The Third Daughter

Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano. (The Third Daughter: Bk. 1). Jul. 2023. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316465694.
Gr 8 Up–The Prophecy for the population of Velle predicts the return of the venerated New Maiden, born to the third daughter of a third daughter. The eldest of three daughters, Elodie has been training to assist her youngest sister, the ascending New Maiden Brianne, as the Queen’s Regent. When their mother Queen Tera dies, Brianne is only 13 and not yet of age to take the throne. Elodie’s training is dismissed by the misogynist Chaplain, who doubles as Brianne’s father, seizing the chance to commandeer being Regent for political gain and his nefarious ideals. Desperate to keep the land from being run by the Chaplain, Elodie seeks out an apothecary, Sabine, for a potion to put her sister into a deep sleep until she is of age, with the goal of temporarily defaulting the crown back to Elodie as eldest daughter of the deceased queen. This gripping sapphic fantasy portrays the anti-hero princess taking on the patriarchy. Potential love interest Sabine has a deep sadness that results in magical tears for her potions. The absolute rage of Elodie and the softer, emotional needs of Sabine complement each other and help their alternate character traits emerge. As they work together to help Brianne unseat the Chaplain, some alliances with friends and family change, making trust hard to come by. The Chaplain’s fictitious sinister religious sect is metaphorical and a cautionary tale. Just when readers think they have this sorted out, a twist ending alludes to a second book in the planned duology.
VERDICT Immersive and intense; hand this royal fantasy to readers of Kendare Blake’s “Three Dark Crowns” and Victoria Aveyard’s “Red Queen” series.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing