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Reader and Raelynx (Twelve Houses) [Mass Market Paperback]

Sharon Shinn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £4.81
Price: £4.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Reader and Raelynx (Twelve Houses) + Fortune and Fate (The Twelve Houses) + Dark Moon Defender (The Twelve Houses)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (30 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441016456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441016457
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 10.3 x 16.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
DALCEY rode into Ghosenhall late on a bright, cold midwinter morning. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars love and war 9 Dec 2008
By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
fourth and final volume in a series of fantasy novels by writer sharon shinn, about a kingdom called gillengharia. if you've not read the first three - mystic and rider, the thirteenth house and dark moon defender - then you could possibly get into this anyhow but I'd recommend starting with the first volume instead as that way you will get more out of the series.

if you have read them, then read on.

as you will recall from earlier volumes, gillengharia ia a fantasy kingdom where normal humans and mystics live. the latter are humans with special powers, and a lot of regular humans fear and distrust them. twelve noble houses and a king rule the land, and nobles from other houses are plotting to take power themselves. a group of soldiers and mystics led by a lady called senneth have been serving the king, finding new mystics and dealing with traitors.

previous volumes have seen various members of senneth's little group tsake centre stage. this time it's the turn of cammon, a young man with some empathic and mental powers. when helping the young princess who is heir to the throne choose a possible suitor, the two grow close together. but can their love be? especially when the war that has been brewing for long finally starts?

as anyone who is familiar with her work will know sharon shinn writes strong characters and very good romances. the latter may have predicabtle outcomes but if the writer can create characters strong enough for you to care about, then you'll be too busy enjoying the book to care. and that's what happens here. everything that happens in this, from romance to war, is totally character driven and thus highly convincing, and the lead characters are all people you will want to root for.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Addition 13 Jun 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was deeply impressed by this book; sweet, funny and moving, it follows the stories of Senneth, Tayse, Justin, Ellynor, Kirra, Donnal and Cammon, while introducing Princess Amalie as a real character and reminding us of the wonderful raelynx. This, the fourth in the Twelve Houses series, is an excellent addition which upholds the high standards of the previous three. Highly recommended for fantasy readers or just people who enjoy a good story.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Read for the Loyal Fan 19 Nov 2007
By E. Mennemeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Reader and Ralynx" brings the focus of the Twelve Houses series back to it's roots: political manuevering, religious fanatacism, magic, romance, and the battle to preserve the kingdom. The original six main characters are in abundance, as well as the key supporters who have appeared throughout the series. In short, this book is a good finale to the series, but not a good choice to read independently.

Each book in this series has focused on one character of the original six more than the others. This book lets us see into Cammon; finally, Cammon develops into more than just the 'tag along little brother.' His growth in this book is fun and engaging. Cammon is the obvious choice as the focus character because his magical powers links him to his friends in a powerful, vivid, and emotional way. This allows the reader to feel more involved with all the characters despite the emphasis on Cammon's viewpoint.

The beginning of the book is a little slow for the reader familiar with the Twelve Housees series, as it reintroduces characters and plot points. I recognize that this is necessary background for the new reader but it was also a way to move back into the series after the sidelines of the last book, "Dark Moon Defender." Once the foundation is laid, however, the plot progresses at a reasonable pace for most of the book. The background offered in the book is not enough for the new reader to understand the intricacies of the characters and plot points, however.

My biggest criticism is that the ending of the book feels truncated and rushed compared to the rest of the series. That problem is why I've rated the book 4 stars. As a reader, I strongly dislike feeling rushed through the end of a book. Shinn does take great effort to tie up all the loose ends, though, even bringing in memorable but minor characters from the previous books.

As always, Shinn does a wonderful job working within the world of Gillengaria as laid out in the previous books. There are no crucial yet previously unknown facts about the world introduced to advance the plot. Her characters are endearing and entertaining, if a bit predictable. Overall, this book is a good ending to a very enjoyable series.

SPOILER ALERT

Aside from the rushed ending, I was disappointed by Shinn's approach to King Baryn. In previous novels, we have been able to read dialogue between the characters and the King. In this book the best offered is references to the king. Characters still meet and discuss problems with King Baryn but we don't get to experience this 'firsthand'. Making King Baryn more visible in this text would have gone a long way to further understanding several characters, their motives, and plot points surrounding King Baryn's death.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cammon's tale and culmination of the series... 16 July 2008
By April - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Although most of the books could be read without the others, it's probably better to have read them in order. Spoilers in this review and in the book itself will naturally occur if you haven't read the earlier books first. And since this book also entails the war that has been threatening since the first book, more than all the others, this book should be read last.

Cammon is the last and youngest of the six companions and it is right that his tale be told last. The six meet in the first book when two King's Riders, Tayse and Jason, and two Mystics, Senneth and Kirra--along with her man, Donal, are sent by the King to seek out rumors of unrest and treachery in the realm of Gillengaria, and rescue Cammon along the way. Cammon has always shown promise as a Reader--someone who can pick up strong emotions and some thoughts. He can sense those he cares for over great distances, and can see through shape-changing and illusions. As the book opens, he helps forestall several assassination attempts on King Baryn. When it is decided that Princess Amalie should receive suitors in order to help stabilize her claim to the throne, Cammon is called to the palace in order to help guard the King and the Princess and to help to secretly vet the suitors.

Cammon and Amalie had hit it off in an earlier book when she and step-mother Queen Valri needed guarding while making the rounds of the Houses of the kingdom. The fears of a number of perceptive people are realized when Cammon and Amalie grow closer and closer. Amalie needS to ally with one of the Twelves Houses, not alienate them by loving a commoner and a Mystic.

In the meantime, plots are coming to fruition. Halchon Gisseltess is in nearly open revolt--gathering forces for an onslaught against the King in the spring. His sister, Coralinda Gisseltess, continues to gather power as a Priestess who is out to destroy all Mystics. Other Houses are allies or may stay out of the fight. And disgruntled minor nobles of the Thirteenth House are fomenting rebellion in concert with Gisseltess's plans.

The first part of the book mostly concerns Cammon and Amalie. Both seem very young and somewhat naive--Cammon, particularly, since he naturally doesn't care about anything other than people: caring for the people he likes and keeping the bad ones away. He has little interest in training as a Rider or in society or status or politics, and it's not likely he will change. I would have liked to have seen a bit more development in all the characters, but in this series, they have remained very constant, despite what happens in their lives. (Tayse and maybe Senneth have possibly changed the most--and that, mostly in the first book.)

The action and battles in the last part of the book is exciting and suspenseful. There seemed to be a few unexplained inconsistencies (such as waiting to try a certain ploy when something like it might have been used earlier to greater effect, and powers that seem nearly omnipotent sometimes but not so useful at other times). There were a few things that were hinted at that didn't seem to come to any full effect--and some incredibly useful flaws in the enemy that were crucial (in almost an Evil Overlord sort of way)--plus an fairly easy out regarding the romance at the end, but then, perhaps that's just my own few quibbles and no one else would think of it that way. (I also wanted more about the raelynx, given that he's in the title, but oh, well.)

This book was still well-written and a satisfying conclusion to a good series.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best work 18 Dec 2007
By crankykate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I loved "Dark Moon Defender" and liked "The Thirteenth House" well enough, so I was surprised at how disappointed I was in "Reader and Raelynx." Cammon is immature and annoying, Amalie is (up until the end) childish and annoying, the villains are all completely one-note, and the ending is, as others have noted, rushed. I'm also a bit frustrated that, after four books, all we really know about poor Donnal is that a) he's peasant-born and b) he really digs Kirra. The Twelve Houses series overall is great fun, but I ended this book with the impression that Sharon Shinn was getting a little bored.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Angieville: READER AND RAELYNX 2 Nov 2008
By Angela Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
This is the fourth book in Shinn's Twelve Houses series. Each volume focuses on one of the six companions and this one follows the youngest--Cammon. The boy who reads souls. Heretofore, Cammon has been something of a delightful enigma. The scruffy little brother with a good heart, not an ounce of tact, and the ability to gauge a person's true intentions. In this volume, he comes into his own and it was a treat to be one up on the rest of the characters for once. To actually be inside his head. Cammon is still Cammon, but we do get a little more information on his background and abilities as a reader. When he is chosen to assess the true intentions of Princess Amalie's suitors, the inevitable humorous and dangerous consequences follow. In fact, this was the most predictable of the four novels so far. Although I was surprised (and perfectly delighted) with how much of it was Senneth's story. She is my favorite character and, in the end, all the books are about Senneth, the people she gathers around her, and the ways in which she binds them together. As in Mystic and Rider (The Twelve Houses, Book 1), her sheer strength took my breath away. Now that I think about it, it makes sense that we get so much of Senneth in this book as it becomes clearer and clearer as the story goes on how much Cammon relies on her. How, even when he disagrees with her logic, she has come to fill a space in his life that was empty until she walked into the tavern and freed him with a swipe of her knife. As always, Shinn's strength is her dialogue and her strong characters. They leap, gleefully and disreputably, off the page, making me wish I knew them. Wish I could talk with them and watch their faces. Become familiar and chummy with them. Until I was one of them. One of the six. No, seven now. That's the sign of a good book. That's the reason I'll read anything she writes. That, and finally having the satisfaction of watching Tayse cleave Halchon Gisseltess in half without blinking an eye. All is right with the world.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reader and Raelynx (contains spoilers...) 18 Jan 2008
By C. Bravo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Overall, a good finish to this series and the author did a good job tying up her many plot lines. I was a little disappointed at how easily she ended the war--when she has Ariane Rappengrass ask why they didn't just assassinate the bad guys to begin with I think the character was asking what many of the readers were thinking early on. The explanation was a little anticlimatic. Also, a big plot inconsistancy that has been bothering me is this: why is it that in "Thirteenth House", Coralinda Gisseltess walked into the ball at Coravann covered in moonstones and none of the mystics were affected by her 'thief magic'. When Amalie put on the moonstone in "Reader & Raelynx", Cammon almost passed out because of the drain on his power.

Anyhoo, still a very enjoyable read, but defintely not the best book in the series of 4.
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