The national best-selling author of Troubled Waters and Royal Airs returns to her Elemental Blessings series with the story of a young princess who will need more than blessings to survive in a kingdom where everyone will do whatever it takes to claim the throne....
As one of the four princesses of Welce, Corene always thought she might one day become queen. Only circumstances changed, leaving fiery Corene with nothing to show for a life spent playing the game of court intrigue - until a chance arises to become the ruler of a nearby country. After stowing away on a ship bound for Malinqua with her loyal bodyguard, Foley, Corene must try to win the throne by making a play to marry one of the empress' three nephews.
But Corene is not the only foreign princess in search of a crown. Unaccustomed to being anyone's friend, Corene is surprised to find companionship among her fellow competitors. But behind Malinqua's beautiful facade lie many secrets. The visiting princesses are more hostages than guests. And as the deadly nature of the court is revealed, Corene must rely on both her new allies and Foley's unwavering protection - for the game she has entered is far more perilous than she ever imagined....
©2015 Sharon Shinn (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Science writer in America's heartland
Don't get too attached to any of the characters in this series. A funny thing about "Elemental Blessings" is that, while each individual book tells a complex story with many characters, only one or two characters continue from one installment to the next. A minor character in one becomes central to the next. So while the story continues as one long narrative, the reader's perspective changes dramatically, and there are always many new people to meet. (Who's story will form the center of book four? My money's on Leah, or maybe Leah's daughter.) This latest installment is as satisfying as the others, and the mystery is resolved with a few surprising turns. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Jeweled Fire is an absorbing tale of court intrigue & flirtation & page-turning mystery/adventure. Princess Corene is a selfish, manipulative little minx of a beauty who gradually becomes a good person. She learns compassion & generosity; the meaning of friendship (she never had any before); & the truly important traits in a future husband. This was my first audiobook. I loved it! I walked my dog for many extra miles because I couldn't wait to find out what happened to these irresistible characters. Ever since I finished the final chapter, I find myself wondering what Corene, Foley, Stef & the rest are doing now.
. Advice to listeners: write down the names & identities of characters as you meet them.
. Request to Audible: Please do not label the book's introductory materials as "Chapter One" ... because then you list the actual Chapter One as "Chapter Two," and so on. So your list of chapters is always out of whack with what the narrator is telling us. Confusing when I needed to search for a specific chapter or scene.
. Bottom line: I wholeheartedly recommend Jeweled Fire as an entertaining (& ethically educational) gift for a girl or young woman, and as a delicious, completely satisfying treat for adults.
First, I must say that the combination of this author and this narrator is dynamite. Sharon Shinn writes a creative and passionate story, full of well-developed characters, romance, suspense, and enough of an interesting twist on the usual fantasy novel that I find her worlds quite unique. I do read a great deal of fantasy, and she is one of my favourite authors because of these talents. Jennifer Van Dyck has a rich full voice and she effortlessly switches between multiple characters, embodying both male and female characters with very realistic and recognisable voices. She is a master narrator. I highly recommend this series by Sharon Shinn for anyone who enjoys fantasy, a great plot, psychologically satisfying dilemmas, and memorable characters. P.S. If you read this book, you will understand why I entitled this review, "Sublime."
I've liked the 2 previous books in this series but this one just didn't catch my attention like they did. The story consistently dragged and I felt myself urging the characters to "stop debating, shut up and just do something for God's sake!"
It also became rather convoluted as some of the characters names are similar but they're storyline are so intertwined.
Well thought out tale of royal intrigue about finding a suitable heir to be the next ruler of the realm, and what havoc the current ruler can unleash.
In this tale the Queen invites foreign princesses to compete for the hands of the several men in the running to be named royal heir.
Mayhem and murders, galas and gossip, and the merest mist of magic follow.
For the plot and the telling of it, 4 **** are warranted. For the puppy love of Corene, and the endless exploration of it, 2 **. For Corene's never moving beyond it, although she and her do say "I love you" 1 star. Boring superficial romance appropriate for a YA (female) audience.
Oh. And without men, our heroine would have lost her life multiple times. Not my idea of a woman.
The Elemental Blessings series is my first time reading Sharon Shinn. Sooo much fun!!! Very lighthearted and entertaining. Made my daily commute a blast! I hope this isn't the last of the series forever , as the ending seems to leave some room for more stories from Welce and the southern countries- I hope! Looking forward to "reading " more of her other works.
I was disappointed in this 3rd volume of the Elemental Blessings series. I found myself bored in spots. I didn't enjoy the violent parts, like the final scene in the tower. The characters didn't captivate me as much as in the first 2 books. I'll still continue with the series, but will recommend it with some reservation.
I loved the Twelve Houses books. This isn't a patch on any of those. I won't bother buying any sequels.
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