Cover Image: The Third Daughter

The Third Daughter

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Member Reviews

Thank you to TBR Beyond Tours and The Novl for including me in the tour and sending me a physical hardcover in exchange for an honest review and promotion. All opinions are my own.

The Third Daughter follows two girls: Sabine, a poor apothecary whose tears are magic, and Elodie, the first born princess and supposed next in line for the throne of Velle. When Elodie’s youngest sister is announced as the next incarnation of the Maiden, all of Elodie’s plans are ruined. Struggling with how to realize all of her training is useless, Elodie lashes out and using one of Sabine’s magical potions, sends her sister into an enchanted sleep. But while Brianne sleeps, her father has acted to bring the church one step closer to controlling the throne and all of Velle.

This book was a wild ride! Elodie is vicious and sympathetic, but her ambitions make some of her decisions a bit questionable. And I loved it. Elodie is not afraid to go after what she wants and she will take down those who get in her way. But she’s never cold or unfeeling. Even when she was making terrible choices, I was rooting for her 😂. Also make no mistake, I love her.

Sabine on the other hand, feels so much all the time. It was incredible to see how much emotion this girl held in. Because of how deeply Sabine cares for those around her, she is easily taken advantage of. But we get to see her become more assertive in what she wants and needs. Sabine is the softly burning candle this story revolves around, while Elodie is the knife that made the first cut to get things going.

I enjoyed this world and novel so much. The ending was very rude and now I have to wait to find out what happens next and I’m distraught about it. Send help or an ARC, I would accept that too. This is my favorite of Tooley’s books to date, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Rep: lesbian cis female MC, bisexual cis female MC, queer scs.

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“If he was so sure that she had a poisonous heart, then Elodie would prove him right. She would make her thorns sharp enough to draw blood. Elodie would find a way to use that poison to reclaim what was rightfully hers.” ✨🔮

The Third Daughter is quintessential YA fantasy with sleeping curses, power struggles, ancient religion, and (sort of?) enemies who can’t seem to stop from falling for each other!

The political intrigue and magic system in this book was super unique. It ended on a cliff hanger, so I’m very excited for the next installment!

And I just loved Sabine. She deserves the world! I am a little suspicious of the voice in her head though…is it really the maiden? Or is it something sinister?? I’m excited to find out.

Thank you NetGalley and Christy Ottaviano Books for this arc!

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"The Third Daughter" by Adrienne Tooley is a captivating YA fantasy that weaves together elements of legacy, betrayal, sisterhood, and political intrigue, all while interwoven with a compelling slow-burn LGBTQ romance. Set in the enchanting world of Velle, this novel invites readers into a realm where prophecies, power struggles, and complex emotions collide to shape the destiny of its characters.

At the heart of the story is Elodie, the queen's eldest child who loses her claim to the throne when the prophesied New Maiden, the third daughter of a third daughter, is born. As her youngest sister Brianne becomes the Third Daughter, Elodie is faced with the urgent need to regain the throne in order to protect Velle. The plot takes an unexpected turn when Elodie seeks help from an apothecary named Sabine, inadvertently setting off a series of events that threaten the fate of the kingdom.

The novel masterfully navigates the themes of sacrifice, loyalty, and the complex relationships between family members. Elodie's struggle to balance her love for her sister with her responsibility to her kingdom adds depth to her character, and her interactions with Sabine bring a slow-burning romance to the forefront.

The world-building is rich and immersive, allowing readers to explore the intricacies of Velle and its royal court. The concept of emotions being harnessed as commodities, such as Sabine's ability to sell sadness, adds a unique layer to the story's magical elements. The tensions between the characters' desires and their roles in a society governed by prophecy and power dynamics create a sense of urgency that drives the narrative forward.

Adrienne Tooley's writing is both eloquent and evocative, immersing readers in the emotions and dilemmas of the characters. The plot is filled with twists and turns that keep readers engaged, and the slow-burn romance between Elodie and Sabine adds an emotional depth that resonates throughout the story.

"The Third Daughter" is a must-read for fans of fantasy novels that blend political intrigue, family drama, and romance. With its memorable characters, enchanting world-building, and themes of self-discovery and empowerment, this book will capture the hearts of readers seeking a tale of magic, destiny, and love in a beautifully crafted fantasy realm.

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Top 5 reasons to read this book ~

1. A sapphic fantasy romance with lesbians as main characters.

2. This is about family (hatred too), friendship, power, fight, magic and if you love prophecy as a theme, go ahead and check this.

3. The dual POV of Elodie and Sabine was refreshing.

4. What an interesting retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

5. The writing is beautiful and has smooth flow with an intense plot. The emotions, secrets, twists and turns will entertain you.

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F or centuries, the citizens of Velle have waited for their New Maiden to return. The prophecy states she will appear as the third daughter of a third daughter. When the fabled child is finally born to Velle’s reigning queen all rejoice except for Elodie, the queen’s eldest child, who has lost her claim to the crown. The only way for Elodie to protect Velle is to retake the throne. To do so, she must debilitate the Third Daughter—her youngest sister, Brianne.

To me this felt like someone took the original Snow White fairy tale and flipped it all around. (i.e. thirteen year old in a glass coffin) This didn’t seem like a strict retelling by any means though. Elodie and Sabine were very cute, even though I could have predicted the twist with Sabine specifically from a mile away. I was definitely surprised about the chaplain though. Overall very cute

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Firstly, I LOVED this story. In this first book of the series we meet Sabine and Elodie. Both these girls come from two different worlds but must work together if they each are going to get what they want….a sister for a sister.

The pacing and world building is great. Of course the glimpses of sapphicness was a plus.

I can’t wait for the next installment and what will become of Elodie and Sabine!

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I wanted to be in love with this book so badly. I had the same problem with this one as I did with Sweet & Bitter Magic - the pacing. The middle of the book is a slow adventure, which is fine, I love adventures but then the ending has so much happen in such a short amount of time that it just feels incredibly off balance. I know this is the first in a series but it felt too short.

I really enjoyed both Elodie and Sabine as characters, and I liked that they're relationship wasn't insta love, they have a slow, still ongoing, progression into something more than that.

Although I liked the premise and Sabine's journey about her power, her past, and her future and Elodie's desire to save her sister and the kingdom - it just didn't seem like we were given enough incentive for all this. How many people know about Sabine's tears? Why did the kingdom so eagerly accept the church in place of the crown? How did the church get away with THAT? (I can't say what it is or spoilers)

I'm really hoping that all of these questions are answered later on in the series, but for now I'm feeling a little underwhelmed over all.

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Absolute stunner of a book. The concept of reincarnation and crafted faith was hard to put down once I started reading it and the title makes the best kind of sense. Our lovely lead ladies are both great in their own rights, especially watching Sabine develop into the fantastic character she does. Cannot wait to hopefully read more!

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i liked it! it was a little iffy and kinda went off the rails at the end. i still don’t understand the lore of the third daughter or son thing. i was confused about the whole magic thing. also something was off but i’m not sure what.

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We always read about the chosen ones, the characters who are destined for greatness. But what about those who weren't chosen? The side characters who just become a footnote in someone else's story. Elodie is the first daughter of Queen Tera Warnou, a third daughter who has given birth to three daughters. Elodie, being the oldest, should have been crowned Queen when she came of age but when her youngest sister Brianne was born, she was shoved aside. Brianne may be the prophesied third daughter of a third daughter, but she is nothing but a pawn in the church’s game.

Seeing the threat that Brianne’s rule poses to the country of Velle, and how the church plans to take control, Elodie decided to take matters into her own hands. After an accidental mix up of sleeping potions, Elodie and Sabine (the apothecary that mixed up the bottles) must work together to fix their mistake before things get out of hand.

I absolutely loved the idea of the main character not being the prophesied chosen one, and instead being someone related to them. It was interesting to see how a prophecy affects other people, not just the chosen one. A lot of the personal growth Elodie goes through is dealing with having her claim to the throne taken from her and dealing with the consequences of no longer having any power. With men trying to take her freedom away at every turn, she must remain strong and find a way to keep her life her own.

Sabine is very obviously a tragic character. Dealing with crippling depression and self loathing, many girls can relate to her struggles, even without the magic. Her family places their love for her in what little magic she possesses. Without her mystical tears, it’s hard to say if they would even care for her the way they do. She begins to have this realization and slowly comes to love herself for who she is, not for what she can do. She character arc was very personal to me and I’m very excited to see how she grows more in the next book.

Sabine and Elodie were such a cute couple. I loved that it wasn’t necessarily insta-love but they still had attraction at first sight. It made for some very fluffy moments that I constantly go back to reread even now. I do wish they had better communication but with their personalities, I understand why the author wrote them the way she did. I’m always a sucker for sapphic romance so if that’s something you’re looking for, this is absolutely the book for you.

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Rating: 4.5/5 or 8.71/10


The characters were some of my favorite parts of this book. Elodie was a girl who was going on a journey to save her sister after a mistake she made. I could see that Elodie was trying to make things right after what happened with Brie. Sabine was an apothecary, and she gave Elodie the potion given to Brie. Sabine was from Harbor Side, and her life was very different from Ellie’s which I enjoyed. The supporting cast round out the wonderful characters in this book.

Atmosphere- As a fantasy reader, I love a great atmosphere in the book. The Third Daughter had a great atmosphere that was engaging to the reader. I loved how different the castle life was, versus the atmosphere in Harbor Side.


This was my first book by Adrienne Tooley, and I will definitely read more from the author. I loved the writing in the book, as Elodie and Sabine had two very different personalities. Both women were told a distinctly different voice and tone, and I just loved how different they were. I enjoyed the style of Fantasy where the author told us about the world, but still left something to the imagination, and left some details up to the reader. Writing in this book was everything from light and fun to the heartbreaking and emotional scenes which is what I look for in a book.


I don’t want to spoil some of the plot for this book, because I really do want people to reading this book. This was one of the more interesting fantasy books I’ve read. The story was interesting because two girls from opposite lives, and opposite worlds come together for the greater good. The Third Daughter also had an interesting commentary on the lives of royalty/rich people, and harbor side/ the poorer side which I loved. There was also a mythology element which I loved.


I was interested in this story. I was curious as to where the story was going to go, and I loved Elodie and Sabine, and I was interested in their story. The Third Daughter was also told in such a way that I was interested to see where the story was going to go, and how the story was going to end.


I followed the logic in this story easily. There were some things I was confused about in the world-building and some of the timeline elements of the story. This confusion didn’t prevent me from enjoying the story.


I really enjoyed this! I found it fun and the story was interesting. Elodie and Sabine were great characters and I can’t wait to see them again in the sequel.

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Wow, this is the second queer fantasy novel I've read this year that's absolutely bursting with feminist rage! I hope this becomes a whole thing! (Probably not a surprise that the other book is The Daughters of Izdihar, plenty of fury to be had at patriarchal religions, even in fantasy worlds.) I'm comparing this to something else right out of the gate, but The Third Daughter isn't like anything I've read before. A sapphic love story and a queer antihero who's ready to burn down her entire world. The world-building here is deep but not overcomplicated, The characters are fully realized without being overwritten. And the story is paced just right — by the time I got to the end of the first act, I knew I wouldn't be putting it down. I am thrilled to find out this is going to be a series! Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Christy Ottaviano Books for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a slow burn, but very much worth it in the end, and I totally want to know what's next!

Sabine and Élodie are thé twin leads of the story. Élodie is the eldest child of the Queen of Velle, who fully expects to rule when her mother dies. Sabine is a riverside kid, helping her family survive by selling the magic that comes out in her tears. They are put on a collision course, when Élodie finds herself bumped out of ruling by a manipulative regent, and sees her only solution in a magic potion to put her younger, now ruling sister temporarily to sleep. A mixed-up vial, a princess who won't wake, and a prophecy possibly fulfilled, and they will need each other to try and restore some kind of order.

Adrienne Tooley does a great job with both character and world-building. I got completely immersed in the political machinations, the strength of both lead characters, and particularly the description of the seedier side of Velle, where Sabine lives. The romance that builds between the leads is also really well handled. There’s a terrific twist at the end to take us into a possible sequel. A solid 4 star read, and one that fits beautifully into a need for complex fantasy stories without graphic sex or violence that some strong 12-14 year old readers are looking for.

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I really enjoyed this book. I loved the dynamic of the siblings and the difference in their lives because of the classes they're in. The political backdrop, the main and supporting characters, the way they all fit together to full fill their destiny was almost perfection.

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This book goes through many twists and turns. Watch out for the cliff hanger ending! Highly recommended to all fantasy lovers.

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thanks to NetGalley for the eARC

⭐️=2.75 | 😘=2.75 | 🤬=2 | ⚔️=2.5 | 13+

summary: I honestly... can't figure out how to summarize this, so you're probably best off clicking on the book to find out yourself.

thoughts: hmm. this was weird. so one of the MCs is suuuuper sad all the time and at first I thought it was clinical depression, but then her tears are magic?? and her family sells them?? so like her disability is profitable (although that is like questioned and brought up as like a problem). and then (SPOILER WARNING) at the end it turns out that her "depression" was just latent magic proving she's secretly a living goddess?? so I don't know how to feel about that. at least a little questionable, imo––it almost felt like it was canceling mental illness representation at the last second for the sake of a plot twist?

anyway. besides whatever that is, it's fine, but nothing particularly notable. romance was fine. meh.

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The Third Daughter by Adrienne Tooley is an emotional, sapphic, and exciting fantasy. Elodie, overshadowed by her sister Brianne, takes desperate steps to save her from a manipulative church. She meets Sabine, whose tears have magical powers. Together, they must fix the chaos caused by a spell gone wrong. Elodie and Sabine are relatable characters, and their friendship is heartwarming. The book touches on religion without taking sides, which is refreshing. While the plot is fast-paced, the dialogue can be awkward. Still, The Third Daughter is a captivating read that made me smile and ponder, providing a great escape into a fantasy world.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this eArc.

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Not my favorite this author's books but still a fairly interesting story. The pacing was a little slow for me but picked up within the last quarter of the book and then left with a cliffhanger. So will definitely be reading book 2 of the duology, hoping to make that connection with the characters like her previous 2 novels.

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This story felt like a homecoming to me, as strange as that may sound. Reading about Sabine and Elodie felt like finding a shard of myself embedded in a fantasy world. I could relate to Elodie as the oldest sibling, trying to do what’s right for those younger than her, and Sabine as a person who sometimes struggles with emotions. I adored the way their characters were written, specifically in their interactions with each other. Sabine’s power comes from her endlessly empathetic heart, and Elodie’s comes from her strategic mind, making them the perfectly balanced duo. Their romance is delightful to follow, because they are such different people who somehow manage to understand each other through the language of desperation. Adrienne Tooley was already an instant-buy author for me, but The Third Daughter absolutely confirmed this decision!

I am going to be raving about The Third Daughter for many months to come! I cannot wait for the second book in this duology, which according to Goodreads is going to be called “The Second Son”!

My Recommendation-
If you love magical sapphic fantasy novels with well-written worlds and characters, you need to grab a copy of The Third Daughter right away! I would especially recommend this book to fans of Gravemaidens (because of the high-fantasy apothecary elements in the story) or Girl, Serpent, Thorn!

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"With such prophecy comes fear," Elodie recalled her mother's words. "The New Maiden will live in danger -- from political rivals to warring religions, there will always be those who do not wish for her to grow old. She will spend most of her time protecting her own life. That means it is up to you to protect our country."

'The Third Daughter' by Adrienne Tooley is a captivating young adult novel set in the fictional country of Velle. The story revolves around Elodie, the queen's eldest daughter, who loses her claim to the throne when her younger sister Brianne, prophesied to be the Third Daughter and the New Maiden incarnate, was crowned queen after the passing of their mother. As the church thirsts for ultimate power and takes advantage of Brianne's vulnerability, Elodie realizes that she must retake the throne to protect Velle and thwart the church's oppressive rule. Desperate to find a way to incapacitate her younger sister until she comes of age, Elodie seeks help from Sabine, an apothecary known for selling powerful potions tinged with her sadness. Sabine's mistake leads to the unintended consequence of Brianne falling into an everlasting slumber when she inadvertently gives Elodie her magical tears instead of the sleeping tonic Elodie asked for. But this is only the beginning of Elodie and Sabine's journey. As Velle's future hangs in the balance, these two unlikely allies must work together to wake Brianne and reclaim the throne from the church's grip. Throughout their journey, both girls realize that their involvement extends beyond church and country to a centuries-old scheme that includes betrayal and murder.

From the very beginning, Tooley's skillful world-building draws readers into a rich and vividly imagined land. With its prophecy of the New Maiden's return and a power struggle for the throne, Velle becomes a realm filled with anticipation and tension. Tooley also successfully weaves the themes of destiny, deception, and love within her story, creating a path for readers to connect with each character as the story progresses. This story, to me, was grippingly detailed and emotionally unnerving (in a good way!) I honestly believe that the author had their work cut out for them, creating such a balance between the characters the reader is supposed to love and the characters the reader is supposed to hate, then have them turn on each other to create friction and doubt all at once. I enjoyed the book because I never knew what was going to happen. And when something did happen, it was something completely unexpected, like the twist-ending that made me gasp despite its predictability. Overall, this book was one heck of a read, and I can't wait for the sequel to come out! I give this book a rating of 5 Stars.

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