Coriel, the illegitimate daughter of a high-ranking aristocrat, spends most of her life learning herbal medicine from her grandmother, but she spends her summers with her half-sister, Elisandra, at the royal castle where Prince Bryan resides. Coriel has always been secretly in love with Bryan, but she is slowly realizing that he is a spoiled, selfish, dangerous man—and that Elisandra dreads her upcoming marriage to the prince. Corie hopes that the prince’s cousin Kent will save Elisandra, while she wonders if the taciturn guard Roderick might play a bigger part in her own life.
Reading Summers at Castle Auburn is like having a leisurely stroll in a park.
I like the pacing – it’s of a slower pace but offers just the right amount of time and space for the characters to grow on me.
There is hardly anything redundant in the plot.
What I really love about the story is that many of the characters feel very real and believable – people are not black and white – human nature is never straightly good or evil and I like that there are all kinds of shadiness here. Selfish characters are really hard to be liked but strangely, I not only empathize them but also feel relieved when I learn of their selfishness in this story.
On the author website, Shinn mentioned that her favorite scene was where Corie freed the aliora. (In the story, the aliora are creatures that have been trapped and subdued as slaves for humans.) I like the scene too but my most favorite part is about the revelation of the fate of the hunter. It really makes me wonder who is inevitably being haunted and hunted in the web of life.
I know I’m being vague here but this is a story that needs to be read in my opinion. I haven’t read other titles by Shinn but after reading this, I am going to add all her other books to my read list.
Have you read any books by Sharon Shinn?
If so, which one(s) would you recommend?