Summers at Castle Auburn
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Summers at Castle Auburn

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  6,401 ratings  ·  438 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.
Published August 11th 2004 by Ace Books (first published April 1st 2001)
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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
Steph Su
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!


I did think about writing...more
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana T.
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
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
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
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
One of my favs! You should read it. I love how the author develops the main character!
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
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
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
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
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
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
I really enjoyed this book. It has some good tension and sadness, but also good deeds and happiness.

Corie was born out of wedlock to a local witch (more specifically a herb healer) after an affair with a married lord. After the death of her father, who she never met, her uncle shows up at her grandmother's, where she has lived all her life. Then begins her summers at Castle Auburn, where the royalty live and where court is held. More importantly, that is where her half-sister, Elisandra, and Eli...more
This is a really delicious book, what I mean by that is that its the sort of story you just want more and more of. I found myself reading it while waiting for the bus, on the bus, and then when I got home I just wanted to keep reading! Sharon Shinn has been one of my favourite authors for a long time, I adore her Angel series and have been trying to track down some of her fantasy works to read.

Summers at Castle Auburn is the story of Coriel Halsing, a young woman born as the bastard daughter of...more
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
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
Kristen Landon
My mother recommended this book to me. I don't know that I would have chosen it on my own. I ended up really enjoying the story. It was a bit slow for me, but the characters and plot were enjoyable.
Most of Sharon Shinn's novels move rather slow. They may have action in them, but the pace of the story is still usually quite slow moving regardless. Here I felt like it was especially slow moving. It starts off with the main female character going off on a journey with her uncle, the crown prince, and a few other people connected with the prince.
Sounds interesting anyways. However it just couldn't hold my attention. I just kept reading a few pages and putting it down until I just didn't bothe...more
I can't believe I left this on my bookshelf for so long before I read it! I loved this book, to the extent that I had to ban myself from reading it on the bus to and from university because it would have me grinning foolishly for the entire ride, and giggling quietly up my sleeve (much to the apprehension of my fellow passengers). Admittedly the main character, Corie, was a little annoying at the beginning, when she was 14, but she quickly improves, and so does the story.
Romance, court intrigue...more
This book was recommended to me by the city librarians, and I absolutely adored it. I hadn't really thought it was possible to find an adult fantasy book without overly graphic sex scenes, crude language and innuendos, swearing, etc., but Shinn did it while making the story riveting, the characters engaging and memorable, and the plot interesting and unexpected. There was so much to love about this book, from the writing to the characters to the mishaps to Corie's narration to the subtle themes...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
i'd give this 4.5 stars. an excellent, twisty read.

random info: the summaries both on goodreads and on the book jacket itself are barely accurate. they could be describing a different book altogether, in fact.

cleanreads info: no language, some mature issues, limited violence, no graphic immorality or promiscuity

after a re-read, i still like this one a lot. especially fabulous is the fact that nothing arbitrary or ridiculous is introduced simply to make the plot work. a very s...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
YA Book Recommendations
My reaction in one gif:

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
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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.”
“Sometimes we become what we see. Sometimes we take what we see and make it the model for what we refuse to become.” 42 likes
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