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Fantastical fantasy

August 15, 2012

“Troubled waters” by Sharon Shinn

Sharon Shinn is one of my favourite fantasy authors. That said, for me, reading this novel was like prolonged deja vu because the storyline was very similar to tales in her ‘Twelve Houses’ series. In a nutshell, the strong heroine Zoe Ardelay discovers special abilities as she rises from a lowly station in life to a position of power. Her life is also complicated by the love-hate relationship she enjoys with the King’s right-hand man, Darien Serlast.

So, to me, it was a fairly predictable plotline. But I did still enjoy it! Shinn is an excellent author, who manages to draw you into the story quickly, and maintain your interest throughout as the story develops and becomes increasingly complex, and climaxes in a satisfying conclusion.

In this new world, everyone is divided into five groupings of traits and characteristics (water, bone, wood, fire, air) much like our “star signs”.  There are five favoured Houses (families), and each house represents one specific trait. The prime (head) of the House is blessed with enhanced abilities, based upon the trait of that family. The King of the land is ratified and supported by the primes, whose powers do not affect him.

I suspect that this novel will be followed by others set in this world – possibly one book per House?  In any case, I look forward to any future offerings by Sharon Shinn, and recommend her to those who enjoy fantasy.

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From → New Books, Review

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