Friday, April 30, 2010

Retro Firday Review: Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

Retro Friday Review is a weekly meme hosted by Angieville. This focuses on classics, out of print books or just old favorites that don’t get the attention they deserve. This Friday’s review is:

Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: April 2002

First Line: “…when I learned who my traveling companions were to be, I stopped complaining and began dreaming.”

GoodReads Synopsis: 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...

Kathy’s Review: It has been way too long since I’ve done a Retro Friday Review so I decided what better way to get back into the swing of things than choosing my favorite Sharon Shinn novel. Summers at Castle Auburn was actually the first book review I did for BWN, almost two years ago. I was still new to the whole book blogging world and my review was pretty bland. I re-read Summers this week and thought it would fit in perfectly for today’s post.

Before I write my review, I just want to clarify that the “first line” above is actually just a first line from the first page, I just really liked it. Anyway, as I said before, this is my favorite Shinn book. I love our heroine Corie (Coriel), she starts off as a young naïve fourteen year-old, but is also very kind and adventurous. As she grows older she starts to see her world in a different light, seeing people she’s known her whole life for who they really are. She spends the majority of the year with her grandmother in a small village learning “witchcraft” (just medicine really) and her summers at Castle Auburn, with her half sister Elisandra. I loved the relationship between the two sisters. Regardless of their backgrounds they deeply cared for one another. I also really liked Corie’s love interest (LI) and my only complaint was that I wanted MORE time between them, especially near the very end. Her LI was very likable, for me from the beginning. He was a great friend to Corie throughout the book, and you could tell that he was totally crazy about her. I was on the edge of my seat wondering if they would ever end up together.

Aside from the main characters, the story was also very entertaining. I liked the plot and you never really know what was going to happen next. There were some twists near the end that were exciting and while I was very happy with how everything ended up, I wasn’t ready for the story to end. The story ends well, but I would love it if Shinn set a new novel in Auburn.

Sharon Shinn is definitely one of my favorite authors. I am always surprised by how creative she is, each book is so unique and she is able to create some amazing new places. Below is a list of all her books.

Book One: Archangle
Book Two: Jovah’s Angel
Book Three: Alleluia Files
Book Four: Angelica
Book Five: Angel Seeker

Book One: Mystic & Rider
Book Two: Thirteenth House
Book Three: Dark Moon Defender
Book Four: Reader & Raelynx
Book Five: Fortune & Fate

Heart of Gold
Jenna Starborn
Summers at Castle Auburn
Wrapt in Crystal
Shape-Changers Wife

Safe-Keeper’s Secret
Truth-Teller’s Tale
Dream-Makers Magic
General Winston’s Daughter

To Weave a Web of Magic (Set in world of Archangle)
The Queen in Winter (Set in world of Twelve Houses)
Firebirds Rising
Elemental Magic
Powers of Detection
Never After
Unusual Suspects


  1. Great choice! And boy was I with you right up to the end worrying whether or not things would work out the way they should. :) Shinn has a knack for keeping you guessing until the last possible moment. I love this one. Time for a re-read, I think.

  2. I've never read anything by Sharon Shinn, but I'm liking the sound of this one. Great review :)


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