Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses Series #1)

Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses Series #1)

4.6 62
by Sharon Shinn
     
 

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Gillengaria seethes with unrest. In the south, hostility toward magic and its users has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such mystics are to be tolerated. It is whispered that he issued the decree because his new wife used her magic powers to ensnare him…

The King knows there are those in the noble Twelve Houses who could use

Overview

Gillengaria seethes with unrest. In the south, hostility toward magic and its users has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such mystics are to be tolerated. It is whispered that he issued the decree because his new wife used her magic powers to ensnare him…

The King knows there are those in the noble Twelve Houses who could use this growing dissent to overthrow him. So he dispatches the mystic Senneth to assess the threat throughout the realm. Accompanying her is a motley band of magic-users and warriors including Tayse, first among the King’s Riders—who holds a hard view of mystics in general, and Senneth in particular.

But as the unlikely allies venture farther into the south, they will face death in a land under the sway of a fanatical cult that would purge Gillengaria of all magic users. And they will come to realize that their only hope of survival lies in standing together…

Editorial Reviews

This abundant offering sets the stage for what promises to be a riveting tetralogy by Archangel trilogy author Sharon Shinn. Mystic and Rider features a regal succession crisis, several court conspiracies, shape-shifting heroes, and star-crossed lovers.
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. Agent, Ethan Ellenberg. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441013036
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Series:
Twelve Houses Series, #1
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,078,118
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.64(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by  Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.

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Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A totally enjoyable first book in an adventure/fantasy series. The unusual characters are well developed and have diverse and unusal life experiences and talents. In this book the characters get to know each other and form bonds of friendship and caring that continue throughout the rest of the series. Another favorite of mine is a later book in the series entitled Fortune and Fate that features an interesting and unusual heroine.
ADropOfInkReviews More than 1 year ago
Honestly, it seems silly to be writing this review now. This book, and the others of the Twelve Houses series claim a special spot on my bookshelf. I have read them to the point that I have already replaced them with digital versions for when my paperbacks disintegrate. I pick up this series, and this book in particular, every time I want something to read that I know I will enjoy. Sharon Shinn’s use of language to convey what she wishes to the reader is amazing. I’m awed by it every time I read these books. She has a masterful way with the concept of “show, don’t tell” that constantly plagues writers. This story is well-written and it seems like the characters move from one end of the country to the other without the constant travel seeming to get in the way. As a matter of fact, it adds to the story as it leads from one conflict to another. Since none of the characters seem to really trust each other, you even have the internal conflict of the main group to contend with. It’s fun to watch the change in Senneth and Tayse as they move through this story. Senneth was one to always remain alone, moving from place to place with no where to really call home, and no one to call true friends. This book is mainly her story, as each of the books in the Twelve Houses series is the story of the other characters in this motley group. I highly recommend this entire series. I have since gone on to read just about everything Sharon Shinn has written since I stumbled across this book in a bookstore. She has taken place as one of my favorite authors of all time. However, this series will always remain at the top of everything I’ve read by her. There’s just something about the depth and emotions of these characters that keeps dragging me back to read these books again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favourite fantasy books and series, although I love all her books. I highly recommend! When will these books be made into movies? Or better yet, a television series?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book and the series. Could never get enough of the world created in them.
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Leani More than 1 year ago
After looking for high fantasy series/authors that were new to me, I stumbled upon Sharon Shinn's Twelve Kingdom series through a short story anthology, "The Queen in Winter." The world she was able to build, seemingly effortlessly, was unique, believable,and utterly immersive. I HAD to find the books! Depth of characters, underlying themes, and excellent writing have characterized the entire series. After the initial series of 4 books, I had some trepidation approaching the 5th book. Some writers, once their initial saga is finished, seem to flounder in later installments. I should never have worried. I can only hope for more installments!
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This is a the terrific start to a great series I've read from start to finish. Great character development and descriptive language, you can't help falling in love with it.
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