- Mass Market Paperback: 421 pages
- Publisher: Ace Books; 1st edition (February 28, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441013031
- ISBN-13: 978-0441013036
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mystic and Rider (The Twelve Houses, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
While not as original as Shinn's popular Archangel trilogy, this first of four in the Twelve Houses series, set in the land of Gillengaria, is tailor-made for the growing audience of fantasy fans who like a good juicy romance. Elderly King Baryn sits on a shaky throne, wed to a strange childless queen, and hides his only heir, a daughter. To investigate rumors that Gillengaria's southern noble houses are plotting revolt and fostering a pogrom against mystics born with supernatural powers, Baryn sends out five diverse individuals: Senneth, a female mystic who commands fire; Kirra, an aristocratic healer and shape-changer; Kirra's shape-shifting servant, Donnal; and Tayse and Justin, two elite King's Riders deeply distrustful of mystics. After rescuing the boy Cammon (an orphan empath) and a raelynx (a savage cat), the party undergoes increasingly perilous adventures while a disturbing attraction between Senneth and Tayse builds into profound and forbidden love. Shinn's spellbinding characterizations, especially that of the hard-bitten Tayse, who loses his heart to the powerful yet vulnerable Senneth, animate this familiar parade of shifting political alliances and disparate adventurers who gradually bond. Shinn's complicated pantheon of gods fallen mostly into disregard, a plethora of unsolved puzzles and ample promise of her characters' lives "changed by love" in future installments make for a rich beginning.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Gillengaria abounds in magic, yet its mystics, the carriers of magic, aren't well regarded. Tolerated in the North by royal order, in the South they're feared, even hated. Lately it appears that organized riders are attacking and murdering mystics. To verify and assess the situation, King Baryn dispatches fire mystic Senneth to the South. With her are foremost King's Rider Tayse; Baryn's shape-changing mystic daughter, Kirra; Kirra's mystic servant, Donnal; scrappy street-urchin-turned-Rider Justin, whose only lost fight was with Tayse; and orphaned Cammon, found serving ale in a tavern, who Senneth suspects is a mystic. They make a tension-filled group, especially because Justin is hostile to mystics and Tayse is uneasy around Senneth. Much of the book concerns their learning to trust and accept one another, and to work together. Pressing deeper into dangerous territory, they hear that the southern king's new, mystic wife has bewitched him, and a moon-goddess cult bent on eradicating mystics is suddenly popular. It's all too clear that, when the 12 ruling houses begin choosing sides, civil war could be the upshot. Clean, elegant prose is, as usual, one of the joys of a Shinn novel, and here it conjures entirely likable major characters and an interesting group-development narrative. Never tripping over the plot twists and complications, Shinn gives us an easy, absorbing, high-quality read sans gratuitous bloodshed and violence. Paula Luedtke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Were I stranded on a desert island, I would only want water, a hammock, and all the books written by these two authors. I would be able to feed myself with lessons I learned from the books, and feel safe that Spirits and God were allowing their characters magic to seep into my own being, so that I could provide and protect myself.
The Twelve Houses series is wonderful. Any book with strong, kind, fierce women who trust themselves and are yet open to risk loving others is a book I will buy over and over, to give away to those who need to remember who they are.
Decent, likeable people who aren't sure they like each other at first, by the end of the book they are blood brothers and sisters. All different, each a dazzling Faberge's egg of personality...gradually they seduce you into being one of them on their peregrination.
Unlike some fantasy authors Ms. Shinn doesn't overwhelm the reader with hundreds of characters. Rather there are six main characters, each of which has a distinct personality and past.
There is enough intrigue regarding potential treason and a possible sort of holy war against the mystics of the book to keep the plot going and the reader very interested.