I didn't intend to read this book. I went to the library to find Archangel
, because I love it and wanted to read it again, and found Mystic and Rider
on the shelf next to it. I checked it out on a whim, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
While not as good as Archangel
, it's still quite good. The setting is nothing special--certainly not as original as Samaria--but it is solid. The plot, probably the book's weakest point, is simplistic, bordering even on boring. It is the characters that really makes Mystic and Rider
shine. One of the things I have come to expect from Shinn is subtle, complex characters that are full of depth. You'll find plenty of those here. Senneth, especially, is well-written, but I think my favorite character is Halchon Gisseltess, the apparent villain. Without giving anything away, I think the scene, almost at the end of the book, when Senneth confronts him, is absolutely beautiful. In most of the books I read--especially the paranormal romances and urban fantasies--the interactions between the two would have been written like the literary equivalent of a sledgehammer. Shinn writes them--need, fear, control, power, greed, the desire to break and destroy that which you believe will make you whole--is like a literary feather, and all the more powerful for it.
Subtlety, in fact, is really what this book is all about. You won't find the raging, burning, explosive chemistry of Gabriel and Rachel here, but it's good all the same.