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Mystic and Rider (The Twelve Houses, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is definitely predictable. I had figured out several key plot devices well before the major characters did. It is also derivative: other authors have covered the "hate and fear magicians" topic before. However, I am still giving it five stars, because the plot is enjoyable, the characters are believable and interesting, and the world-building is great. I especially enjoyed that both Tayse and Sennath are very strong, but also very vulnerable at the same time. The villains are dangerous, irritating, and fanatical, but very believable. I also enjoyed watching the gradual evolution of the characters and their relationships with each another. I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment.
First off, it was very predictable. Not in the just-like-every-other-fantasy sense, although it wasn't anything terribly new, but I often found myself rolling my eyes since it would be obvious what happened next. I got the sense of just being strung along on a series of mediocre adventures with all obvious outcomes.
It took me about halfway through the book to actually bond with some of the characters, and it was not even close to the bonds I've felt with characters from other books (maybe its a problem, but I can really grow attached to a character if they're written right). I'm sure your meant to, since there are situations meant for just a thing, but it just doesn't work. For example, Tayse (the hero) stops talking to Senneth (the heroine) for ridiculous reasons. I understood why, in a sense, but I felt like I was missing a whole lot to make me actually relate to him. I get the feeling that Shinn was grasping at straws to create conflict between her main characters.
Despite all that, I was relatively happy closing this book. The loose ends were tied up fairly well considering this is the first book in the series, and I'll be able to wait patiently for the next book to come out. But maybe that isn't such a good thing, since some of the best books I've read keep me aching for the next chapter. I recommend this book as a light read, and if you go into it with few expectations I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It is definetly not a bad book, but it simply lacks what I want out of epic romantic fantasy. But who knows? This is just the beginning.
Mystics in Gillengaria have various talents and are often distrusted and even hated due to these unusual abilities. Senneth is a mystic, but different from all others whom she knows. She can control fire, bathing herself in it if she wishes, a daughter of the sun goddess.
Senneth is sometimes called the King's Mystic since she started doing missions for him. This time she has other mystics with her, Kirra and Donnal, who are shapeshifters, and Cammon, who is a sensitive. She is also accompanied by two King's Riders, who do not trust her at first.
In this novel, Senneth's party takes a side excursion into Dormas to free Cammon from indenture. His family had been overseas when his father died. He and his mother took ship to return to Gillengaria, but she died enroute. The ship's captain sold him to a tavern keeper to pay for their passage.
Once freed and escorted safely away from the town, Senneth starts teaching Cammon ways to use his mystical abilities. He begins to notice that he can perceive things without the use of his normal senses. Although Senneth has duties to perform at the present, she decides to introduce Cammon to some of her sensitive friends as soon as possible.
In a small town, the group discovers a strange phenomenon. Something is killing small animals and even a child and a passed out drunk. Senneth recognizes something familiar in the situation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Twelve Houses series is one of my all time favorite book series. I've shared these books with many friends. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Elisa Sandgren
A very entertaining story, though not quite emotionally gripping enough to make it into five stars, partly because the leads mainly keep their emotions and secrets guarded. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Diane D. (genre fiction biblioholic)
Fun, engaging, hard to put down. What more could you want? For romantic readers only.
Don't have anything more to say.
Gillangaria is a land of mystics and magic. Six unique individuals come together on a common mission for the king and become friends despite everything. Read morePublished 4 months ago by mamabearpuffin
I greatly enjoyed this story and have already reread it. I am going to purchase the series, that's how much I enjoyed it. Very good plot and characters. Read morePublished 5 months ago by S. R. Fase
This is a great fantasy read. It is your traditional fantasy with a band of 6 companions with unique talents adventuring together. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Pen Name
I have long been an avid fan of Sharon Shinn's works. This series was my first introduction to her, and I have devoured it several times. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Pamela Schmidt
I started this book because of having read a few of the author's other books and being ready to try a whole series. The book did not disappoint. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dancing Jackaroo
Excellent read with compelling storyline and strong female characters. Couldn't put it down.Published 8 months ago by ladygina