Sharon Shinn
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Turning Seasons
Twelve Houses: Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House, Dark Moon Defender, Reader and Raelynx, Fortune and Fate

troubled waters
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barnes & noble

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 “A chocolate truffle of a novel: richly indulgent, darkly sweet and utterly satisfying.”—Kirkus Reviews

Reader and Raelynx
King Baryn has decided that if he marries his daughter Amalie to a high-ranking noble, the rebellious marlords might be pacified and he might be able to avert a war. So he invites all the young serramar to the royal city to court his daughter. To protect Amalie from any unsavory suitors, the mystic Cammon is installed to monitor all of Amalie’s courtships, because Cammon is a reader who can tell if someone harbors violence or malevolence in his heart. Much to the dismay of her advisors, Amalie begins to fall in love with the wholly unsuitable Cammon. Even worse, war comes to Gillengaria anyway, and Amalie can only be kept safe through the combined efforts of the Riders, the mystics—and the wild raelynx that has mystical powers of its own.

Publishing history:
Hardback published in November 2007
Paperback published in October 2008.

Interesting tidbit:

While each of the Twelve Houses books is meant to stand alone, this one would be fairly difficult to follow for anyone who hadn’t read the previous three books, I think. I always considered it the concluding chapters of one very long novel, and I tried to tie up all the threads and clues that were presented in earlier books. I also jumped at the chance to bring back minor characters from the previous books to make cameo appearances—Sosie, Mayva, Kelti, Torrin, Lara. Everybody’s here.

In terms of theme music, I haven’t really been able to come up with a good heavy metal ballad that fits Cammon and Amalie. Sadly, the song that most seems to capture their relationship is The Monkees’ “Cheer Up, Sleepy Jean” with the line about the “daydream believer and the homecoming queen.” I’ll keep thinking.

Favorite scene:
Without question, Chapter 29. Action! Heartbreak! Desperation! Rescue! I love it.

 
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