Archangel by Sharon Shinn
Gabriel is about to become Archangel. He is required to lead the annual singing of the Gloria on the Plains of Sharon in just a few months with his wife, the angelica, at his side. There is just one problem: Gabriel isn’t married. Faced with this dilemma, he goes to the oracle to find out who he is supposed to marry, and is given the name of a woman, Rachel, but he has no idea where to find her. With the months slipping away before his voice raised in song is the only thing that can turn away the wrath of the god Jovah, he crisscrosses the land, and finally locates her — an Edori slave girl who has no intention of marrying an angel and spending her life in a different type of servitude. To make matters worse, the current Archangel, Raphael, seems less likely every day to peaceably hand over his position to Gabriel.
Archangel is an amazing book. Sharon Shinn h... Read More
Sharon Shinn(1957- )
Sharon Shinn is a journalist who has written for The Professional Photographer, DECOR, and BizEd. She writes fantasy in the evenings and on weekends and has won numerous awards for her novels. Learn more at Sharon Shinn’s website.
Samaria — (1996-2004) The first three novels are knowns as The Archangel Trilogy. Publisher: A tale of the distant future by the author of The Shape-Changer’s Wife brings readers to a world in which the fate of all life rests on the voice of an angel.
Available for download at Audible.com
Archangel by Sharon Shinn
Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn
Set about 150 years after Archangel, Jovah’s Angel returns to the world of the Samaria books to find a new set of problems besieging the land. Terribly destructive storms are wracking the land, and the angels, who for hundreds of years have been able to intercede with the god Jovah for protection, can no longer work their magic. When one particularly bad storm hurls the Archangel Delilah to the ground, breaking her wing and leaving her no longer capable of flight, the oracles are approached to name a new Archangel. The pronouncement they receive from Jovah is a shock to everyone: the reclusive scholar Alleluia should be the new Archangel.
I loved Archangel and was concerned about whether any sequel could possibly live up to the first book. Sharon Shinn very wisely sets the action significantly later, so while the events of the firs... Read More
The Alleluia Files by Sharon Shinn
Set one hundred years after Jovah’s Angel, rumors are abounding that Alleluia had discovered the truth about the god Jovah — that he is actually a large spaceship orbiting the planet. While these ideas are declared heretical, a small cult has sprung up around finding the files Alleluia is said to have left behind. The Jacobites are declared criminals, and the Archangel Bael brutally suppresses their existence. But there are enough people believing the rumors that Bael can’t stop them all, and what they find could change Samaria forever.
The Alleluia Filesis told through two different storylines running simultaneously. One plot follows Tamar, a Jacobite on the run for her life, who finds an unlikely ally in Jared, an angel and leader of the host at Monteverde. The other storyline features Lucinda, an angel raised in isolation her entire life, and her quest to find h... Read More
Angelica by Sharon Shinn
The settlers of Samaria were brought there from a distant world, cupped in the hands of their God. Jovah settled them on this harsh land where they could find a new start far away the technology that had torn their old war apart, and then blessed them with angels — winged messengers to intercede with Jovah on the mortals’ behalf. Now, a few hundred years after settlement, the Archangel Gaaron has three problems.
First, he has to convince the Edori woman Susannah to be his bride and the titular Angelica, even though she loves another. Second, mysterious black-clad strangers have been seen appearing and disappearing at random, leaving settlers and settlements alike burned to oblivion in their passing. And third, his recalcitrant sister Miriam has fallen in love with one of the invaders, and will do anything to protect him.
This fourth book in the Read More
Safe-Keepers — (2004-2006) Young adult. Publisher: Damiana is Safe-Keeper in the small village of Tambleham. Neighbors and strangers alike come, one by one, in secret, to tell her things they dare not share with anyone else, knowing Damiana will keep them to herself. One late night, a mysterious visitor from the city arrives with an unusual secret for the Safe-Keeper — a newborn baby. Damiana, who is expecting her own child, agrees to take the foundling. She names him Reed and raises him side-by-side with her daughter, Fiona. As the years pass and the two children grow into teenagers, they must come to terms with who they are — and who they may be…
The Safe-Keeper’s Secret by Sharon Shinn
Safe-Keepers can be trusted to never reveal a secret. So it's no surprise that when a royal bastard needs to be hidden, a Safe-Keeper would be the logical place to hide the child. When the royal messenger who left the infant in the dark of night with the Safe-Keeper is found dead by his own hand a few miles away, the secret identity of the baby boy who was left behind becomes more of an open secret in the village. The Safe-Keeper decides to raise the child with her own daughter who was also born that night. But what happens when the King can't have any more children, and starts looking for the child who may be his son?
In The Safe-Keeper’s Secret, Sharon Shinn develops an interesting idea. There are people in this society who are responsible for keeping secrets until they need to be told, people who have a mythical ability to know and ... Read More
The Truth-Teller’s Tale by Sharon Shinn
Adele is a Safe-Keeper, physiologically incapable of sharing a secret. Her twin sister Eleda is a Truth-Teller, incapable of telling a lie. From the young age of 12, these sisters assume positions of responsibility in their town, but what happens when they get dragged into royal intrigue and the indiscretions of the most powerful family in town?
The Truth-Teller’s Tale, the second book in the SAFE-KEEPERS series by Sharon Shinn,is an improvement over the first book in the series. As an adult reader of a young adult novel, you always have to keep in mind that the intended audience is younger and assumed to be less sophisticated and well-read than you. That said, a good young adult novel should be capable of being enjoyed by an adult as well, and shouldn't talk down to its audience. While publishers recommend this for g... Read More
Twelve Houses — (2005- ) Publisher: Clouds of unrest are darkening the land of Gillengaria. In the southern region, ill feeling toward magic and those who use it has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such men and women are to be tolerated. Whispers abound that he issued the decree because his new young wife is herself a mystic, who has used her powers to ensnare him. The king knows this — and he knows that he now sits uneasy on the throne. There are those barons of the Twelve Houses, who, out of their own ambition, might well use this growing dissent to overthrow him. So he dispatches the mystic woman Senneth on a journey to see firsthand how dire the situation might be. Accompanying her are Justin, a young Rider who distrusts the magical arts; Kirra, a healer and shape-changer born of the Twelve Houses; her servant, the lowborn Donnal, also a shape-shifter; and Tayse, the first among the King’s Riders. He, too, holds a hard view of mystics in general — and Senneth in particular. As these unlikely allies venture further into the south, they ecounter a land under the sway of a fanatical cult that would purge Gillengaria of all magic users. They will face death — and worse. And the will come to realize that their only hope of survival lies in standing together, mystic and Rider, side by side…
Available for download at Audible.com
Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn
Like a mystified and riderless horse, Sharon Shinn's fantasy novel Mystic & Rider gallops to the point of fatigue and frustration. This conclusion is especially unfortunate in light of the excellent opening chapter. But buyer beware: the tension and excitement rarely increase from that point, and the last of the 440 pages brings us little closer to some kind of resolution or revelation than the first. Rather, the entire novel is simply a prologue for the rest of the series.
The novel's plot is perfectly plain. A band of adventurers is dispatched by the king to investigate troubling rumors in the southern provinces. Shinn's writing is usually transparent and, in some places, strikingly good. Her characters are likeable if on the bland side, and the magic system is passable. (Some people are born as "mystics" with useful, though us... Read More
Elemental Blessings — (2010-2013) Publisher: The author of the Twelve Hours series welcomes readers to a new fantasy world, where the elements rule. Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king’s fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. It’s there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood — and the secrets of the royal family — she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.
Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
Zoe Ardelay has spent the last 12 years living in exile and poverty with her father. She’s known that her father, a member of the Five Families that help rule Welce under the king’s guidance, used to be King Vernon’s top advisor, but then fell out of favor and was forced to leave the capital city and seek refuge in a distant village. Now, stricken with grief at her father’s passing, she is shocked to see an expensive coach pull into the village, and an unknown stranger step down, announcing that she has been chosen to be King Vernon’s fifth wife. Swept away before she can make a decision, she escapes from Darien once the coach makes its way back to Chialto and seeks refuge amongst the city’s homeless. After a series of events makes it clear that Zoe is actually the heir to one of the Five Families, she claims her heritage and is forced into a world of political intrigue that may be the death of her, an... Read More
Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
Zoe Ardelay and her father, once the king’s closest advisor, have been in exile for ten years. After her father dies, the king’s new advisor, Darien Serlast, shows up in Zoe’s village to escort her back to court because she’s been chosen to be the king’s fifth wife. At first Zoe is numb with grief and shock, but by the time they reach the capital city her “water” personality asserts itself and she begins to flow around the obstacles in her way — obstacles such as Darien himself, a man of “wood” who’s strong, stubborn, and immovable.
Filled with vivid characters, beautiful scenery, sweet friendships, surprising destinies, political intrigue, mystery, a slow satisfying romance, and an interesting take on personality types, Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn is a book that just feels good. I listened to the audio version produced by ... Read More
Shifting Circle — (2012- ) Publisher: For fifteen years Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante can never give all of himself back — at least not all the time. Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria alone. He can’t choose when he shifts, the transition is often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him without hesitation, wouldn’t trade their unusual relationship for anything. Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she’s been telling about her life have turned into lies she’s telling herself…
The Shape of Desire by Sharon Shinn
Maria is madly in love with Dante. It doesn't matter that he is a shapeshifter, spending longer and longer periods away from her in animal form. Maria's motto is "you can't choose who you love," and she loves Dante, regardless of the increasingly brief moments of time they can spend together as humans. But when mysterious animal attacks start claiming lives close to home, does her love for Dante put her own life at risk?
Oh my holy hand grenades barf.
I love Sharon Shinn. Her Samaria books are some of my favorites, and I thought Troubled Waters was fantastic. She always has a heavy element of romance in her books, but her world-building is so intricate and her characters so well-realized that it has never been a problem. So I went ahead and bought this book without really looking at the story because I love her writing. U... Read More
I couldn’t get into this one. I never could get past the idea that a woman could spend that many years in a relationship with someone, have him absent that often for a reason that could be easily proven, and never insist that he prove it. I kept thinking his secret was that he was married, not a shapeshifter. ~Kelly
The Shape-Changer’s Wife by Sharon Shinn
Aubrey is a young wizard, apprenticed to Glynrenden, the most powerful shape-changer in the land. Aubrey wants to learn all of his magical secrets, but instead discovers a mystery surrounding the shape-changer’s wife, Lilith, which may change everything Aubrey has ever known.
The Shape-Changer’s Wife is a beautiful fairytale romance, with a haunting, slightly creepy undertone. Glynrenden is a menacing character, and Shinn does a wonderful job of eliciting a sense of dread during his interactions with the other characters. Similarly, the interactions between members of Glynrenden’s household and the local villagers underscore the simmering tension and a growing realization that something is not quite right. This makes for an effective counterbalance to what could have been an overly sweet love story. Shinn also manages to write a novel that is ap... Read More
Quatrain by Sharon Shinn
Quatrain is a collection of four novellas, each one set in a different one of Sharon Shinn’s worlds. Ranging from fantasy to science fiction, the stories take place in radically different societies, but each novella is a different look at a person trying to find their own place in a world that is not to their liking. Each main character ends up examining their own priorities and their desire to find love and happiness in less than ideal situations. The varied responses to those dilemmas are as different as the characters and the worlds they are set in.
In Quatrain, Sharon Shinn deals sensitively with topics of religion, abuse, intolerance and ethnicity while never letting the issues overwhelm the stories. Shinn is a master wordsmith, evoking lush full-blown characters and fantastical landscapes with a spare prose that is breathtaking in... Read More
Wrapt in Crystal — (1999) Publisher: Interfed Agent Cowen Drake journeys to a distant, unfamiliar world ruled by a stark spirituality to catch a serial killer preying on the priestesses of the planet’s two religions only, to find himself caught between two remarkable women and torn between duty and desire.
Heart of Gold — (2001) Publisher: From the award-winning author of the Samaria Trilogy comes a classic Romeo and Juliet romance set on a world far from our own… A scientist by nature, Nolan used his rational powers of observation to question the privileges he was born to enjoy — and the people he was raised to despise. A rebel at heart, Katrini followed her fiercest passions in the struggle to overthrow a legacy of hate — one that had poisoned her family for generations… On a planet divide between rich and poor, strong and weak, intellect and feeling, only one thing could bring these two opposites together. A strictly forbidden desire. For justice. For equality. And for each other.
Summers at Castle Auburn — (2001) Publisher: She was a girl with a talent for witchcraft and a taste for adventure. The illegitimate child of a royal lord, she longed for a man who could never be hers. And she lived for her summers at Castle Auburn. She is a woman who has grown accustomed to standing alone. What she once loved, she has lost. Where she once saw joy, she now sees terrible injustice. And at the castle where she once lived in peace, she now walks in fear for her life.
Jenna Starborn — (2002) Publisher: Jenna Starborn was created out of frozen embryonic tissue, a child unloved and unwanted. Yet she has grown up with a singularly sharp mind — and a heart that warms to those she sees as less fortunate than herself. This novel takes us into Jenna Starborn’s life, to a planet called Fieldstar, and to a property called Thorrastone — whose enigmatic lord will test the strength of that tender and compassionate heart.
General Winston’s Daughter — (2007) Young adult. Publisher: When seventeen-year-old heiress Averie Winston travels with her guardian to faraway Chiarrin, she looks forward to a reunion with her father, who is a commanding general, seeing her handsome fiancé Morgan once more, and exploring the strange new country. What she finds is entirely different. Although the Chiarizzi appear to tolerate the invading army, rebels have already tried to destroy them; Morgan is not the man she thought he was; and she finds herself falling in love with Lieutenant Ket Du’kai, who himself comes from a conquered society. Can the irrepressible Averie remake herself in this new world? Sharon Shinn’s newest romance has an epic sweep, piquant humor, social commentary, and love to spare — just the thing when you want to lose yourself in another world.
Gateway — (2009) Young adult. Publisher: As a Chinese adoptee in St. Louis, teenage Daiyu often feels out of place. When an elderly Asian jewelry seller at a street fair shows her a black jade ring — and tells her that “black jade” translates to “Daiyu” — she buys it as a talisman of her heritage. But it’s more than that; it’s magic. It takes Daiyu through a gateway into a version of St. Louis much like 19th century China. Almost immediately she is recruited as a spy, which means hours of training in manners and niceties and sleight of hand. It also means stealing time to be with handsome Kalen, who is in on the plan. There’s only one problem. Once her task is done, she must go back to St. Louis and leave him behind forever…
Elemental Magic — (2007) Publisher: Four all-new stories of romance, fantasy, and natural enchantment. From wizards to weathermen, many know the powers of the four elements — natural forces that can direct the fates, change destiny, and unite lovers in the most unexpected ways. Now, those magical elements — air, fire, water, and earth — come together in perfect balance, and a perfectly unique romance anthology, from four charmed authors.
To Weave a Web of Magic -- (2004) Publisher: A romantic fantasy anthology with four novellas from renowned authors of romance and fantasy... USA Today best-selling author Claire Delacroix gives readers a revisionist version of the medieval legend of Melusine. USA Today best-selling author Lynn Kurland's trademark style shines in this tale of the magic and medieval romance between two lovers. World Fantasy Award-winner Patricia A. McKillip tells of an artist's model and the transforming power of beauty and inspiration. National best-selling author Sharon Shinn offers a compelling romance set in a strange new off-world of angels and revolving around the pursuit of love. The very thrill of love comes dazzlingly to life when these four shining stars or romance and fantasy weave their own web of magic for their legions of fans.
The Queen in Winter -- (2006) Publisher: From four of today's most imaginative authors come four stories of love as pure as the driv... Read More