Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love Sharon Shinn's books! She has this amazing ability to create whole new worlds and make you wish you lived there with her characters. I don't know whether this will be a stand-alone novel or the start of a new series, but I'd love for Shinn to write more of them.
Shinn's newest book begins just after Zoe's father has died. A few days later, a wealthy stranger arrives and announces that he is there to bring Zoe to the capital to become the king's fifth wife. A grief-stricken Zoe numbly acquiesces, but when they actually arrive in Chialto, she suddenly realizes she doesn't want to marry the king and makes her escape. Over the next few "quintiles" (a quintile is 72 days), she learns who she is, what she can do, and what she wants.
The story begins a little bit slowly, which is appropriate for someone in the fog of grief, but gets going as Zoe reawakens to life. It's not quite as gripping as her Twelve Houses series (my favorite!), but it's an excellent tale told well. (Darien Serlast reminds me a bit of Tayse, of Mystic and Rider fame.)
For readers' advisors: character and setting doorways, primarily, although story picks up in the second half. It's also a good crossover book (i.e. adult book for teens).
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