Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn was recommended to me through an author’s blog, though I’m embarrassed to admit I forget which one. I found it recently at the library and picked it up on a whim.
The book follows the coming of age of a young woman named Coriel. She is the illegitimate daughter of a deceased noble, and her uncle has brought her to spend her summers among the ruling class. Corie goes from about 14 to 18 over the course of the book and Shinn does an excellent job of portraying the changes from naive adolescence to a girl on the brink of adulthood. Corie must learn first to recognize, then deal with the machinations of court life and she does her own unpredictable way before choosing her own future.
The book touches on sisterhood, slavery, first crushes, friendship and introduces the aliora, a fey like race with magical properties. I found it to be an enjoyable and engrossing novel and look forward to unearthing more of Shinn’s novels.