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Summers at Castle Auburn

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  11,090 ratings  ·  809 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...
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published April 28th 2002 by Ace (first published April 1st 2001)
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Carolyn Jackson Yes. I first read it when I was about 13. There's a bit of kissing, but no sex, although it is implied that one character has a lot of sex, seeing as …moreYes. I first read it when I was about 13. There's a bit of kissing, but no sex, although it is implied that one character has a lot of sex, seeing as a major plot point is when his illegitimate child is born. (less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle sale, June 3, 2020 I really loved this YA fantasy! Review posted on Fantasy Literature:

Summers at Castle Auburn was my first exposure to Sharon Shinn's fantasies, and it was pretty much insta-love for me (I like to think that Shinn returns my affections in a distant and anonymous fan-appreciation kind of way). It instantly set me off on a search for more of her books.

Corie is the teenaged illegitimate daughter of a nobleman who died before the story begins, but the royal family is s
3.33 stars

If I had read this book in my teens, I would have given it 5 starts, no doubt. But two decades later, I found the story a bit flat, mainly due to the fact that the only POV is that of the heroine, Coriel. This makes the scope of the story too narrow considering the number of storylines (Coriel’s, her sister Elidandra’s, her uncle Jaxon’s, the crown prince’s, the Aliora’s, etc). It does not help that Corrie is barely 14 at the beginning & 18 at the end: her world is pretty limited & occ
Steph Su
Sep 26, 2012 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!


I did think about writing
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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I was so happy when Charlotte agreed to buddy-read this book with me because SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN has been on my to-read list for a while and highly anticipated books are always better with friends. This is a young adult fantasy, kind of like a de-fanged version of Paula Volsky's ILLUSION. Our heroine, Corie, is an illegitimate noble who comes to Castle Auburn every summer to see her true-born sister, the crown prince, his brother, a
*dreamy, contented sigh*

Clearly, back in the day, the magical elves who wrote blurb-y synopsis type things were a lot more spare and didn't know to include all the delicious bits that will and should entice you to read the sumptuous, magical Summers at Castle Auburn.

Things like: a bright, sparkling, incorrigible heroine who spreads life wherever she goes (oh, and is a healer/herb witch). Things like: a fantastic, steadfast, and sweet sisterly relationship. Things like: princes and plots and cour
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chaste, fantasy, owned, romance
This was interesting, but not entirely satisfying. I really liked Corie, and her inner circle of friends were outstanding. The world around them is kind of a crap-pile, though, and that wore on me.

The book is broken into three parts, each a summer that Corie spends at the eponymous castle. In the first section, she is 14 and naïve and that's where we get the basic setup. And it's where we see Bryan, the young, and very handsome, prince. And we get hints of things that are to come and the existin
May 04, 2008 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
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
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story was a long way outside of my wheel house but surprisingly enough I wound up enjoying it. It started very slowly but once I got in to it I came to appreciate the way the plot was allowed to slowly unfold without attempts to cram in superfluous action (although there was still plenty of intrigue and suspense).

In ways this book reminded me of Jacquline Carey, especially Kushiel's Scion (I think that was the first book in her second trilogy) in how it focused on the growth of a kid into
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book. THIS BOOK. Wowza. The heroine is so enchanting, and in the beginning I didn't really feel like anything was happening, but it was just such an enjoyable read that I kept going. And then -- AND THEN -- I was in the middle of the book and I discovered just how masterfully the author wove together all these threads of deceit and palace intrigue and love. I'm blown away. Wow. Read it. ...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
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
My crush on Roderick persists, Elisandra is the queen of my heart and the fairy slavery stuff was questionably handled at best. Review to come!
Jul 20, 2012 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
Olga Godim
Jan 19, 2012 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
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.
Feb 24, 2011 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
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Trailer Book

Actually rating: 4.5 stars
This is a historical setting book knitted with fantasy and fairy tale tropes that I totally loved. The story is about Corie, a bastard daughter of a noble, who in every summer she visits her noble family at Castle Auburn. There are 3 parts to the story and with every part we see Corie mature from this very naive girl to an independent woman that knows diplomacy and the games of court. I loved the bond between the two sisters. Even if Elisandra is the soon t
Nov 14, 2009 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'
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I liked this! I’d go so far as to say I liked it a lot. And yet there’s something very uneven about it: it’s almost a patchwork collection of elements, and it never comes together for me.

I’m not certain about the protagonist herself, for starters. She starts off as a young, naive girl, and that’s fairly well expressed, but then a few years are skipped in the narrative, and I never had a real handle on her after that. I never believed her life was impacted, anywhere, by her illegitimacy. She made
Lindsey (Bring My Books)
I told this to a friend when I was halfway through this book, and I can't think of a better way to explain it: "It feels classic and sophisticated and beautiful and sort of like coming home."

This book, to me, is what perfect fantasies are made of. It's not about the magic or the creatures or the world-building, it's about using fantastical things to explore human lives and the motivations and morals and ethics within.

Simply put, I have been absolutely ensorceled by this beautiful book.
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 stars

This backlist title has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the book blog community over the last year or so. Several people have told me that I simply must read this book, but a friend was the one who finally nudged me into it by sending me a copy for my birthday. I didn’t have much of an idea what to expect, other than that I know that anything this friend recommends will almost definitely have a great ship, and the book’s description certainly would not have helped a whole lo
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommend for young readers. Castle intrigues, witchcraft, magic, clean romance. The only part in this book that I would warn parents of young readers of is the birthing scene, which I'm sure they seen worse on tv (or real life if u are that parent) then reading about it. ...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
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
Dec 16, 2013 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
Clara Thompson
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
How could I possibly begin to describe the depth of love I have for this book?

I suppose I could start with the characters. Only once have I encountered a book with this amount of depth, this amount of beautiful characters who are so excellently written, there's not a doubt in my mind how they would behave in every situation--and that lone book is Robin McKinley's CHALICE. From the opening few sentences, I knew who these characters were, and I loved each of them for their brilliant wordplay and
Jul 08, 2008 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
Minni Mouse
3.5 stars because while that was the perfect fantasy setting, serene, and old-school flighty like a Juliet Marillier novel, it was also relatively plotless as far as action story arcs.

Props for an honest, wide-eyed look through the loss of naïveté and childlike gaiety. Secondary props for what I considered to be two convincing potential slow-burns. Que the super sweet innocence of lurve.

Cons for the lack of a clear plot. My recommendation? Go in knowing it's an experience versus a journey. Other
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
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