Review: Daughters of the Storm

Title: Daughters of the Storm
Author: Kim Wilkins
Rating: 4/5 stars
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’ve seen this book tagged as young adult, so I wanted to be clear that it decidedly isn’t! The story follows five sisters who are trying to save their father after he is poisoned and lying on his death bed. I really loved that all the sisters had a defining characteristic (Bluebell, the stoic warrior. Rose, the romantic. Ash, the one in tune with magic. Willow, the religious fanatic. Ivy, the flirt.) but none of them were one-dimensional. All of them were flawed, and as sisters do, alternately see the best and worst in each other. If you’re looking for a happy family that bands together in the face of adversity though, well, this story is a lot darker than that.

Bluebell and Ash were the most interesting characters to me, but even they had their dark moments. I thought, much like Bluebell, that Rose was incredibly selfish and naive considering her circumstances, but eventually I grew to sympathize with her (at least a little bit…). I wanted to slap some sense into Ivy but the story had her paying brutally for her mistakes. Willow was the most infuriating of the sisters (in the best way though), and I’m really excited to see how her role expands in the next books of the series.

The Norse influence on the kingdoms and magic were really unique and interesting. There is also quite a bit of violence, rape, and abuse in this book, also a nod to the violence of the Vikings. Overall, this was a refreshing fantasy series featuring many powerful and flawed women and I’m excited to read more.

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