This is book one of the One Dozen Daughters. A small kingdom has a well loved ruler who has a dozen daughters and finally a son. The son is to inherit but the kingdom is so small it will be impoverished if each daughter is provided with a dowry. The girls are expected to seek their own fortunes. This story is about Clarice, the eldest and her journey to become a sword master. One surmises that their may be eleven more stories.
This was a delightful tale that has sorcery, magic, pirates, sea serpents and violence. The violence is not terribly graphic so the book is fine for younger readers. Clarice is a likeable character who has had a thorough upbringing that provides her with the tools to successfully navigate the outside world.
She befriends a ship's navigator, Dominick, and that leads to the seafaring adventure. Typical Lackey, the book delves greatly into relationships. She does a marvelous job of depicting complicated relationships. If there are eleven more books, I will certainly try and read them all.
I recommend the book.
web site: http://www.mercedeslackey.com/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.