Daughters of the Storm

Daughters of the Storm

by Kim Wilkins

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399177491
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Series: Daughters of the Storm Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 145,090
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kim Wilkins was born in London and grew up at the seaside north of Brisbane, Australia. She has degrees in literature and creative writing and teaches at the University of Queensland. Her first novel, The Infernal, a supernatural thriller, was published in 1997. Since then she has published across many genres and for many different age groups. Her latest books, contemporary epic women’s fiction, are published under the pseudonym Kimberley Freeman. Wilkins has won many awards and is published all over the world. She lives in Brisbane with a bunch of lovable people and pets.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Blood. It smelled like the promise of something thrilling, as much as it smelled like the thrumming end of the adventure. It smelled like her father when he came home from battle, even though he had bathed before he took her in his arms. Still the metal tang of it lingered in his hair and beard, and as she smashed her skinny, child’s body against his thundering chest in welcome, he smelled to her only of good things.

Now that she was a woman and knew blood intimately, Bluebell loved and feared it—­and appreciated its beauty splashed crimson against the snow.

The air was ice, but her body ran with perspiration beneath her tunic. Her shoulders ached, as they often did if the skirmish was fast and intense. Around her, twelve men lay dead; ten men stood. Her men still stood, as did she. Always.

Thrymm and Thrack, her dogs, nosed at the bodies delicately, their paws damp with powdery snow. They were looking for signs of life, but Bluebell knew they would find none. The ice-­men hadn’t had a chance: They were on foot, trudging up the mountain path, no doubt to attack the stronghold that managed the beacon fire and kept watch over the northern borders of Littledyke. Bluebell’s hearthband were mounted, thundering down the path from the stronghold. They had speed and momentum on their side. Four of the raiders had fallen to the spear before Bluebell had even dismounted. Swift, brutal, without cries for pity. Death as she liked it best.

Bluebell crouched and wiped her sword on the snow, then rubbed it clean and dry before sheathing it. Her heart was slowing now. Ricbert, whom she had collected from his shift at the stronghold, called to her. She looked up. He was kneeling over the body of one of the fallen raiders, picking it clean of anything valuable. She rose, stretching her muscles, joining him along with the others, who had been alerted by the sharp tone of his voice.

“Look, my lord,” Ricbert said. He had pulled open the tunic of the dead man to reveal a rough black tattoo beneath the thick hair on his chest. A raven with its wings spread wide.

Sighere, her second-­in-­command, drew his heavy brows together sharply. “A raven? Then these are Hakon’s men.”

“Hakon is dead. His own brother murdered him,” Bluebell said sharply. Hakon the Crow King, they called him. The only man who had come close to killing her father in battle. Brutal, bitter, the ill-­favored twin of the powerful Ice King, Gisli. The man whose face Bluebell herself had mutilated with an unerring ax throw before helping to deliver him into Gisli’s hands. Hakon was perhaps the man who hated her the most in all of Thyrsland, though it was admittedly a long list. “It’s an old tattoo.”

Ricbert called to her from another body. “No, my lord. They all have them.”

“It means nothing. He’s dead.” He had to be dead. Gisli was cruel and brutal, but a man to be reasoned with; Hakon lacked his brother’s intellect, acted on every raw impulse. Dangerous as an injured wolf, in love with war and chaos. Thrymm and Thrack had loped over to join her, their warm bodies pressed against her thighs. She reached down and rubbed Thrymm’s head. “Come on, girls,” she said. “Let’s get off this mountain.”

She turned and stalked back toward her stallion, Isern. His big lungs pumped hot fog into the chill air. Bluebell mounted and waited for her hearthband.

Gytha, a stocky woman with arms like tree branches and a brain to match, was last to her horse. As they moved off into the snowlit morning, Gytha said, “They say Hakon is so favored by the Horse God that he escaped his brother’s dungeon by magic. They say he has a witch who makes him war spells that—­”

“No more of this talk,” Bluebell commanded, “or I’ll cut someone’s fucking tongue out.”

Her thanes fell silent; they couldn’t be certain she wasn’t serious.

Bluebell longed for her father’s calm company and good advice, and determined to lead her hearthband home before pasture-­month was upon them. If Hakon was alive, then he had to be found and stopped. Her father would know what to do.

A noise in the dark. A furtive knocking.

Bluebell sat up, pushing the scratchy blanket off her body and feeling under the mattress for her sword. It took a moment for her to orient herself. She was in a guesthouse that huddled in the rolling green hills of southern Littledyke. They had ridden a long way southwest of the snow-­laden mountains that day, into warmer climes, and were half a day’s ride from the Giant Road, which would take them home. In truth, Bluebell would have preferred to push on into the evening, but her hearthband were tired and sick of the cold. When they spied a guesthouse in the dip of a valley, under a fine blanket of twilight mist, she’d agreed to stop for the night, even though the rooms were small and dark and the wooden walls whiskery with splinters and sharp malty smells.

“Declare your name and your business,” she called, her voice catching on sleep. She cleared her throat with a curse. She didn’t want to sound weak or frightened: She was neither.

“My lord, it’s Heath. King Wengest’s nephew.”

Bluebell hurried from the bed. She was still dressed: It didn’t pay for a woman of physical or political power to be half dressed in any situation. She tied a knot in her long, fair hair and yanked open the door. He stood there with a lantern in his left hand.

“How did you get past my entire hearthband to the door of my room?”

“I bribed the innkeeper to let me in the back.” He smiled weakly. “Hello, Bluebell. It isn’t good news.” He paused, took a breath, then said, “Your father.”

Her blood flashed hot. “Come in, quickly.” She closed the door behind him and stood, waiting. Anything she could endure: The world was a chaotic, amoral place. But not Father. Don’t let Father be dead.

“You must keep your head when I tell you,” he said.

“I can keep my head,” she snapped. “Is he dead?”

“No.”

Her stomach unclenched.

“But he’s ill,” he continued. “A rider was sent from Almissia to our war band up on the border of Bradsey. Wylm was called away urgently by his mother.”

“Gudrun,” Bluebell muttered. The flighty idiot her father had chosen to marry. “She sent for Wylm?”

“I overheard their conversation. King Athelrick is sick, terribly sick.”

“And she sent for Wylm instead of me?” Misting fury tingled over her skin.

“Don’t kill her. Or Wylm. Rose wouldn’t want you to kill anyone. Least of all your stepfamily.”

She glared at him. The beardless half-­blood in front of her was her sister’s lover. Bluebell had assigned him to a freezing, sedge-­strangled border town to keep him away from Rose. Three years had passed, and still he went soft and sugary when his tongue took her name. “I’m not a fool,” she said. “I’m not going to kill anyone. Despite what my itching fingers tell me.”

He nodded. “Wylm left on foot. I don’t know if he managed to horse himself since, but he’d be on the Giant Road by now in any case. You’re directly above Blickstow here. You can catch him.”

Sleep still clung to her so she had to shake her head to clear it, as though the early-­morning dark was only given to dreams and this must be one. Why had Gudrun sent for Wylm and not her? What purpose would it serve to separate Bluebell from her father if he was dying? Did she have plans for Wylm to lead Almissia? The thought was ridiculous: Wylm was untried in war, and Bluebell was well loved by Almissia’s people. She dismissed the thought as quickly as it crossed her mind.

“Do you know anything else about my father’s illness?” she asked, fear clouding the edges of her vision. “Will he die?” He couldn’t die. He was too strong. She was too strong. She would get the best physician in the country and march him down to Blickstow at knifepoint if she had to.

Heath shook his head. The two lines between his brows deepened. “I know nothing more. But if she has called for her son . . .”

“She should have called for us.”

“Perhaps she has. Perhaps she’s sent for the others, but didn’t know where to find you.”

“Dunstan knows where I am. There’s only one good route between the stronghold and home. You found me.” Her heart was thundering in her throat now. “What was she thinking?”

“Perhaps she wasn’t.”

Bluebell fixed her gaze on him in the flickering dark. “I’m going home. Now.”

He helped her pack her things, then followed her out into the early cold. She saddled and packed her horse, who whickered softly. He was a warhorse, not afraid of the dark, but still getting old enough to miss his sleep. She rubbed his head roughly. Thrymm and Thrack sniffed at her feet, straining against their chains.

“At first light, tell Sighere where I have gone, but ask him not to speak of it. We don’t know what the future holds for my father, or for Almissia. If an idiot like Ricbert got wind of the idea that Father was . . .” Curse it, she couldn’t say the word.

Heath pointedly looked away.

“People would panic. Just don’t tell anyone. Urgent business. That’s all.” She let the dogs off the chain and vaulted onto Isern’s back.

Heath grasped Isern’s reins. “Wait,” he said. “Your sisters?”

Her chin stiffened. He was right: They needed to be told. A chill wind rattled through the trees. She spat hair out of her mouth. While she didn’t want to send him to Rose—­it was better if they were apart—­she was sensitive to her sister’s feelings. This news shouldn’t come from a stranger. “Ride at first light to Rose. Tell her to join me in Blickstow immediately.”

“And Ash?”

Bluebell frowned. “Get Rose to send a messenger. Ash will likely feel us on the move.” Her words turned to mist in front of her. She dropped her voice. “Perhaps she already knows.”

“My lord.” Heath nodded and stepped back.

Bluebell picked up the reins and urged Isern forward, thundering down to the moonlit road with the dogs barking in her wake.

The night began to lift as Bluebell approached the Giant Road. She glimpsed the first curve of the bright sun as she galloped over a wooden bridge and down toward the wide road. In some ancient misted past, gray paving stones—­the length of two men and easily as wide—­had been lined up five across for hundreds of miles: from here in the midlands to the far south of Almissia. The giants had laid them in a time before recollection, but now they were cracked and worn, with grass and wildflowers straggling up through the gaps. Bluebell’s heart breathed. From here to Blickstow was two and a half good days’ ride, directly south. She was almost home.

But Isern would not go farther without rest and water. He was huge and powerful, but she had no desire to drive him into the ground and have to run home on her own legs. Once, a witch princess up in Bradsey had offered to sell her an enchanted horse faster than a hare, but Bluebell had kept Isern: Speed mattered less, in battle, than courage and weight. She reined him in at the edge of the stream and jumped off to let him walk awhile. Her dogs realized they were stopping and ran barking into the stream. When Isern had cooled, she led him to the water and spoke soft words to him. He dropped his head to drink, and she lay herself out on the dewy grass to close her eyes. A beam of sun hit her face, and she could see her pulse beating in her eyelids. She was tired and sore, her thighs aching, but the constant frantic movement had kept her thoughts from growing too dark.

Bluebell wasn’t a child. She knew one day her father would die and she would take his place. She had prepared her whole life for the moment, but it had always been abstract, like a story. The real moment—­hot and present—­had lit a fire in her breast. She wished she had her sisters with her. They would understand. Well, the oldest two would: Rose and Ash. She barely knew Ivy and Willow, the twins. They’d been raised a long way from home after they’d killed her mother by being born. Bluebell wondered if anybody had sent for them; wondered when Rose would hear, when Ash would hear.

“Ash,” she said, soft under her breath. She was closest to Ash, who was away at the east coast in Thridstow, studying to be a counselor in the common faith. Ash had glimmerings of a second sight. She wasn’t supposed to; she was far too young. Nevertheless, Bluebell had made use of her sister’s premonitions once before battle. “Ash,” she said again, drawing her eyebrows together, wondering if Ash could feel her words across the miles, vibrating on the sunlight.

Sleep caught her gently, and she dozed lightly against the growing dawn. Then a shower of water made her sit up and open her eyes. Thrymm stood by her, shaking water from her coat. Bluebell pushed the dog away with her foot and rolled over on her side. The dawn light made her stomach swirl. A new day. Perhaps he was already dead. But surely she would have felt it: the sudden absence, a new quiet where his breath had once been. She sat up and rested her long arms on her knees. Isern wandered over and nuzzled her shoulder with his big hot nose. He was keen to be going, too. As keen, perhaps, as she was to catch up with Wylm and find out what dangerous ideas he and his mother were brewing.

The Giant Road was the main trade route through Thyrsland. Even during war, it was busy with traffic. But there hadn’t been war this far south since Bluebell’s sister Rose had married Wengest, the king of Nettlechester. Ill will had evaporated overnight, and Nettlechester and Almissia, the two largest kingdoms of the seven in Thyrsland, had raised a joint army to keep out the much greater threat of raiders from the kingdom of Iceheart, the icy lands in the far north of Thyrsland. The sparsely populated northern kingdoms of Bradsey and Littledyke were most vulnerable to incursions from Iceheart, but raiders would think nothing of marching south to take the wealthy trimartyr kingdom of Tweening, or the trading hubs of Thridstow. If raiders ever got as far south as the Giant Road, blood would flow freely.

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Daughters of the Storm 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
CaptainsQuarters 9 months ago
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . . I wanted to love this book, I really did. The publisher offered me an e-arc of this book because I adored the bear and the nightingale. And honestly it should have been an awesome read. The story involves five daughters of a king. A king who happens to have fallen into a deep coma-like slumber. So all of the daughters are drawn to their father's side to say their goodbyes. But what if it is not illness but a magical spell that holds the king in slumber? The sisters must find out quickly before the kingdom's peace is torn apart. I did enjoy the sisters for the most part. They are all named after plants - - Bluebell - a warrior who is set to be the next king - Rose - a mother whose unhappy marriage was the price for peace - Ash - a student of magic who may possess magic she never asked for - Ivy - a young girl who just wants admiration from everyone - Willow - a zealot of a new religion who wants the world to convert So I had two problems with this book. The first is that the plot was just plodding at parts. It took me forever to get into this book and I didn't really get engrossed in the story until after the 60% mark. It could have been trimmed. There was too much time where nothing interesting happened and the characters were waiting around. Which leads to the second problem. While the characters were waiting around, all of them were confused, upset, and could be annoying. The sisters seemed to never use their intelligence and instead made extremely rash choices that were a) stupid, b) completely emotionally based, and c) the worst possible choice. I thought it was ridiculous that all of them couldn't seem to use logic and reasoning. I could sort-of accept it for Willow due to her particular set of problems but not for the others. Ultimately I didn't totally like any of the sisters and found it hard to wish for success for any of them. The one really fun note for me was the bad guy, Wylm. He is a step-brother by marriage. While his bad-guy motivation was rather lame (having the throne for the sake of being important) I did like that the author had him make some choices that took me completely by surprise. While most of his actions are caused by his cowardice and need to stay alive, he did have others that led to excellent plot lines and he actually used his brain. He could be crafty even if his underlying reasons were illogical. I also enjoyed how his portion of the story resolved in the first book. Ultimately I would consider this an okay read. I found Bluebell and Ash's sections to be very engaging at times. I did enjoy the magical system and would like to see that explored further. I am not adverse to reading the next book but I think I would wait for reviews from me crew before making the choice to continue the series.
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
I was fully expecting to fall in love with Daughters of the Storm. However, this one just wasn’t the right fit for me. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters and found the plot to be a bit too slow-moving for my taste. The writing was excellent though and I appreciated Wilkin’s narrative choices. I thought that it was fascinating to have so many points of view, that choice really added another layer to the book. I also enjoyed seeing how the character’s opinions and perceptions of a situation were contrasted because it allowed readers to draw their own conclusions about events in the book. The focus of the book was truly on the interpersonal dynamics between the characters, particularly the sisters. If it hadn’t been set in a fantasy world, I would classify this novel as literary fiction. As it was, I think that readers looking for a more typical fantasy novel may be disappointed. While I enjoyed the multiple perspectives, it also meant that the story moved rather slow, particularly at the beginning. I actually put the book down multiple times before convincing myself that it would get better and I should continue reading. Daughters of the Storm was not the book for me but I do think that it will appeal to some readers out there, particularly those who prefer books more focused on family dynamics. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
BenT-Gaidin More than 1 year ago
This is a book I can't fairly review right now. The old king is dying under suspicious circumstances and his five daughters are called home to witness: his warrior heir, the untrained magician, the queen married off for an alliance, the adherent of the new faith, and the young princess. Unfortunately, what I really wanted was for them to come together to save the kingdom, but the book had other ideas. They're all interesting and well-realized characters, and really, any of them could hold the kingdom together if the others would cooperate, but they're constantly set at odds with each other instead so that every step forward seems to cause two others to fall back. It's not a bad book by any stretch, just that I wanted so strongly for it to be about a family working together that I couldn't ever quite enjoy it -- I think if I went back and reread it knowing what I was getting instead, a tangle of strong personalities and things falling apart despite best intentions, that I'd like it more. It's also the first in a series, and each daughter is clearly starting out on their own destiny that might eventually draw them back in, but for now they all came together only for a moment before scattering to the winds again. I like all of them, and want them to be well in their own ways, so I might check this series out once more volumes are available and see if there's a happier ending in their future.
Beths-Books More than 1 year ago
This book started off so well. A bunch of princesses coming to their sick father's rescue. I have sisters, so this really resonated with me. The dynamic between the sisters was great. They fought, loved and kept secrets from each other. To save their father, the sisters decide to take him to a sacred place, but crazy things happen on the road. This is where I get a little lost. The world building fell apart and suddenly I was lost in the woods, literally. The characters wandered through the woods. None descriptive woods. That's how the rest of the story went, and the story was great. All the sisters brought their own strengths to the journey and made it a fun place to be, if only I could picture where that was. Still, a great read. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
The king is on the brink of death and his five daughters are on a mission to save him by finding a mysterious and powerful witch, the only person who can reverse the magic that is stealing his life. They must first learn to trust in one another, forget old rivalries and embrace the magic that is family. Only then will they be ready to find the witch and understand that familial discord and history has been repeating itself. They share the same blood, but they are as different as five strangers can be, can the warrior, the queen who risks all for forbidden love, the vain princess, the religious zealot or the budding magic user save their kingdom and the crown? Treachery abounds as their stepbrother eyes the precious crown he does not deserve. Kim Wilkins’ DAUGHTERS OF THE STORM is a tale of desperation, mistrust, and acceptance of others in the name of family and the good of the kingdom. Five powerful women, each with their own secrets, weaknesses and insecurities will be exposed at their best and their worst. How will they deal with each other? Will they learn to respect each other in spite of their flaws? Epic fantasies are meant to journeys of discovery and this one is no exception. Told through different POVs we witness the turmoil beneath the surface of the tenuous relationships between these sisters who must learn to stand together against both the known and unknown evil that threatens them. Filled with detail, this is definitely not a quick read as the threads entangle us into the unfolding drama. The author does not ask us to like the characters, but to accept what makes them “tick” and wonder if they are up to the challenges that lay before them. I am an epic fantasy fan, I enjoy all of the threads that entwine each layer, but there were times I felt bogged down, but as the first book of a trilogy, the stage has been set, the characters and their dynamic relationships revealed and their journey has truly just begun. I'm thinking the action is yet to come! I received a complimentary copy from Del Rey!
LauraEG26 More than 1 year ago
You think your family get-togethers are bad? Kim Wilkins' "Daughters of the Storm" tells the story of the five daughters of King Athelrick, King of the powerful Almissia. Almissia is one of several kingdoms in this magical setting of semi-warring kingdoms and conflicting religions. The five women gather to care for their father when he suddenly becomes ill. Just as worrisome, their step-mother acts guilty by calling her grown son to her side instead of Athelrick's daughters and Almissia's heir, Bluebell. Bluebell, the most kick-butt female ever, is determined to find the cause of her father's illness and kill the person responsible. She trusts her closest sisters, Rose and Ash, to help her but they are often stuck in their own thoughts. Rose is the unfaithful wife to the King of a neighboring kingdom, of which her marriage bought an uneasy peace. Ash is a healer but fighting her true magic. Bluebell allows her younger twin sisters to offer help but Ivy is a self-absorbed teenage brat and Willow (unbeknownst to her family) converted to a new faith and constantly hears voices of persecution & grandeur (although I'm unsure whether it is truly a result of her new faith or actual insanity). As these sisters gather and care for their father, their destinies emerge. "Daughters of the Storm" is a very exciting, five star book. The sisters each have their own past and destiny to fulfill while simultaneously coping with each other and the fate of their father and kingdom. I like Bluebell's strength and Ash's intuition and desire to care for those around her, but I would honestly hate to be related to the other three whiny, manipulative brats. That being said, I do like the nickname the twins have for Bluebell, and I imagine she would as well. The political intrigue and storyline are truly amazing and intricately interwoven like a master! I can't wait until the next book comes out in 2019! Based on "Daughters of the Storm", I will certainly buy it if my library doesn't get a copy. My opinion is solely my own, but I do want to thank Goodreads, Del Rey Books, and Kim Wilkins for an advanced copy of this awesome book.
Lisa-Lou More than 1 year ago
Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins is the first book in her Blood and Gold series. A well-crafted epic-fantasy tale of five sisters, princesses, and their trials and tribulations during a daring rescue and battle against a betrayer from within. Each daughter is so completely different from the other. Bluebell is the warrior princess that strikes fear into the hearts of all. Her skills in battle are legendary and her love for her family is only second to her loyalty to the crown. Ash is the sister with magic in her veins and visions in her nightmares. Her skills help Bluebell but the more she uses them the further away it pushes her from her family. Rose is the married princess with a beautiful daughter and a controlling husband, oh, and a broken heart thanks to a soldier back home. The twins Ivy and Willow are more opposite than you would ever expect twins to be. One with childish aspirations and another worshipping a religion other than what her royal family supports. Each sister tries to help but ultimately they mostly end up working, partly unknowingly, against each other. This story is told in multiple POV's and is somewhat contained within this book as a full-story but the breath of a cliffhanger is there egging you on to see what happens next for Bluebell and her siblings. Enjoy!
lostinagoodbook More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review. Five daughters. Five very different women who have to come together in order to deal with their father’s grave illness and possible death. You guys know me by now. I loves me a book that focuses on women and their lives. Add in some fantasy elements and this is a slam dunk for me right? I’m not quite sure. I have a certain amount of respect for Bluebell. She is a strong woman, with a sense of loyalty and duty which I can admire. Her sister Ash is also somewhat endearing. She is lost in her magic and afraid to admit to her power. However, I have trouble feeling anything for the other women in the story. They are by turns, lusty, selfish and deluded. The book left me feeling disappointed. There was a little too much sex, but not enough love. These girls haven’t much love for one another, for their father, for their children or for their lovers. It makes sympathizing with them difficult. I have to think though. Should I require these women to be lovable? Isn’t it enough that they are individual and unique? They don’t all have to act in ways I think are acceptable, I’d rather they should be themselves, and goodness knows sometimes we are all un-likeable. I can deal with that. One issue I have with the book is that some of the plot resolutions come a trifle too easily. A character is in a perilous situation and a magical creature appears, saves her, throws some prophecy into the wind and rides away. It was a little too convenient. I think that the problem is the book suffers from middle book syndrome. But this is a first book you say?! Yes, that’s true. I just think that this is a story and character’s who are decidedly on the road to somewhere else. That can be frustrating for an observer. We like a beginning, middle and end, but those aren’t to be found here. This is going to be a lengthy journey. I think some of these abrupt resolutions will get a call back later and things that bother me right now will likely make more sense when I get to the end. For now though, it is goodbye Yellow Brick Road. These girls are definitely going places, but it won’t be pretty and they won’t always be nice. While I do have trouble deciding how I feel about this first book right now, this is a story I can get behind. I’m just going to have to keep reading. Song for this book: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
Jolie More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Robin Hobb fan and when I saw that this book was compared to her works, my interest was caught. Then, after reading the blurb, I was even more interested in it. A book that had Norse mythology elements and has strong female characters. Sign me up. I am glad that I requested this book. The plotlines were engaging and kept me hooked on the book. It was also fast-paced. I was left breathless while reading most of the book. Daughters of the Storm had a few plotlines that all were intertwined early in the book. The main storyline was the rush to find a cure for the daughters’ father who became ill. Bluebell and her sisters take a dangerous journey to find the aunt who used undermagic. That magic is the only way to save their father. It is the only way to find out who was behind their father becoming ill. I would give Daughters of the Storm an Adult rating. There is violence, language, and sex. While the sex is not graphic, I do not think that it would be proper for anyone under the age of 20. The violence also factored into my rating. There are some graphic scenes of violence. This is a book that I will recommend to family and friends. I would give a warning about the sex and violence since I have friends and family that do not like that in books. I also plan on rereading this book!! **I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**