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REVIEW

"Fantasy Remarkably Rich In Characterization"

Sharon Shinn is a remarkable storyteller with a real gift for exposing human nature by placing ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. In doing so they become more than they ever would have been otherwise. SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN is a Cinderella story of sorts, although a bolder Cinderella you will never find than Coriel Halsing.

Coriel, the illegitimate daughter of a royal lord and the daughter of the village wise woman had lived a quiet life without the influence of either parent, until the age of six. She had been raised by her grandmother, carefully learning herb lore, when her life was changed forever. Her Uncle Jaxon had appeared at their cottage to inform them of her father's death and to honor the promise he had made to bring the child to Castle Auburn to meet her relations and acquire a taste of her birthright. And so it began for Coriel, summers spent in another, more complicated world, where what you see isn't always what you get.

Coriel herself is completely genuine, speaking her mind at all times, and wearing her heart on her sleeve. Nearly everyone delights in her presence. She finds particular joy in the company of her half-sister Elisandra, the gloriously handsome Prince Bryan, who Elisandra is to marry, and his kind and sober cousin Kent Ouvrelet.

The tale begins on the summer of Corie's fourteenth year. She is about to embark on a journey that begins her awakening. Uncle Jaxon has promised to take her to hunt for Aliora along the Faelyn river, along with the Prince, his food taster, bodyguard, and cousin Kent. Corie admires the prince immensely and like every young girl at Auburn fancies herself in love with him. It was there that for the first time Corie had seen an Alora free and unfettered. Until then she had not given much thought to the plight of the fey creatures whose mere presence exuded love, for which they were captured and held to serve the more mercurial humans.

The injustice done to these loving creatures makes her look at her jolly and beloved Uncle in a new way. Her reaction to her plight has changed her life forever. No longer will her summers be hold only the simple pleasure of being with people she loves in a glamorous setting. With each passing summer Corie grows in wisdom and vision. By her seventeenth summer she has learned that all that glitters is not gold. That a gloriously charming and handsome exterior can house a rotten core, that a outwardly unflappable young woman can harbor a steely will, that a kind, that one man can be deeply loving to his own while cruel to others in ignorance and greed, and that a kind, honest, and sober young man with a mild temper and a heart of gold, can inspire the passion of one young woman, and the trust of a kingdom. Now she must choose between the honest uncomplicated life of her village, or to stand at the side of the man she loves, to help him to face the complex challenges to be found in Castle Auburn.

Summers at Castle Auburn is remarkable rich in characterization. Ms. Shinn puts the reader into the minds and hearts of each player to see them as Coriel sees them. Coriel herself is paradoxically uncomplicated and complex making her a most interesting of heroines. I highly recommend SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN for romance readers who enjoy a thought provoking plot.

Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 7, 2001

SUMMARY

As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister--and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place.

 

Summers At Castle Auburn
by Sharon Shinn

Berkley Pub Group (Ace Books)
April 1, 2001
Available: November 7, 2006
ISBN #0441008038
EAN #9780441008032
355 pages
Trade Size
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Other Books by
Sharon Shinn

Angels of Darkness
Troubled Waters
Never After
Quatrain
Unusual Suspects
Fortune and Fate
Elemental Magic
Reader and Raelynx
Dark Moon Defender
The Queen In Winter
Mystic and Rider
Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy
To Weave a Web of Magic
Angel-Seeker
Angelica
Jenna Starborn
Summers at Castle Auburn
Wrapt In Crystal
Heart Of Gold


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