Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn introduces a lush new world that is peopled with fascinating characters who are subject to the influence of five basic elements, coru (blood and water), elay (air and soul), hunti (wood and bone), sweela (fire and mind) and torz (earth and body). These elements govern one’s lives and there are systems of blessings that are intricately involved with mixtures of these elements. Zoe Ardelay has had several major upheavals in her life, including losing her mother at a young age, accompanying her father into exile after he lost his status as a royal advisor, and the death of her beloved father, which starts her on a remarkable journey of discovery. Fortified with her mother’s shawl and a couple of mementoes to remind her of her brilliant father, Zoe travels far from the primitive village that she has grown up in and enters the remarkable city of Chialto, home of the royal court. That world is fraught with unexpected resources and perils that Zoe must learn to navigate while learning about her heritage and her place in the world. The question is, will the world change Zoe or will Zoe change the world?
Sharon Shinn once again demonstrates her considerable facility for creating a richly developed world peopled with intriguing characters blessed with remarkable powers. The charm of her tales lies with the believable actions of ordinary people that are interspersed with the fantastical powers that some of them command which intertwine to make enthralling tales. I suggest you don’t start this book unless you are not working the next day because you won’t want to put it down until you are finished. Hopefully, there will be many more stories set in this world that will appear with alacrity.
The author of the Twelve Hours series welcomes readers to a new fantasy world, where the elements rule.
Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king's fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river.
It's there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood-and the secrets of the royal family-she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.