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A woman blessed, or cursed, with a talent for witchcraft returns to Castle Auburn where she spent her childhood in joy-only to find an aura of dread awaiting her.
Published: Penguin Group on
ISBN: 9781101208038
List price: $7.99
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Summers at Castle Auburn is a delightful book. The characters are well-rounded, the story is fresh and easy to read, and the setting is fully realized with such strong grounding that the touch of fantasy is easily accepted. The story is told by Corie, the bastard daughter of a very important noble family of Auburn. Her father died when she was young, but once her uncle learned of her existence, he tracked her down and introduced her to the other side of her family. Until her Uncle Jaxon found her, she was living with her grandmother, the witch woman of a small village. After her royal introduction, Corie continues to live with her grandmother, but spends every summer at Castle Auburn with her half-sister Elisandra and Greta, Elisandra's angry mother.The story begins when Corie is fourteen, during her yearly summer sojourn to Auburn. She is on a hunt for Aliora with Uncle Jaxon, one of the preeminent hunters in the realm. The author cleverly introduces the characters, the complicated family lines, and the main character in these initial chapters, as well as bringing in the fantasy element with the Aliora, mystical beings that seem nothing but grace and nature and beauty, She is half Halsing, and the Halsing family always provides a bride for the king of the kingdom. Her birthright makes her unsuitable for the role, but fortunately, her half-sister Elisandra is pure blood, and betrothed to Bryan, Prince of Auburn. That doesn't prevent Corie, and all of the other females of the kingdom, from being infatuated with the dashing prince. Corie, though, loves her sister deeply, and knows that her crush will always be only that.more
I read this once quite some time ago, and didn't care for it much. But I decided to give it another try since I do like her Samaria series. I'm glad I re-read it because I liked it much better the second time around. I'm not sure if my change in opinion is due to remembering the ending and spending my time picking up clues I may have missed the first time around, or if it's due to a change in reading tastes. I suppose it doesn't matter too much.more
There’s a special shelf in my mental/virtual bookcase. Until now, only Crown Duel resided there, a little proud in being the only one to make it onto that shelf but getting kind of lonely.AND THEN! ANOTHER BOOK TEARS THROUGH THE LONELINESS AND SPREADS ITS SUNSHINE ON THE SHELF/MY LIFE! It’s SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN! It, too, contains that rare phenomenon where the characters and the romance make me squeak with glee while not skimping on the fantasy world-building!HURRAH!I did think about writing a more official review but I think I about covered all I have to say about this book. Squeeeeee.more
great book! I read it in one day and then the next day i read it again! I just couldn't put it down it was so adventurous and exciting. I think the end is the best part!more
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Reviews

Summers at Castle Auburn is a delightful book. The characters are well-rounded, the story is fresh and easy to read, and the setting is fully realized with such strong grounding that the touch of fantasy is easily accepted. The story is told by Corie, the bastard daughter of a very important noble family of Auburn. Her father died when she was young, but once her uncle learned of her existence, he tracked her down and introduced her to the other side of her family. Until her Uncle Jaxon found her, she was living with her grandmother, the witch woman of a small village. After her royal introduction, Corie continues to live with her grandmother, but spends every summer at Castle Auburn with her half-sister Elisandra and Greta, Elisandra's angry mother.The story begins when Corie is fourteen, during her yearly summer sojourn to Auburn. She is on a hunt for Aliora with Uncle Jaxon, one of the preeminent hunters in the realm. The author cleverly introduces the characters, the complicated family lines, and the main character in these initial chapters, as well as bringing in the fantasy element with the Aliora, mystical beings that seem nothing but grace and nature and beauty, She is half Halsing, and the Halsing family always provides a bride for the king of the kingdom. Her birthright makes her unsuitable for the role, but fortunately, her half-sister Elisandra is pure blood, and betrothed to Bryan, Prince of Auburn. That doesn't prevent Corie, and all of the other females of the kingdom, from being infatuated with the dashing prince. Corie, though, loves her sister deeply, and knows that her crush will always be only that.more
I read this once quite some time ago, and didn't care for it much. But I decided to give it another try since I do like her Samaria series. I'm glad I re-read it because I liked it much better the second time around. I'm not sure if my change in opinion is due to remembering the ending and spending my time picking up clues I may have missed the first time around, or if it's due to a change in reading tastes. I suppose it doesn't matter too much.more
There’s a special shelf in my mental/virtual bookcase. Until now, only Crown Duel resided there, a little proud in being the only one to make it onto that shelf but getting kind of lonely.AND THEN! ANOTHER BOOK TEARS THROUGH THE LONELINESS AND SPREADS ITS SUNSHINE ON THE SHELF/MY LIFE! It’s SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN! It, too, contains that rare phenomenon where the characters and the romance make me squeak with glee while not skimping on the fantasy world-building!HURRAH!I did think about writing a more official review but I think I about covered all I have to say about this book. Squeeeeee.more
great book! I read it in one day and then the next day i read it again! I just couldn't put it down it was so adventurous and exciting. I think the end is the best part!more
I almost wish I had read this when I was younger, because I think I would have been absolutely enchanted with this story. Coriel is an illegitimate daughter of a high-ranking noble, spending nine months out of the year learning herblore and healing with her grandmother, and spending the three months of summer in a castle with her half-sister and the other nobles of the realm. Summers at Castle Auburn is a story about Coriel growing up and realizing what she wants out of life, while at the same time making realizations about the people she has known since she was a child. While she loved castle life at the beginning of the story, she comes to see the horrific things that go on around her.The story starts off with a hunt. Coriel's uncle takes her and a group of boys to hunt for the aliora, who are magical creatures that live in the forest and live in a peaceful, harmonious society. Using base metals, nobles trap them to turn them into slaves. Even after they are made slaves, however, the aliora are peaceful and even loving. Coriel often marvels at how Cressida, her aliora servant at the castle, can care for her so much even though Cressida is an unwilling slave.I was a little annoyed with Coriel at the beginning. She was just too much of an airhead, I felt. Too obsessed with boys and too clueless about some things. A little way into the novel, she grows up and stops being this way, thank goodness, so I didn't mind it so much. I think it's actually needed to show how much she grows as a person by the end of a novel. In fact, Shinn does a great job with the development of all the characters, even the minor ends. By the end, all of them have changed and grown, which is something I really love to see in a story.The best part about Summers at Castle Auburn is how Shinn adds in a great deal of darkness without completely horrifying the reader. She definitely does not go for shock value; instead, the bad stuff is subtly weaved into story. Like much of what she writes, there are a lot of topics covered for something that is incredibly entertaining and hopeful. Slavery, women's rights, and issues of responsibility are all main subjects. And like I said, the reader isn't beat over the head with the message. The message isn't directly stated; rather, the reader is left to themselves as to what they want to get out of it.Aside from all that, however, this is simply a good story. There is a good balance of everything in here. It has suspense, humor, mystery, romance, and generally everything I want in a story. The characters surprised me sometimes, and I find myself growing along with Coriel, opening my eyes to the real events taking place in the castle. The romance is perfect. As is usual with Shinn's books, the couplings are a bit predictable, but they're predictable in a satisfying way (if that makes sense), so it's all good. Lovers of young adult fantasy will love Summers at Castle Auburn. It's yet another of Shinn's brilliant novels.more
This book was a splash of cool water on a hot day. Words can't express its' awesomeness. It has romance without being trashy (at ALL!). It has drama without being obnoxious. It doesn't swamp the reader in what the main character is thinking, almost aggravatingly so. I don't think I got any stupid questions asked by the narrator, which I've been getting really tired of in other books. This book is perfect.more
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