Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished Troubled Waters, and I think it's her best yet. As I neared the end, I was simultaneously wishing to finish and to stretch it out, and I can honestly say it's the first time I ever read a book and hoped it would be a series! I would rather read a thousand or so pages at one time, usually. The "blessings" concept is so charming and true, the people are enjoyable to be around, and the "great evil" is birthed by human greed and pettiness--also true, in the world we live in.
There's a lovely romance, too.
In addition to visiting other worlds, what I most appreciate about reading is that it can give us insights and tools to use in the world we come back to. Instead of passing my copy on to the library, I will have to place it on my shelves to await its future companions. I will enjoy spending time there again and again, as I do in the worlds of Liaden, Elantra, Darkover, Valdemar, and Tortall. (Among others, of course. But after almost fifty years of reading, not many make the cut to stay on the shelves. I try to keep the house count at under 2,000.)
I think Shinn is at the top of her game, and has created another one of those worlds so well-realized that many readers old and new will love to revisit and share.
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