Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for The Duchess Quest (from Goodreads):
“Love is destined to find her…”
Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart. Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.
Author: C K Brooke
# of Books: 4 (Full Series Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological, Spin-Off (Descendants & Daughters)
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: October 2014 – February 2018
Source & Format: YA Bound Book Tours–eARC; Author–eARC
**This post was originally posted as a Blog Tour review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Normally, I stay clear of novels that have any hint of a love triangle or a love entanglement. BUT, this one sounded like it would be more fun than frustrating. Also, the word “swashbuckling”–yeah, it sold me! For some reason, it made me think of The Princess Bride (one of my all time favourite novels AND movie) so I was really stoked when I got the email that I would be a part of this blog tour!
What I Liked:
The Duchess Quest @AuthorCKBrooke has been a blast to read so far! Reminds me of the Princess Bride in a New Adult sort of way!
— Lauren (@SERIESousBooks) July 28, 2016
I’m not usually one who enjoys an adventure novel. They tend to be on the slower side of things and fail to keep my attention.
But that wasn’t the case here!
This story was so much fun! The premise is thoroughly entertaining that it captured my attention from the start. It also moved the story at a quick (but not too quick pace!). There are also quite a few twists along the way that keep the story from being overly linear which was fabulous.
–The Multiple POVs–
The various characters we get here are really what drive this story. They each have their unique flare and interesting backstories to keep you intrigued and wanting more.
I like a lot of things happening in my stories and I know that multiple POVs can scare people. But don’t let it deter you from this book! Because it is a third person POV throughout, each different chapter acts as a way to provide an alternate perspective to the same event that is unfolding. It also enriches the story by broadening the story and its reach. Simply put, it’s really done well and one of my favourite aspects.
What I Didn’t Like:
–More Young Adult Than New Adult–
How this book started made me think it was going to be more New Adult in its approach. Not only because of Dainy’s age but with the way the male characters acted when it came to romantic partners. Unfortunately, it was more YA in its delivery (which is was totally fine) but I just wanted a touch more maturity (I suppose that is the right word) to the characters and their story.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I’m very curious to see how this will all wrap up and will definitely be grabbing the conclusion to this series soon!
–August 15, 2016– Book #2: The Duchess Inheritance
I was excited to start this one after finishing the fun adventure that was The Duchess Quest. I was really curious to see how Dani would get her kingdom back and what trouble her and her companions would get into.
This one started strong, lulled a little just before the halfway point but finished strong. The last half of this book was by far the best part. It was nonstop action, plot twists and memorable character moments for the latter 50%. I really liked how everything came together.
Again, the multiple POVs are the strength of this series. It provides a 360 degree view of the world and keeps the story moving. It also gets you inside the minds of the various characters. I didn’t realize how attached to these characters I was until it all came to an end. I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to their story.
I also have to say that my concerns over the more Young Adult approach were squashed here. This was definitely a non-contemporary New Adult novel like I wanted it to be.
–February 11, 2017– Book #3: The Duchess’s Descendants
Spin-offs are a tricky thing to write. Do you rely on the original characters and plot devices, or do you branch off on your own with new characters and a new plot? For me, it’s a blend of both…and that’s what C K Brooke has done here. It is perfection!
I enjoyed this one immensely, even more than its predecessor!
Descendants has all the charm of its parent novels. A fun, action-packed plot that keeps your attention from start to finish; adorable romances you can’t help but root for and an eclectic cast of characters that put a smile on your face.
The characters are what made it for me. I really fell in love with Johanna, Drew and Ludwig. They are all so unique in their personalities; yes, they have some of their parents’ quirks but they also aren’t straight regurgitation of their parents. Their stories were so fun but heart-warming at the same time. And the adventures they find themselves in were definitely memorable.
This novel is just a blast to read and I couldn’t put it down. A great addition to this series!
–August 19, 2018– Book #4: The Emperor’s Daughters
I never thought that we would get a 4th book in this series, but after reading it, I’m so glad this series was expanded by one final addition.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Jordinia so it took me a few chapters to get back into the groove of things and reacquaint myself with this great world. But, before I knew it, I was sucked into this story like its predecessors before it.
While this instalment lacked the more “physical action” packed journey that the others had, it still had that adventure (albeit subtle) vibe this series is great at conveying. You have those great moments of character growth; the swoon-worthy romances and an engaging plotline of drama and intrigue that keeps you invested.
Overall, it’s a great way to wrap up this series by instilling all the lessons learned in the past novels while creating its own fresh story.
My Rating: 4.5/5
The Duchess Quest 4/5 | The Duchess Inheritance 4/5 | The Duchess’s Descendants 5/5 | The Emperor’s Daughters 5/5
This story was a lot of fun! The adventure, the romance and the characters were a blast!
Read if You Like: The Princess Bride, adventure
Avoid if You: dislike multiple POVs
C K Brooke
C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to!
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