addictive, wanting to know what would happen next. To be honest, there were a couple of times that made me a bit thankful I have no sisters.
I think an important lesson in this family is to trust no one. I loved the pace of the story and the personalities of the sisters. I am really looking forward to the next in the series.