Quatrain

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Overview


Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses books have fascinated readers and critics alike with their irresistible blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. Now in Quatrain, she weaves compelling stories in four of the worlds that readers love in Fight, Blood, Gold, and Flame.
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Overview


Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses books have fascinated readers and critics alike with their irresistible blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. Now in Quatrain, she weaves compelling stories in four of the worlds that readers love in Fight, Blood, Gold, and Flame.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The four enchanting novellas within Shinn's shimmering collection make delightful introductions to her romantic science fantasy worlds and thrill fans eager for a return visit. In “Flight” (the Samaria series), Aunt Salome tries to protect her niece from Raphael, an archangel with a dark past. In “Blood” (Heart of Gold), 17-year-old Kerk Socast moves from Gold Mountain to a distant city, where women's activist Jalciana Candachi helps him search for his runaway mother and find peace. In “Gold,” (Summers at Castle Auburn), war endangers the life of Princess Zara, who enjoys refuge in magically alluring Alora so much she doesn't want to go home. “Flame” (the Twelve Houses series) explores the fiery dangers of an untutored young Mystic and provides a whimsical conclusion to a satisfying collection that affirms Shinn's skill with the shorter form. (Oct.)
VOYA - Brenna Shanks
These stories revisit four of Sharon Shinn's fantasy/science fiction worlds. Flight takes place on Samaria, a world ruled by genetically engineered angels. In this tale, middle-aged Salome encounters the angel lover she abandoned long ago. When another angel's schemes endanger her young niece, Salome risks everything, including her second chance with Stephan, to rescue the girl. Blood revisits the deeply divided world of Heart of Gold (Ace Books, 2000/VOYA August 2000) where the patriarchal gulden and matriarchal indigos live in constant conflict. Young gulden Kerk, searching for his lost mother and sister, visits an indigo city and meets an independent indigo woman who changes his ideas about race, gender, and relationships. In Gold, Shinn returns to the world from Summers at Castle Auburn (2007/VOYA August 2001). Crown Princess Zara, fleeing an imminent war, tries to resist the temptations of the fae kingdom, Alora. If she fails, she will forget her former life completely, including the man she loves. In Flame, a prequel to Mystic and Rider (2005/VOYA October 2005), Senneth is blamed for the unnatural fires plaguing a village and must discover the real culprit. Romance, intrigue, imaginative settings, and strong characters are hallmarks of Shinn's works. These stories are no exception. Long-time fans will enjoy returning to favorite worlds, and new readers might find reasons to seek out the companion novels. Because these tales are from Shinn's adult novels and not her teen books, they are best for older teens. Reviewer: Brenna Shanks
Library Journal
Four new novellas, each set in one of Shinn's original world backgrounds, make up this volume by one of fantasy's most prolific and versatile writers. "Flight" returns to the world of Shinn's Samaria novels, where "angels" dwell among mortals and one woman faces her greatest betrayal. The novels Heart of Gold and Summers at Castle Auburn provide the settings for "Blood" and "Gold," respectively, while "Flame" tells the tale of one of the Twelve Houses series' most intriguing characters. VERDICT The author's large following should enjoy these reminders of Shinn's storytelling skill and her ability to create real people in imaginary worlds.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441017584
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love Sharon Shinn, but this book....

    Just made me want her to stop futzing around with novellas and write a full length novel again. Seems like she's been writing mostly YA lately, and I miss her Adult fantasy/fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    These are four great fantasy novellas

    "Flight". Living in atonement for her sins, Aunt Salome protects her niece Sheba from the dark archangel of Samaria Raphael as she knows first hand his temptation.

    "Blood". Seventeen year old Kerk Socast leaves the Gold Mountain to find his mom in the Lost City with the help of Jalciana Candachi.

    "Gold". Her parents send Princess Zara from the war to live with her Uncle Jaxon in Alora. Later after it is safe, she refuses to go home to Castle Auburn as she prefers living on the other side of the River Faelyn as there her love for her restrained guard Orlain can flourish.

    "Flame". The untrained reclusive Mystic Senneth knows when she uses her gift; the headache and other pains leave her believing she is cursed. She meets the villagers at a gala that her friend Evelyn insists the too tall big boned hermit attend. However, soon afterward, the villagers realize she has the gift of the magi with her skill to call and put out the fire. However that condemns her as flames burn down the village.

    These are four great fantasy novellas that showcase the talent of a wonderful author. It's a sin if you have not read Sharon Shinn.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2013

    i loved the chance to dip back into some of my favorite fantasy

    i loved the chance to dip back into some of my favorite fantasy worlds.  Heart of Gold is one of my most loved books ever so I really appreciated that being included.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Only recommended for Sharon Shinn completists.

    This was a deeply disappointing collection for me. It doesn't work for two reasons. The first reason is that the initial volume in any of Shinn's series always blows me away, then each successive volume is only half as good as the one before. Two of the four novellas in this volume are set in the worlds of Shinn's two longest series, and those two novellas have reached only homeopathically good territory. The second reason is that I just don't think Shinn is capable of writing stories with the sort of thematic freight she attempted here -- the two non-series novellas are drawn from two of her more message-heavy novels, and the two series novellas attempt to address some of the seriously thorny issues inherent but not really addressed in her previous world-building.

    Still, it's the sort of volume that if you are a Sharon Shinn completist, you simply have to read it. And since her prose is always pleasant and easy to read it goes very, very quickly.

    Flight--
    This was by far the worst story in the bunch. It features the return of Raphael as the Biggest of all Big Bads, doing evil just because he can; a really, really, really clunky and histrionic speech about the evils of a system where women are only valued because they can produce angel babies; and a completely forced romance. I rather wish I could erase my memory of it.

    Blood--
    The novella too features some clunky speachifying on the evils of a patriarchal system, but there is a greater focus on the budding friendship between Kerk and Jalci, a very Hollywood but still somewhat heartwarming set of scenes at a sort of shelter for abused women and their children, and an actual honest-to-goodness moment of heartbreak and moral ambiguity. That moment gets completely ruined a moment later when Jalci recasts everything as black and white, but it made the story worthwhile for me. I think this was the best of the bunch.

    Gold--
    I think this novella would actually work better for people who have not read the novel. If you have not read the novel, it's a fairly straightforward story about the dangers of living in fairyland -- not a particularly memorable entry into that canon of literature, but I happen to like those stories with their depictions of dangerous beauty. If you have read the novel, as I have (though not tremendously recently), something about the story just doesn't quite seem to match what came before -- I spent the whole time trying to figure out what on earth happened in the interim to twist the recurring characters' motivations to this result. The story also featured a tremendously whiny teenage girl protagonist, and again the romance seemed forced.

    Flame--
    Senneth is my second-favorite of all of Shinn's characters (right after Jovieve in Wrapt in Crystal) and Shinn went a fair way to ruining her for me in this story. Here she is wishy-washy and whiny or self-righteous by turns. Because of the difference in her character, I assumed that the story was set several years before Mystic and Rider; I would believe that this teenage Senneth would grow into the wonderful Senneth I so loved. Unfortunately, Shinn then made it explicit that Senneth went straight from the events of this story into the events of Mystic and Rider, so my interpretation was invalidated and I was left feeling merely annoyed. Plus the resolution was completely predictable (which is problematic because the story is a pseudo-mystery rather than a romance) and again there were far too many soapbox mo

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    Quatrain

    Nice way to re-meet characters from some of Shinn's series.

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