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Troubled Waters: Elemental Blessings, Book 1 | [Sharon Shinn]

Troubled Waters: Elemental Blessings, Book 1

Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king's fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. It's there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime, ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right.
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Publisher's Summary

The author of the Twelve Hours series welcomes readers to a new fantasy world, where the elements rule.

Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king's fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river.

It's there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime, ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood - and the secrets of the royal family - she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.

©2010 Sharon Shinn (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This entertaining and suspenseful story is full of lively characters, and the intriguing new system of magic and politics provides plenty of potential for sequels." (Publishers Weekly)

"Filled with vivid characters, beautiful scenery, sweet friendships, surprising destinies, political intrigue, mystery, a slow satisfying romance, and an interesting take on personality types, Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn is a book that just feels good." (Fantasy Literature)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (593 )
5 star
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4.2 (430 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Avonelle 10-14-13
    Avonelle 10-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    14
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    Story
    "Ends in Cliffhanger. Sequel not Out Yet."

    One - this book ends in almost a cliffhanger; there's no resolution.
    Two - at the end, it gets suddenly a little creepy and a little dark, and needs a trigger warning.*
    Three - from the author's website, it looks like it's book one in a series. Book 2 is due out in hard cover sometime next month.

    With all of that out of the way, I loved this world. I loved the protagonist, I loved that it's a fantasy world that's absolutely NOT elves and orcs. I appreciated the language and the plot twists, even though I called them fairly early.

    adding some space for trigger warnings, which are also a lot spoiler:
    .
    .
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    .

    *You'll probably catch on through the scenes with the visiting dignitaries that one of the king's daughters is being pawed at by members of a court described as "debauched". For a brief, sickening, awful few minutes, it seems that a Princess is being traded in marriage to a child molesting viceroy. I almost stopped listening. child trafficking, complicit family members, etc. I stopped reading game of thrones, because I don't need that stuff in my fiction, right? But the heroine literally jumps in and stops the proceedings, at the risk of her position at court, and the story is redeemed. Mostly. I still don't know that I feel the need to waft child rape and molestation through my otherwise enjoyable fantasy stories - "realism" aside.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-21-12 Member Since 2015

    Victoria

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    238
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
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    Story
    "Takes a long time to get to a Bad Ending"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, takes a long time to get the the climax that leaves you hanging in the end. Understand it's a series but too many loose ends.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Sharon Shinn again?

    yes


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sasha Santa Cruz, CA, United States 11-11-11
    Sasha Santa Cruz, CA, United States 11-11-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    9
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    1
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    "By the Numbers"

    A by the numbers fantasy/romance, girl loses father, meets boy, runs away from boy, finds strange destiny, keeps getting thrown together with boy.... yada. It's perfectly satisfying if that's what your in the mood for.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Nelson 04-08-11
    Bob Nelson 04-08-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    REVIEWS
    397
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "Not the best Shinn"

    Goopy romance is good! Shinn's Angelica series is about as goopy as it gets, so I loved it! Shinn can do non-goopy stuff, too -- her Twelve Houses series is more straightforward adventure, but equally well done. Troubled Waters can't seem to decide if it wants to be adventure or goopy... and ultimately falls a bit short on either side. Shinn fans will not be disappointed, but newcomers may be...
    Not particularly recommended

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie.ohio 09-03-12
    Janie.ohio 09-03-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great characters and setting, storyline just ok."
    Would you listen to Troubled Waters again? Why?

    Yes, I would. I loved the characters and the setting. I enjoyed the "world" she created and would love to see more set here. I'd listen again to revisit the people and place.


    What other book might you compare Troubled Waters to and why?

    Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn books. Similar type world and magic structure, and similar storytelling style. Definitely aimed at a more female-type audience than Sanderson, though.


    What does Jennifer Van Dyck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Not sure she brought anything special, but she didn't detract from the story, either.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No, but it was overally very enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this, but I would also let someone know that if they are looking for a larger storyline, they won't find it here. Perhaps it's my own fault, as I've been reading a lot of series lately, but I kept looking for something larger to push the story forward. It didn't lag, but I did wonder where it was going a time or two.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie WEST MONROE, LOUISIANA, United States 08-01-12
    connie WEST MONROE, LOUISIANA, United States 08-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Hard to follow"
    Would you try another book from Sharon Shinn and/or Jennifer Van Dyck?

    yes..mabe


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    not sure


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck?

    mabe


    Do you think Troubled Waters needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This book has a great plot...overall...but seams the little things were hard to follow....left alot of questions of why this and why that...could just be me...couldn't really place a face with the main characters....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. G. Bawden Gold Canyon 06-04-12
    J. G. Bawden Gold Canyon 06-04-12

    Book giver

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Troubled Waters' title says it all!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is really a weak attempt at fantasy fiction. The narrator was annoying as the protagonist and lacked emotion. I REALLY struggled to finish this and actually skipped through much of it and didn't feel lost picking up 30-40 minutes into the plot line.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rogdon 05-14-14
    Rogdon 05-14-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "review of Troubled Waters"
    What did you love best about Troubled Waters?

    everything


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Troubled Waters?

    the water races


    What about Jennifer Van Dyck’s performance did you like?

    she makes you feel like you are there


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I dont that the money to make a film


    Any additional comments?

    I think the book was very well written and it held my attention all the way through.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin in Vermont Vermont 10-24-11
    Robin in Vermont Vermont 10-24-11 Member Since 2011

    Remind me again, where did I leave my ipod?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    495
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    606
    238
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    53
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    "Really weak effort from a great writer"

    Sharon, what happened? It felt to me as if 2/3 of the way through this book, Shinn forgot what she was writing about. I found it very strange how the book just fell off at the end and turned into something completely bizarre. I am a big Sharon Shinn fan, but this book just left me scratching my head. What a waste of time and a credit.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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