Midnight Enchantments: Sharon Shinn
by Devon Ellington
Sharon Shinn’s writing enchants me in a way few other authors manage. I picked up WRAPT IN CRYSTAL at one of my favorite bookstores in Niantic, CT a few summers ago. I thought it looked interesting. I picked it up when I got home. When I put it down, several hours later, I was completely disoriented and shocked to find myself in the apartment. I’d lost myself in her world so completely that my home surroundings felt unfamiliar.
I got my hands on as much of her work as I could. MYSTIC AND RIDER had recently come out; I grabbed it and gobbled it up. Quests and love and magic and politics. What could be better? It remains on my list of top ten favorite books of all time. The opening chapter is one of my favorite chapters of all time — even though she tells it through the viewpoint of a character we don’t meet again in this book. And the second book in the series, THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE — the ending breaks the romance genre convention (where her books are usually shelved, even though they’re fantasy) in a heartbreaking way, and yet, there is no other way the book could have ended and been true to the characters. I bawled for a couple of hours when I finished it, but for the right reasons! 😉
I’m fond of all the TWELVE HOUSES books, and the stand-alones I’ve read so far. I’ve read some of the Samaria series (where Archangels and humans co-exist), and whenever I hear she’s included in an anthology, I rush out to get it (which has introduced me to some terrific new-to-me authors).
TROUBLED WATERS is her latest release, so of course, I pre-ordered it and read it almost as soon as it arrived on the doorstep. Shinn’s characters are filled with love and growth and intelligence and compassion, even when the world has dealt them a rough hand. Their hearts are always larger than their situations and obstacles, and that is central to their success. Shinn peoples her dynamic, vibrant worlds with complex and fascinating characters. Immersing yourself in one of her worlds is one of the most satisfying experiences you can have as a reader.
–Devon Ellington publishes under a half a dozen names in both fiction and non-fiction, and teaches writing both on-line and in-person. Visit her website here.