Reader and Raelynx
Ace, Nov 2007, $24.95
In the realm of Gillengaria in the capital city of Ghosenhall, King Boryn knows there is unrest in the Southern Houses especially by the Rayson Fortunalt, who wants to wear the crown. Hoping to avert a civil war, the monarch decides that his nineteen years old daughter Amalie should make an advantageous political marriage. When she meets with her suitors, guards are hidden nearby as well as the mystic Cammon, who reads the truth in the hearts of others.
As Cammon reads the intentions of Amalie suitors in order to root out the malevolent ones, he befriends the lonely princess. He feels for her being an expendable pawn of power as he sees inside her soul and knows how noble she truly is. When war comes to the land in spite of Boryn’s efforts, many lords turn traitorous with avaricious eyes on the throne. As Cam and Amalie fall in love, they risk their lives defending her father, her friends and the kingdom.
Sharon Shinn, known for her romantic fantasies, writes a beautiful adult fairy tale that readers will appreciate as they hope the apparent star-crossed wannabe lovers overcome the impossibility of forming a marital relationship. The kingdom of Gillengaria seems real even with magical elements considered part of the norm as the political backstabbing and in-fighting brings a sense of authenticity to the realm. Although the plot has been used often by genre writers, Ms. Shinn provides a vivid spellbinding addition to the superb Twelve Houses saga (see THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE).