Publisher's Note:  

As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister-and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place...

Summers at Castle Auburn

by Sharon Shinn

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Overall Review:  

“Summers at Castle Auburn” is as delightfully predictable as your grandmother’s homemade chicken noodle soup!  In other words, serious comfort food!  The lovely sedate pace keeps you interested, which is a nice change from some of the rushed ‘shove-as-much-information-at-you-as-quickly-as-possible’ reads that we so often see.  It is ponderous and regal without being trite or repetitive.  Sharon Shinn is a fine storyteller.  Everything I wanted to have happen, happened.  I felt a contented satisfaction upon finishing.  This is a book you can curl up with on a long winter's night when you need something comfortable, happy and satisfying.  A fun fantasy with sweet romance mixed in.

Content Analysis:  

There are a handful of mild swear words, but above all, there is the usage of the coarser word for illegitimate children.  This is used fairly often, as I suppose in a kingdom there are quite a few?  (It is always in reference to the illegitimate children, not as an expletive, though.) 


As for violence, there is death by poison and by falling.  One character is pretty ruthless when he is crossed and kills another character in a not so pretty way.  It’s not graphic, but it’s sad. 


There are some sexual innuendos.  There are illegitimate births and affairs also mentioned.  Nothing is sensually or illicitly described though.  Even with all of these things I’ve mentioned, I really never felt uncomfortable or offended while reading this book.  Well done and a fun, clean read for ages 16+.

Mature Subject Matter:  

As far as mature themes, there is slavery and the discussion of whether it is right or not.  There is also a lot of discussion of political maneuvering in regards to marriage—‘strategical positioning’.  Sometimes this became very intense and ruthless.  There is ‘witch craft’ and herbal lore mixed in. 

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Reviewed By Emily
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