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The Third Daughter

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Member Reviews

“To those who stagger beneath the weight of expectations and emotions, who worry they’re too much, or not enough. This one’s for you.”

“A prophecy poisoned. A queendom at stake. A magic vial of tears holds their fates.”

A beautifully emotional sapphic fantasy in a world that has been anxiously awaiting for the New Maiden to return. Secrets, despair and longing have both Elodie and Sabine walking the fine line between familiar ties, duty and love.

“The New Maiden was not born a princess. She is a girl made of sea, salt and sadness, come to save us all.”

Sabine struggles with the suffocating weight of despair but she is not sure why her sadness persists.

Sabine and Elodie must work together to correct a mistake. But as they uncover secrets, their feelings grow until one betrays the other.

“She’d been intrigued, then impressed, by the depths of the other girl’s emotions, had even begun to open herself up, to pry at the hinges at a heart that had remained carefully closed for years.”

This really was a beautiful story of family and love and the heavy weight of having your life planned by others. Wanting to do the right thing sometimes comes at a price- especially when something sinister works against you.

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Book Review

Title: The Third Daughter by Adrienne Tooley

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Rating: 3 Stars

The opening to The Third Daughter was interesting as we are introduced to the country of Velle, and years ago a prophecy was made saying that the New Maiden would return as the third daughter of a third daughter. In the present, we are introduced to Elodie, the first born of the recently deceased Queen and rightful heir to the throne as she witnesses her younger sister, Brianne, take the throne hailed as the Maiden’s reincarnation, the third daughter of a third daughter. Elodie is obviously upset by this not that she is taken the throne but because she knows Brianne is ill-equipped to lead a country and she should have been made the Queen’s right hand but that was taken by Brianne’s father and current head of the Church. Knowing that Elodie isn’t happy with the situation the Chancellor takes it upon himself to marry Elodie off to the smallest Kingdom in the land which she isn’t going to let happen and she knows the only way to claim what is hers by right is to get rid of Brianne. I really liked that the previous Queen didn’t marry and has four children by four different men, Elodie’s father being her childhood friend and this isn’t looked down upon in Velle. We are also introduced to Sabine who has a magical ability in her tears. When she cries into potions, tonic or directly onto herbs they become much more potent but this ability comes with a cost.

Throughout the book I kept getting vibes similar to The Kiss of Deception series which I was super excited about but it seemed to lack the same depth as that series otherwise this could have been a high 4 stars for me. The biggest issue I had will reading was that nothing was truly exciting because I was able to predict almost every twist and turn this novel took. By the end of the first 2 two chapters I had already seen the major plot twists coming which meant my enjoyment of the book diminished the more of it I read. That being said, Tolley crafted some amazing characters and her writing was absolutely gorgeous. It is the kind of writing style that completely sucks you in early on and refuses to let go despite the fact at times I wasn’t enjoying the book as much as I had hoped. Her characters are realistic in their actions as we can see with Elodie and her jealousy and spite gets the better of her on multiple occasions but she works hard to correct these mistakes later on which is something any of us would do in the same situation.

The largest flaw with the book was its depth as everything seems very surface level and we don’t get emotional attached to the characters but the connection just isn’t there. I think that if we had seen Elodie and her siblings growing up and the book building up to the first Queen’s death then we would have been much more attached rather than just have Elodie tell us these things. We can see this issue at its peak when Elodie speaks about Tal, who is supposed to be her best friend but we never actually get to see him throughout the book so we only have Elodie’s word to go on. This depth issues also impacted the ending because it had absolutely no foreshadowing meaning it came out of nowhere and didn’t really fit the tone of the book and made me as a reader more confused rather than satisfied.

The ending almost spoilt Elodie’s character quite a lot and while I won’t go into depth here, we have been shown throughout the book that she isn’t someone that wants power for the sake of having it, in fact, she is shown to want the opposite. She doesn’t want the Kingdom because she thinks it is hers, even though it is by birthright, she wants it because she knows she is best equipped to run it unlike Brianne who is shown to be naïve and air-headed most of the time leaving her vulnerable to the manipulations of others. It almost felt like Tooley didn’t know what she wanted to do with the book and made sections up as she went along so it didn’t feel cohesive. That being said I will definitely be giving book two a chance, since I want to see how the story finishes but in order to get a higher rating, the character development and relationships definitely need a lot of work in the sequel.

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I’m not a huge Adrienne Tooley fan! The Third Daughter was my top read for the month of July and it’s one that I will be widely recommending in my book groups and to my library users.

The world building and character development were amazing. Elodie and Sabine are both interesting and complex characters. I love the way the author allowed us to get to know each of them individually before bringing them together. I’m not a huge romance reader, so I loved that the romantic elements were slow-burn and a more minor part of the story. The character and world development take up a lot of the first half of the book, but I really enjoyed that because it allows me to more fully immerse myself into the characters and the story. I’m really looking forward to reading other works by this author in the future.

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Adrienne Tooley's Third Daughter is ironically the third sleeping beauty retelling I've read this year, and because of that, my expectations were low. When it comes to the sleeping beauty, it's self was well executed and followed the plot beats in a way that allowed the reader to identify the original story; while also providing twists to the report, such as the protagonist being the one to curse the princess and for her to fall in love with the girl who crafted the curse for her. The romance between Sabine and Elodie feels similar to that in Sweet and Bitter Magic which wasn't unwelcome but having something new in terms of romance would be refreshing.
I have enjoyed Tooley's book in the past; however, this one just happened to miss the mark; I think the sleeping beauty narrative would have been better served for another novel as this novel felt very similar to Heather Walter's Malice which follows a similar plot and romance.

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This starts out playing on your emotions, helping you understand how angry Elodie is after her sister's father, the head of the church, plays everyone and plans to rule through his daughter. He's cunning and awful and I just wanted to punch him in the face. Elodie has some good quips and I was glad she refused to back down to him, I love an independent girl in fantasy.

The other main character is Sabine and she offsets Elodie nicely. She's from a poor family and has a mysterious magic that she's learned to bottle and sell to try to keep from drowning in debt. Both girls care a lot about their family, but where Elodie has ambition to rule the country, Sabine just wants to make it to the next meal. The romance is a slow burn and I appreciated how it developed over the story.

I was mostly interested in the history behind the third daughter and the church's involvement. We did get to learn about some nefarious things happening, but I want more about the maiden and how the magic works. I think Tooley set things up for the sequel nicely and I'm excited for that to come out.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Christy Ottaviano Books and NetGalley for the copy.

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My review in School Library Journal:

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 thirteen 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.
Reviewed by Lisa Krok , Aug 01, 2023

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I was really curious about this book when I first saw it on NetGalley, so I was quite happy when I got approved. I mean, who wouldn’t be curious about a fantasy novel about legacy, betrayal, sisterhood and of course, a slow-burn LGBTW romance. So I was pretty excited to read this book, and overall, I think there was a lot of good things about this book that made it an enjoyable read.

The main character were a great part of the novel. I really liked Sabine and Elodie, and I liked those two together. It was interesting to see them grow towards each other. I actually really enjoyed seeing how different those two were different, in a really great way, and each have their own personal struggles that did connect with the others one.

One thing that did make me not enjoy the story as much as I wanted was the lack of depth. I felt like Adrienne Tooley stayed on the surface, and that left a lot of things to feel unsupported by the story line she had created. I just wish there had been more meat, to really flesh out the plotline.

Still, I’m curious where the story is heading next, and I will probably pick up the sequel when it comes out. It has an interesting premise, and it does set things up for the next book.

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I decided to DNF this book at about 12%. I wasn’t connecting to the writing style and I found the dialogue really unbelievable. However, I think a young adult would enjoy this book. Considering the intended audience, I would rate this story 3 stars. The characters seem like they have a lot of potential.

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This was a very good and entertaining YA fantasy. I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style and the storyline.
I just reviewed The Third Daughter by Adrienne Tooley. #TheThirdDaughter #NetGalley
[NetGalley URL]

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It’s a dual-pov with slight appearances by the youngest sister, Brianne, who’s under the sleeping curse (slight here meaning like 3? chapters at the most). So not a true multi-pov which makes sense as to why everyone’s saying dual-pov. I liked both main characters but I probably would say I preferred Sabine’s chapters more. Not to say that I didn’t like Elodie – I did. I just didn’t agree with her thoughts and actions all the time. Also (and obviously this is the whole royal vs. commoner differences) she was a bit naive now and then? She’s hasty in her decisions – which isn’t really her fault. The book is very fast-paced. Mom dies a few days before the book starts and then the youngest sister is crowned and then boom she goes to sleep. So it’s hard to fault her for making rash decisions when there are deadlines on various matters. Even though I was keeping that in mind it didn’t help me in forgiving her carelessness all that much.

This further showed in how she treated Sabine and acted around her (more of the royal vs. commoner differences). I won’t say anything really about the end of the book, obviously, but it will be interesting to see how the sequel changes in these terms. I related more so to Sabine than Elodie. Interestingly enough, even though both had siblings, I felt Elodie’s relationships with hers is more believable. Nothing entirely wrong with Sabine’s relationships with her brother and sister, it just didn’t feel as real as Elodie’s did.

I really liked how Tooley took the church and made us look at the darker side of it. Like it or not, whatever feelings you have on the church; unfortunately there is a darker side. The Chaplain in here definitely represents that. I sussed him out the first time we meet him on page and I wanted to go inside the book and just punch his annoying face. He knows exactly what to say to get what he wants and he has no problem in manipulating everyone to get his way. I wanted to drag his greasy hands away from Brianne and throw them into the ocean or something. And then, you know, might as well carry on with throwing the rest of his body in the ocean.

It’s a fast-paced book and the action is well mixed up with the silent moments. Tooley did a good job in writing and balancing them. I think a lot of writers are usually focused on the action scenes and creating a believable romance, adding witty banter (if they choose). I think they forget that you can have silent moments and it can be good. There’s sadness in both girls – sadness that actually is the same when you look at the heart of it all. I hope Tooley carries that into the sequel. If her other books also have it that definitely makes me want to read it more.

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This book has tropes that I love but could have been executed better. One of which is the magical element. The protagonist, Sabine's magic, was a central part of the story, but there was no clear view of how exactly her magic worked. No one in the book knows how her magic functions, including her, so there is no room for us to know either.

I liked how the author included real-life scenarios, like how badly the crown or high-ranked people treated the people from a lower region/place. The writing style was so good, and the story had a great flow.

However, I don't appreciate the slow-burn romance between Sabine and Elodie because it doesn't feel like a slow-burn. I love gradual character development in relationships, but it was lacking in this book. But I did like Sabine individually. Elodie seems selfish to me when nearing the end, and that sudden character change bothered me.

The book had numerous twists towards the end, some were surprising, while others were entirely predictable. One such instance was the revelation of Sabine's identity at the end, which didn't feel like a secret at all, as she was the only one with magic in a world of ordinary people.

In short, the book's writing style impressed me, but it didn't meet my expectations.

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Prophecies are tricksy, especially when the prophecies are being manipulated by the humans who run a church for their own temporal ends. The Third Daughter explores what happens when various parties try to shift prophecy in their favour. From a slighted onetime heir to the throne to a power-hungry church official to just a girl from Harborside, everyone wants to have a say in how (or even if) the New Maiden will rule over Velle. Adrienne Tooley’s novel is a delicious mixture of mistakes and missteps, intrigue and indignation. I received an eARC from NetGalley and publisher Little, Brown.

Elodie is the eldest of three daughters of the recently deceased Queen of Velle. She should have inherited the throne save for a prophecy that the third daughter of a third daughter would be the reincarnation of Velle’s famous New Maiden. Elodie’s younger sister, Brianne, fits this description, and so the people of Velle crown Brianne instead. Though Elodie claims she has no desire for power for power’s sake, she believes she would be a better ruler—and more importantly, she doesn’t think thirteen-year-old Brianne is a match for the machinations of her new regent, the Chaplain of the Church of the New Maiden. Elodie obtains what she thinks is a sleeping potion from a poor girl in Harborside, but it is actually a magical elixir that plays right into the Chaplain’s hands. Desperate to save her country and retain her freedom, Elodie finds herself working with this girl—Sabine—to right the situation before everything spirals out of control.

Tooley sets up complex character dynamics, particularly between privileged Elodie and poor Sabine. Elodie is made out to be an unsympathetic character; Sabine the opposite. Their attraction to each other is also obvious—I really like this queernormative world where they don’t even feel a need to label stuff. Elodie is just very clearly into girls! The romance is an important part of the plot, yet this is not a romance story, and I also appreciate that distinction.

The differing motives and needs of Elodie and Sabine create layers of conflict atop the main one. Despite their mutual attraction, they don’t really want the same thing. Elodie wants to be queen without killing her sister. Sabine wants to rescue her sister from a terrible fate but needs money to do it. Both are motivated by sibling love, which is just as valid as romantic love.

I wish we had learned more about the Chaplain, his backstory, and the motivations of the Church. Every time the Chaplain shows up, he is such a sneering, supercilious, one-dimensional character. And it remains unclear to me why the Church, at least as Elodie saw it, was courting countries outside of Velle at the expense of Velle’s own citizens. I’m happy for organized religion to be the bad guy, especially when it’s a commentary on how many such religions are misogynist and eager to replace female saviours with male ones. Nevertheless, I would have liked to see more of the Church’s machinations.

I also found the overall plot rather predictable. This is not a charge I make lightly, for I understand the value of foreshadowing leading a reader to deduce information before it’s revealed to characters. That’s not what was happening here, in my opinion—Tooley telegraphs certain twists in such an obvious way that I was not at all invested in their eventual reveals. The Third Daughter hence lacks much in the way of suspense, though it still retains plenty of mystery.

Whether or not you decide to read the sequel (apparently this is a duology) will likely hinge on how invested you feel in that mystery. I, for one, enjoyed the book enough that I might read the sequel; however, I’m not champing at the bit for it.

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A girl's whose tears hold power and a princess who will do anything for her country... even put her own sister under a sleeping potion, but when both their paths cross a very unimaginable future lies in waiting for both of them. In the kingdom of Velle it is prophesized that the New Maiden will return and, in the body of the Third Daughter, this maiden will save everyone. It is believed that she has finally returned in the body of Velle's reigning queen who just passed, Brianne.... however her eldest sister Elodie knows that this cant be and she knows she has to retake the throne for herself if she wants to save her kingdom, even if it means debilitating her sister. Elodie becomes desperate and purchases a sleeping potion from a attractive apothecarist, Sabine. The only issue? Sabine gave her the wrong potion and gave her her own tears (tears that hold potent power as Sabine sells sadness) and now Sabine's family is out of money and her sister is forced to be used as collateral for a loan and Elodie has put her sister into a sleep she doesn't know she can get her out of. Sabine and Elodie now have to find a way to work together to break the sleeping curse, save the kingdom from Brianne's father who has taken the throne for himself, and work out the growing feelings between them. Sabine has powers she doesn't understand, she hears a voice in her head constantly putting her down, but she knows her tears are the only thing keeping her family afloat as her father is constantly gambling and putting them in debt and her brother only comes home when he needs a place to stay otherwise he's out partying. When Sabine and Elodie meet it's like something clicks between the two of them and they understand each other, but this new journey will force them to truly see each other and the depths they would go through for those they care about. This was a really interesting read and I found the world to be fascinating an can't wait to see where the second book goes!
*Thanks Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Christy Ottaviano Books for sending an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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A sweeping YA fantasy about legacy, betrayal, sisterhood, and politicizing emotion in the quest for power—all balanced by a slow-burn LGBTQ romance.

For 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.

Desperate, Elodie purchases a sleeping potion from Sabine, who sells sadness. But the apothecary mistakenly sends the princess away with a vial of tears instead of a harmless sleeping brew. Sabine’s sadness is dangerously powerful, and Brianne slips into a slumber from which she will not wake. With the fates of their families and country hanging in the balance, Sabine and Elodie hurry to revive the Third Daughter while a slow-burning attraction between the two girls erupts in full force.

A must-read for fans of the BookTok sensations Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson, and These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong.

As someone who loved all of the books that The Third Daughter was compared to (Red Queen, Dance of Thieves, and These Violent Delights), I was really excited about reading this book. While the premise, the overall plot, and the way the chapters were was cool, overall the book was not my favorite, and I think that was because of how simple the writing was. While enjoyable, I felt as though everything in this book was very one note and I never felt for Elodie and Sabine in the way that I really should have. Elodie came off as very nearsighted and selfish in a way that didn’t make sense if she had really been trained from a very young age to be ruling Velle. And Sabine felt like a pushover who didn’t see her potential/who she should be until someone else told her who she was- what the heck! I did really enjoy the way that the chapters were structured and the interspaced bits from the Book of the New Maiden. Brienne’s points of view from her enchanted slumber were great too and I really liked where thins started to go near the end. Overall I saw a lot of promise in this book and it was an interesting, quick and easy read. The Third Daughter came out on July 18th, so be sure to grab it today!

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This is an engaging and twisty read. It feels like a better fit for the younger end of YA, which I wasn't expecting but do appreciate. This type of palace intrigue often goes more adult so it's nice to see a book with this that is more accessible to younger readers but still appealing to all ages of YA readers. The pacing is excellent and draws you in. I did find it a bit predictable but it was still rewarding to see how things played out for the characters and how they figured things out. I liked the characters and felt they drove the story well. The setting was well done and it's overall a well thought out book. I am really interested in seeing where this story will go.

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Thank you Netgalley and Hachette for an e-arc of this book!

According to prophecy, the New Maiden will re-enter the world as the third daughter of the third daughter. When Elodie's youngest sister fulfills this prophecy as the queen's third daughter, her expectations of ruling Velle are dashed. In order to save her country, she seeks out a sleeping potion. Unfortunately, it all goes wrong when the potion is switched and her sister falls into an unawakenable slumber.

Elodie recruits the help of the apothecary who gave her the potion to find a way to wake her sister up. She doesn't expect a slow-burning romance to emerge and complicate things.

This story has political intrigue, prophecy, a unique magic system....and did I mention it's sapphic? Though pieces of the plot were predictable, there were twists I never could have seen coming that had me gasping! I loved the romance, the adventure, and all of the twists and turns that Tooley put into this. If you are looking for something slightly dark, magical, and sapphic, this is the story for you!

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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book!

I’m a mess over antiheroes and scorned older sisters, but throw in some sapphic slow burn and I’m hooked.

This was a fun read, but I will note that at times things felt a bit shallow and predictable. However, I find that a lot of YA is plagued by this and it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the book on a whole. The relationships between characters was expertly done and I loved the development.

I cannot wait for book 2.

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I really liked this story. An MC that is selfish and jealous ends up getting what she hoped for. This story pulls you in from the beginning. They up the stakes and I couldn’t stop reading. I liked that the MC wasn’t perfect and we saw her flaws immediately. I thought the characters were well fleshed out and the story moved at a good pace. This was a solid read for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the arc.

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I’ve been a fan of Adrienne Tooley’s previous books, and THE THIRD DAUGHTER is a nice addition to her bibliography. I really enjoy fantasy stories with sapphic characters, and this book did not disappoint in that aspect. Elodie and Sabine were good characters and I liked their interactions. However, the writing and plot of this book didn’t feel as strong as the author’s other books. I was confused at several moments which took me out of it - just wish the story was tighter. I know this is the first of a duology, so I’m looking forward to how everything concludes!

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I always want to branch out and read different genres but somehow I'm always reading thrillers. When the email came up for the Blog Tour of The Third Daughter, I decided to take a chance. I'm so happy I did. I ended u really enjoying this book.

The Third Daughter is told from the point of you of mainly two characters. (You get a third pov at the end of each part) Elodie is the eldest daughter of the queen. When she finds out that her younger sister is the new maiden that everyone's been waiting for, she comes up with a plan to attempt to stop that. She goes to this midnight market and purchasing a sleeping potion from Sabine. Sabine makes a harmless sleeping potion for Elodie. However, once Elodie leaves with the potion, Sabine realizes she's given her, her tears instead of the potion. Sabine's tears put Elodie's in a deep sleep. Sabine's mistake ends up costing her family and she ends up having to give up her sister to gambling boat. Sabine is determined to find Elodie, just like Elodie is determined to find Sabine. They need to work together and fix the mess that was created.

This was such an enjoyable story. I had no idea what was going to happen for these two. Were they going to succed? I had no clue. I was ready to be taken on this wild ready. Along the way so many secerts are discovered. Plus one moment you think you can trust someone then turns out you can't. This book has so many twists and turns. I was so upset when I got to the end. I needed more. Adrienne ends things on a nice cliffhanger. I really can't wait for book two to come out. I really can't wait to see what Sabine and Elodie get up to in the next book!

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