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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:four moon gifAce Books (Paperback), ISBN: 0441008038
The illegitimate daughter of a royal lord, Corie lives in two worlds. Most of the year, she lives in a small village apprenticed to her witch/herbalist grandmother. But Corie spends her summers at Castle Auburn with her highborn half-sister Elisandra, her uncle Jaxom, and spoiled, handsome Prince Bryan -- the object of Corie's girlish affection.

Book: Sharon Shinn, Summer at castle Auburn Through the years, Corie's affection for Bryan wanes as she watches him seduce woman after woman -- all in full view of his betrothed. Despite the antipathy of Elisandra's mother, Corie and her half-sister love and respect each other. Corie can't understand why Elisandra remains betrothed to Bryan. His innate cruelty and arrogance towards his family, his court and the Aliora (fairy-like beings enslaved by the humans of Corie's world) would make any sensible young woman run screaming for the nearest door.

Things are not always as they seem. Corie, determined to help her half-sister and the Aliora, discovers that courage comes in many forms. Corie finds that helping the helpless comes at great cost. And falling in love costs as much and more, since the person Corie finally falls in love with doesn't and can't love her back. Right? Well…

Sharon Shinn paints a colorful portrait of life experienced by a child who dwells on the outside of two worlds. Not fully accepted by the villagers or the castle staff, Corie learns to step her own path between the two. And even though I wished for more information regarding Bryan's descent into evil and much, much more about the Aliora, Shinn still managed to keep me engrossed by Corie's travails and victories right up to the very satisfying ending.

Teri Smith

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