I'm reading The Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn (part of the Dharian Affairs series), and I wonder if Dharia always has a queen, or is switching between Queens and Kings as main sovereign (or maybe a shared rulership between King and Queen). There are several mentions of the Queendom, but it might be because it is currently ruled by a Queen. So is Dharia a matriarchy?

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    I think so. I’ve never heard of Dharia referred to as anything but a matriarchy. This blog post claims: “All of the world created by Susan Kaye Quinn are matriarchies. Women are highly prized and men may only lead the country if there isn't a female heir.” but I don’t have a canon source to back that up.
    – alexwlchan
    Jul 5, 2015 at 10:26
  • @alexwlchan - Rather than re-reading the books, I thought it was easier to just ask the author
    – Valorum
    Jul 5, 2015 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


Update: I spoke to my new friend Susan Kaye Quinn a little earlier and posed her this question. She was kind enough to provide some additional detail about Dharian political life; in short, Dharia practices a form of female-preference primogeniture. If a female heir is born, they take precedence over any male heirs. If the sole living heir is male, they can ascend to the throne but for political purposes, they'd need to take a very strong female queen to act as de-facto coregent.

Please note that because the answer splits over multiple pages, I've taken the liberty of removing the line breaks.

Q. Quick question, is Dharia a matriarchy? Can a man ascend to the throne if there's no [fe]male heir?

SusanKayeQuinn: Well, there's definitely a king - Prince Malik wants to be one. but he needs a Queen for legitimacy. In this case the king is the most-direct descendent, so he would be the defacto ruler (with the Queen secondary, by marriage).

But if a daughter is directly available? She would always be First Daughter... and then Queen. You'll see this in Second Daughter, where the princes of Samir are the heir apparents. but need a Queen to legit their rule

The implication from this interview with the author is that Dharian society practice Matrilineal Succession (e.g. that if there's a daughter, they take priority over a male heir):

  • Wow, connections. I'm impressed. Direct word of the author beats everything I guess, so I can accept directly instead of waiting for more answers.
    – Mnementh
    Jul 5, 2015 at 19:41

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