Daughters of Ruin
by K.D. Castner
McElderry Books | April 5, 2016
DNF @ 56%
       Meet rumor with quiet, treason with cunning, and vicious with vicious.
       Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren have lived together since they were children. They are called sisters. They are not. They are called equals. They are not. They are princesses. And they are enemies.
       A brutal war ravaged their kingdoms, and Rhea’s father was the victor. As a gesture of peace, King Declan brought the daughters of his rivals to live under his protection-and his ever-watchful eye.
       For ten years they have trained together as diplomats and warriors, raised to accept their thrones and unite their kingdoms in peace. But there is no peace among sisters, and all plans shatter when the palace is attacked. As their intended future lies in ashes, Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren must decide where their loyalties lie: to their nations, or to each other.
 I wish I had less stars to give.

So, this was a free read on RivetedLit. The site pitches it as Game of Thrones meets Graceling.

The book starts off sounding like an x-number of people walk into a bar joke. Castner introduces MANY characters at once, info dump. She gives a very brief description of their appearances, their personality, what they're doing, and their background. It happens one after another, non-stop. I found it very hard to differentiate between the characters in the prologue because of the overload. Not only does the prologue start off confusing, it is also rather long and boring. It was a very tedious read. It didn't end and when it did... It got worse, a lot worse.

Let me tell you the story very briefly. The people of Corent, Tasan and Findian thought Meridan was a real bitch. So, they decided to attack Meridan. But, that plan backfired because Meridan is a straight-up savage and won't let shit like that happen. Yas Shinigami-sama!
So, princesses from each of those regions (Iren-Corent, Suki-Tasan, Cadis-Findian) were brought together and trained in Meridan. The King of Meridan expects his daughter (Rhea) and the three other princesses to get along, but they don't because most of them hate Meridan. Real smart... The three who hate Meridan get along and the daughter of Meridan's king goes, "Woe is me, no one likes me!" *sob sob* This was also told in an info dump fashion.
In the midst of petty problems between the girls, Findian rebel activity rises and the others follow suit.

I like the concept, but the execution is not where it should be. Four princesses training to be bad-ass queens makes the feminist in me/girl I am happy and giddy. But, the author decides to make pretty little trinkets weapons... Practical, but really? Why can't a princess walk around in pants with swords and a plethora of weapons strapped to her? If this were the case, I feel that the image of princess would change for the better. They do use awesome weapons in the tournament, to show off their abilities, but they used jewelry as weapons outside. I wouldn't feel particularly threatened if someone tried to attack me with a jeweled hairpin.

I also hated how the girls were all fawning/flirting with the same guy. I just expected more from them. They were trained by Marta, who I think is the equivalent of Brienne! Marta is a loyal soldier and cares about honor and duty. Rhea and Suki, my least favorite characters, were na├»ve and irritating. As I mentioned above, Rhea cries a lot and pities herself. Her narrative was boring and I found her awfully self-centered. Suki... I don't think she ever grew up. Her narrative was hectic and bounced off the walls like an energizer bunny. When reading her narrative, I contemplated repeatedly banging my head against the wall, so I would be put of out my misery. Her narrative is an ABOMINATION to the English language, but so is my writing... The excess of parentheses and information makes you want to gouge your eyes out with melon ballers. The editor should have done a better job at editing. Parentheses were inside parentheses inside parentheses. The end of the sentence looked like this, )))))). Awful... Bloody Awful.

Now to my favorite people, Iren and Cadis. Iren is the lovechild of Kestrel and Celaena. She's a bit conniving, cold, and nonchalant, but she's very perceptive and intelligent. Cadis is Arya, enough said.

Very slow, boring and confusing story with horrendous writing. 

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