Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

Summers at Castle Auburn is a fantastic classic fantasy novel with intrigue, romance, fairies and herb witches — all essential themes in older, classic YA high fantasy books! 


Series: None!

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Court Intrigue

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5 stars


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 is a fantastic classic fantasy novel with intrigue, romance, fairies and herb witches — all essential themes in older, classic YA high fantasy books!

This book starts out very strong. In fact, I decided to purchase this book based entirely off the author (I’ve read and loved some of her other books, including The Safe-Keeper’s Secret, The Truth-Teller’s Tale, The Dream-Maker’s Magic, and General Winston’s Daughter) and the first page, which starts off immediately with a fairy-hunting adventure involving three prospective love-interests. Low availability of this book at local libraries also encouraged me to make the purchase — it really is a rather obscure novel I wouldn’t be surprised to see at a used book sale.

Apart from the fantastic beginning, Summers at Castle Auburn is very well written throughout. While I could understand some other reviewer’s claims that this book is on the slower end, I gobbled it up in a few days. I love Sharon Shinn! Never has one of her books disappointed me.

This book does include a rather interesting form of romance, beginning with three possible love interests: the charming prince, his serious cousin, and the handsome guard. There is a sort of love triangle at the beginning which sort of fizzles out into no interest about halfway through, when Coriel seems to be less focused on flirtation in general. (Spoiler!!) Then Sharon Shinn hits us with a surprise (for the character, not the reader) proposal at the end of the book, which main character Coriel agrees to, but not immediately. The two (can’t say who it is!) seem like a great couple, but I found Sharon Shinn didn’t give the reader enough time for their relationship to really sink in before the marriage and the end of the book. However, the happiness of it all still leaves the reader quite satisfied!

Summers at Castle Auburn has a fantastic combination of fairy world and medieval setting, along with great court intrigue, romance, and politics, reminding me of many other favorite books. I’d highly recommend this book to fans of Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, and The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. Summers at Castle Auburn really is one of those “hidden gem” sort of books.

This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge (in the category of “A Book with a Color in the Title”). 


One comment on “Gwen’s Thoughts on Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

  1. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge FINALE!! | Gwen & Kate's Library

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on June 3, 2015 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, School YA Bingo Challenge, Young Adult and tagged , .
%d bloggers like this: