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02 Mar, 2017

My Favorite Magical Land

/ posted in: Reading My Favorite Magical Land Unquiet Land by Sharon Shinn
Series: Elemental Blessings #4
on November 1st 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads

Leah Frothen has returned home. But she can scarcely catch her breath before she is summoned by regent Darien Serlast, the man who made her a spy. Leah is reluctant to take on a new assignment, but Darien has dangled the perfect lure to draw her in…
Leah finds she enjoys the challenges of opening a shop catering to foreign visitors, especially since it affords her the opportunity to get to know Mally, the child she abandoned five years ago.
But when the regent asks her to spy on ambassadors from a visiting nation, Leah soon learns that everyone—her regent, her lover, and even her daughter—have secrets that could save the nation, but might very well break her heart.


Years ago Leah left Welce under mysterious circumstances.  She fled to a neighboring country where she was recruited to spy for Welce.  In this series we first meet her in book three.  Now, because of the events in that book she is going home, but she isn’t able to escape spying as easily as she thought.

Each of the countries in this world have specific religions and magical systems.  I love the Welce system.  It is based on elemental affiliation.  If I had to pick one magical land from any book I’ve ever read to live in, it would be Welce.  It is fairly calm and peaceful and I love the magical system.

The Karkans are on a diplomatic mission to try to find an ally in Welce.  They have a very strict system of morality.  They believe that they need to atone for any wrongdoing.  However, they believe that if they atone properly and even in advance, there are no consequences to any behavior.  This leads to huge acts of charity that they feel allows them to do anything evil they want.  The ruler of Welce thinks that they are up to no good when huge anonymous donations start to show up in temples.  Leah is in charge of finding out what they are doing to do.

If you are interested in the series don’t start with this book.  This is a series that you should read in order from the beginning in order to properly understand the world and all the people in it.

If you could pick any magical place to live, where would it be?

About Sharon Shinn

“I mostly write my fiction in the evenings and on weekends. It requires a pretty obsessive-compulsive personality to be as prolific as I’ve been in the past ten years and hold down a full-time job. But I do manage to tear myself away from the computer now and then to do something fun. I read as often as I can, across all genres, though I’m most often holding a book that’s fantasy or romance, with the occasional western thrown in.” from her website

22 Jun, 2015

Troubled Waters

/ posted in: Reading Troubled Waters Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
on 2010
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 391
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
Goodreads

Zoe Ardelay has been living in the country ever since her father was exiled for giving advice that the King did not agree with.  Now her father is dead and immediately an adviser to the King appears to escort Zoe back to the city.  She has been chosen to be the King's fifth wife.

This isn't a request and Zoe has nothing keeping her in her village anymore.  She is numb and doesn't care what happens to her now.


In this fantasy world everyone is characterized by the element that they embody.  Zoe is coru.  Her element is water.  Every child is also given three blessings from strangers when they are five hours old.  The blessings are written on coins and are pulled randomly from a barrel in the temple.  People also pull blessings for themselves whenever they need guidance.

At first this seems like a typical parent dies/girl becomes queen out of no where story.  It doesn’t stay that way for long.  Zoe grew up in the city and as soon as she gets there she escapes.  She lives in a squatter’s camp on the banks of the river and learns how to make her own life.  Once her basic needs are met she starts to question what has happened since she and her father fled.  She knows that her mother was also part of a powerful family.  What has happened to them?


I liked the fact that Zoe changed from a very passive character at the beginning of this book to a woman who took charge of her own destiny.  Her father’s character also changed.  She saw him as a hero at the beginning and then she learns more and realizes that he wasn’t the man she thought he was.

I love the three blind woman who sit in the market square and give out knowledge.  People pay to ask questions.  If the woman feels that she gave more information than she received, she keeps the money.  If the questioner has information to share, she gives the money back.  Those three women know everything!

A good portion of this book focuses on building a life in the city and the squatter’s camp.  It seems like a peaceful, if tenuous, life with no extraneous belongings or responsibilities.  Zoe loves it.  When she starts asking questions and gets pulled back into the political life of the city she is very sad to let this life go.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book set in this world which features a character from this one who is a different element – air.

Joy’s review of the series so far

 

 

About Sharon Shinn

“I mostly write my fiction in the evenings and on weekends. It requires a pretty obsessive-compulsive personality to be as prolific as I’ve been in the past ten years and hold down a full-time job. But I do manage to tear myself away from the computer now and then to do something fun. I read as often as I can, across all genres, though I’m most often holding a book that’s fantasy or romance, with the occasional western thrown in.” from her website

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