Review: Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
It used to be that young-adult novels written by fantasy/sci-fi authors were hard hitting coming of age stories. The character was a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. They dealt with issues that forced them to become a better person. Author Sharon Shinn is one of the authors who wrote beautifully complex books showcasing how youthful admiration can change when growing into adulthood.
I love this story because instead of focusing on a female lead who is a drama lama, it focuses on Corie who lives a simple life, except when she needs to spend time with her noble family. Specifically, her father's side of the family. Her two worlds are vastly different and it is this contrast that helps her see what she did not see as a child.
This wonderful blend of fantasy with medieval times where the aristocracy did as they pleased is a book young adults should read. It will help them expand their minds and see the differences between right and wrong. Instead of worrying about a which boy likes them better or "mean girls" or what to wear to school, this story hits upon some philosophical questions that determine how a teen will lean in their moral code. It forces a reader to think outside of themselves and look at the possible issues within the society that is accepted as a norm. It forces a reader to think about what changes they can make in a positive manner for the good. Changes through positive action, not temper tantrums and name calling.
I have always found Ms. Shinn's stories to be intellectually stimulating as well as philosophically provocative. This fantasy is recommended to readers who want more substance than glamour.