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Summers at Castle Auburn

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,199 Ratings  ·  524 Reviews
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...
Paperback, 342 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Ace (first published April 1st 2001)
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Keturah and Lord Death by Martine LeavittSummers at Castle Auburn by Sharon ShinnThe Seer and the Sword by Victoria HanleyFire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne JonesThe Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
Hidden Gems: YA-Fantasy Novels
2nd out of 1,540 books — 3,530 voters
Graceling by Kristin CashorePoison Study by Maria V. SnyderFire by Kristin CashoreHowl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Magic, Adventure, Romance
21st out of 1,286 books — 3,512 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steph Su
Apr 20, 2013 Steph Su rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Steph Su by: Rachel Piper
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
...more
Tina
Jun 28, 2008 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: sff-fantasy
Corie is the illegitimate daughter of a now deceased noble lord. Through an arrangement made while she was young, Corie spends her summers at Castle Auburn, home of her father. She has a great relationship with her legitimate half-sister Elisandra and a not-so-great one with her father's widow. The rest of the time she spends with her maternal grandmother, a wise woman of peasant stock who knows herbal lore and healing.

Although she is used to spending time with nobles, including the young Prince
...more
Angie
Jul 20, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed here.

I discovered Sharon Shinn through the fabulous Archangel--the first book in her Samaria series. I was instantly smitten and plowed my way through that series quick like a bunny. I'm pretty sure I picked up SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN while waiting for the fifth Samaria book to come out. I knew it was YA and much more traditional fantasy (also no sci fi), but honestly I was just sort of making time, if you will. I wasn't expecting that much. You know how you find a new autho
...more
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
First posted over at my blog where you can find more book talks and general book nerdery.

I could die of happiness talking about Summers at Castle Auburn — it was so charming and swoony. It was one of those books that felt like magic. It felt like cozy over-sized sweaters, a good cup of tea, hot cocoa with big ol’ marshmallows, blanket forts and sitting by the fireplace. I don’t know how else to describe it. I felt like it didn’t matter what happened around me as I was reading it in my blanket f
...more
Olga Godim
Dec 22, 2015 Olga Godim rated it really liked it
I first read this book many years ago, when I didn’t write reviews and neither GR nor BL existed. In fact, it was so long ago, I didn’t remember anything about the book except that it was sitting on my shelf, reminding me of pleasures gone by. This reading felt as fresh as if it was a new book. After almost fifteen years since its publication, I guess it was, in a sense.
Like many novels of this writer, this one is gentle and seemingly slow. It is a classic growing-up story. It starts when the h
...more
Jubilation Lee
Summers at Castle Auburn came up in conversation a few weeks ago, friends, when a number of my fellow Goodreaders were like, “How have you never heard of Sharon Shinn? Seriously? I’m embarrassed to say that I vaguely internet-know you.”

So I brought the book in at my library, where all of my co-workers were all, “SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN OMG I LOVED IT SO MUCH WHEN I WAS TWELVE” which made me feel even more out of touch.

And having finally succeeded in educating myself on the wonders of Sharon Sh
...more
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
3.5 Stars

All in all this was a good book but I did find myself at times rolling my eyes at how everything came together so perfectly without any trouble. Especially at the end.

I don't understand how all that time, our heroine wasn't able to figure matters of heart out.
Emily
Mar 02, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
As the base-born daughter of a nobleman, Corie, who is fourteen at this book's opening, spends her winters in her grandmother's village learning herb-lore, and her summers at Castle Auburn, where she enjoys a close relationship with her noble half-sister who has been betrothed to the crown prince since birth. Corie has a severe crush on the prince who oh so unfortunately happens to be a selfish cad. As the story unfolds, her eyes are opened not only to his real nature, but to the plans being mad ...more
Henrietta
Dec 20, 2013 Henrietta rated it it was amazing
Reading Summers at Castle Auburn is like having a leisurely stroll in a park.

I like the pacing – it’s of a slower pace but offers just the right amount of time and space for the characters to grow on me.

There is hardly anything redundant in the plot.

What I really love about the story is that many of the characters feel very real and believable – people are not black and white – human nature is never straightly good or evil and I like that there are all kinds of shadiness here. Selfish characters
...more
Jojo
Apr 28, 2008 Jojo rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2008, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
Nov 14, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing
I just loved, loved, loved this book; not in a heart pounding, gripping, page turning kind of way, but in more of a lovely, lose yourself, relaxing kind of read. A lovely mix of coming of age story, romance and fairy tale all mixed in one.
Corrie is the illegitimate child of a Lord who spend most of her time with her grandmother in a small village learning herb lore. But she lives for the summers she spends at Castle Auburn with her adventerous uncle, her half-sister who she loves and her father'
...more
Kelly
Jul 08, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it
A book of political opinions encased in a fairly simplistic fantasy tale. Corie is the illigitimate daughter of a noble house of women who frequently marry into the royal family. The book details her split childhood, raised by her grandmother the healer in a dirt cottage and her "Summers at Castle Auburn," every year, to be taught and cultivated by her noble relatives.

I don't remember this book as being particularly complicated, but it is honest. Forthright in its views and with a very definite
...more
Alissa
Jan 13, 2016 Alissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
3.5 stars. Classic fantasy, a delightful coming-of-age tale, if a bit predictable, gently-paced and a veritable page-turner!

I supposed one brought to the table whatever traits one had, and then did the best one could to grow into the role one was given.
Clare Cannon
Aptly recommended for fans of Crown Duel, Summers at Castle Auburn comes closer than most to the attractive innocence and depth of character of that much loved romance. The protagonist, young Coriel, has courage and wisdom and a youthful generosity that endears her to many, even though she lacks the poise and polish (and some would say self-restraint) that would please her noble elders. Her good humour and common sense make her a loveable first-person narrator.

Most characters are differentiated
...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I am not the biggest fan of young adult books, but had hoped this one would appeal to adult fantasy readers as well. After plodding through the first 80 or so pages, I did find it entertaining, but with a variety of problems and inconsistencies that make it hard to recommend.

Summers at Castle Auburn is the first-person narrative of Corie, the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman. She spends her summers at court with her older half-sister, and the rest of the year with her grandmother, a village h
...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana T.
Feb 07, 2008 Ana T. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed, fantasy
It took me a while to get into this book. I wasn't too sure I really wanted to read it and my prejudice against fantasy almost made me quit. But I persevered and I have to say that the more I read it the more I loved it and wanted to know more. Now that I've finished I can safely say it found a place among my favourites.

So what did I like so much about it? Well she creates a world with medieval reflections that is a sort of fairy-tale land, and then this is a coming of age story and I just love
...more
Kathy ~ Bookworm Nation
This is a wonderful story of a girl named Corie. Corie is the illegitimate daughter of a lord. After he passes away her uncle Jaxon decides to take care of her. He works out an agreement with her grandmother that she will spend the summer at Castle Auburn and the rest of the year with her grandmother learning “witchcraft” (really, she is just a healer). Most of the story takes place at the castle though, where her “grooming” takes place in hopes that she will have a politically placed marriage. ...more
Jeri
Sep 22, 2010 Jeri rated it liked it
I enjoyed it, quite a bit, though I was unsatisfied with the romance part of it. It's one of those where there are more than one prospective love interest and you don't know which one is "the one" until almost the very end. It's always my feeling that if the big mystery is "which one is the right one" then I don't get much emotional satisfaction from the HEA anyway.

I like the way the story is told in the first person, beginning with a rather naive girl who will have to learn some hard truths as
...more
First Second Books
One of the reasons I love this book is because Sharon Shinn doesn’t telegraph the internal lives of her non-point-of-view characters. So you’ve got all these people, and some of them are relatively simple and you’re like, ‘the prince cares for no one but himself!’ but you’re also like, ‘the main character’s sister could be resigned or rebellious – but the main character’s not sophisticated enough to tell the difference.’ So you’re just left with ‘people – kind of mysterious!’ which is how life i ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I thought this was a really lovely coming-of-age novel. It's a YA fantasy but interesting and complex enough for adults to enjoy. There are some unexpected plot twists that nevertheless fit really well with the storyline. Kudos to Sharon Shinn for (view spoiler).
Barbara
Apr 18, 2009 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: read-first-in-09
I actually really enjoyed this book. It's more of a 3.7 star book, but I don't round up, I guess.
Although I hate that she's lovesick with a completely arrogant fool at first, I ended up liking it a lot.
Her sister completely surprised me at the end, but I liked the twist anyway.
Rachel Lizz
Jun 03, 2012 Rachel Lizz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favs! You should read it. I love how the author develops the main character!
Charlotte
Jul 21, 2014 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read, fairy-tale
June 2011: The kitschy fantasy cover and awful back matter made me think of medieval clubs and hobbit cloaks, and I moved forward only on the recommendation of a friend. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that this novel was more light fantasy and told a thoughtful coming-of-age story. Corie starts out as an immature, naive fourteen-year-old and through her summers in court grows into a discerning, empathetic young woman who has to make many decisions about who she is and wants to be. Th ...more
Férial
Jun 20, 2015 Férial rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you need a break, a refreshing story. If you need to get away from every day worries.

If you want a gentle story, with gentle characters (well, not all of them are gentle).

If you want a book that talks about slavery, court politics and intrigues in a "delicate" manner(at least as long as slavery is concerned).

If you want a book that also talks about love and if you love happy endings, then this book is for you.

I must say I have enjoyed Corrie's story a lot.
Martha
Fifth re-read: I CANNOT DESCRIBE. HOW. GOOD. THIS. BOOK. IS.
!!!!!

*

Fourth re-read: I actually cannot describe how much I love this book! I wish I hadn't just finished it!

*

This is - quite probably - my favourite book EVER. It never fails to enchant me every time I read it! It is so beautifully written and its characters and world are so, so wonderful! A must read :)
YA Book Recommendations
Jul 11, 2014 YA Book Recommendations rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
My reaction in one gif:
description

Full review:
This is a classic YA fantasy that I have just gotten around to reading, and it was a fantastic one.

The characters are an incredible strength. Each is so well-formed and characterized. For me, it’s rare to find a book in which each and every one of the characters felt like they were actual people that I knew and not just words on a page, but this was one of them.

The plot was so well put together and tight, it was one of those glorious times in which I didn’t see
...more
Sarah
Feb 01, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
My mother bought this book when I was in middle school and I've spotted it sitting on her bookshelf through the years, thinking, "That looks good!" Finally, I actually cracked the cover and started reading it. As a warm-fuzzy, I-need-some-comfort-reading story "Summers at Castle Auburn" is top of the line! It hits all the high notes of feminine emotion and generates the sensation of a fluffy kitty cat purring in your lap on a rainy day. The plot was simple, easy-going, and not morally demanding. ...more
Rachel
Aug 08, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
With all of the series that I constantly fight to keep up with, this was a nice change with an all-in-one plot. The story is told entirely from Coriel Halsing's point of view, so the reader only gets to know things when she learns of them. Sometimes first person P.O.V. is limiting and somewhat claustrophobic, but in this case it simplified the story line and helped me to better get inside the mind of Coriel.
I grew to love Coriel as her story progressed and she matured into a strong, independent
...more
Jenna St Hilaire
Nov 14, 2012 Jenna St Hilaire rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars, really.

Good worldbuilding is supposedly the high point of fantasy, and it’s still one of my favorite discoveries to make in a new author or book. Shinn’s quasi-medieval Auburn is not particularly expansive or inventive, but, through narrator Corie’s eyes, it’s beautifully realized. The fairylike aliora, the plethora of (as far as I can discover, imaginary) herbs, the layers of politics, and the little details of Corie’s upstairs-downstairs life are endlessly interesting an
...more
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  • Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2)
  • The Decoy Princess (Princess, #1)
  • The Changeling Sea
  • The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #1)
  • Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2)
  • The Sherwood Ring
  • Magician's Ward (Mairelon, #2)
  • Chalice
  • The Hero Strikes Back (Hero, #2)
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I’ve been writing stories and poems since I was eight years old. My first poem was about Halloween: "What is tonight? What is tonight?/Try to guess and you’ll guess right." Perhaps this inauspicious beginning explains why it took me till I was in my thirties to sell a novel. It occurred to me early on that it might take some time and a lot of tries before I was able to publish any of my creative w ...more
More about Sharon Shinn...

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“Do you love me?" he asked.
I fell silent.
"For the rest of it is glitter and noise," he said. "At the heart of it all is love. You make that choice, and you go forward from there.”
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“Sometimes we become what we see. Sometimes we take what we see and make it the model for what we refuse to become.” 55 likes
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