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Troubled Waters Audiobook

Troubled Waters: Elemental Blessings, Book 1

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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

4.1 (841 )
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4.1 (665 )
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4.3 (656 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marie 07-25-15
    Marie 07-25-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Half Way Through and Nothing Has Happened"

    I usually enjoy young adult fantasies but Troubled Waters is so dull I stopped listing. I gave it a fair shot, hoping something would move the story forward but finally decided I didn't want to spend further time on it. I lost interest in the outcome. At the point I stopped listening, more than a year had passed since the story opened. The book read more like an outline than a completed novel. The characters are lifeless and lacking in emotion. If Zoe mourned her father's passing, the reader did not get to share in her grief. If she was afraid of what would happen to her when she was forced to marry the king (which didn't happen), the reader could not sense her fear.

    When it was revealed that Zoe was 23 years old, I was shocked. At no time does she express interest in men, in marriage, in what her futures holds for her. In most societies, a young woman of her age would have some sexual thoughts and desires. Zoe is a blank. When Zoe escapes from the man taking her to marry the King, she casually goes on her way and life go on. She never wonders if they are looking for her, and if they are, the reader does not experience the search. When her long lost relatives discover she lives and is the Prime, not of them plot against her. They help her and welcome her. It feels false. There is no tension or conflict.

    This could be a perfect family book because it contains (at least until the half-way point) no sex, no sexual innuendo, no drugs, no cursing (not even a "darn"), no racial tension, no evil, no conflict, no violence. Unfortunately, there isn't much to hold the interest of listens.

    I enjoyed the narrator and would listen to her again.

    Several reviews have mentioned how Trouble Waters does not compare well to the author's other works. I don't know if I will try another and compare or not.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lanie Louisville, KY, United States 02-14-16
    Lanie Louisville, KY, United States 02-14-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Not good."

    Story seemed very young adult fiction focused, simplistic, with very unrealistic plot development. I've enjoyed some of the author's work in the past, but this was not a good representation. The narrator mispronounced many words and names, and her accents were very inconsistent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie San Diego, CA, United States 10-09-12
    Carrie San Diego, CA, United States 10-09-12
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    "Gotta love a strong woman"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Troubled Waters?

    I personally love when an author creates a new social structure within the story. In this case, the world the characters reside in is dictated by random fortunes that are drawn when a child is first born. These fortunes don't necessarily reveal themselves in obvious ways, but definitely play a part in creating the personality of their recipients.


    Any additional comments?

    One thing I don't particularly like about this story is how obnoxious the main character starts to sound. I think she stops being all sensible and strong, and instead starts to sound downright bossy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hallie PIKESVILLE, MD, United States 07-09-12
    Hallie PIKESVILLE, MD, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Light listening"

    It's pretty typical fluff. Zoe is an interesting character, and this was a pleasant enough listen. It made good background listening at work because I didn't have to fully pay attention to understand the story. The narration was great.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-21-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Colley Lexington, KY USA 07-22-17
    Kimberly Colley Lexington, KY USA 07-22-17 Member Since 2013
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    "A fantasy, not a romance"

    As my title suggests, I feel that this is a fantasy novel, with only minor romantic elements. Shinn's world-building is truly phenomenal, on a par with Sanderson and Novik. Romances - and, really, any other genre of fiction except sf - do not have that level of care put into them. It is no more a romance than the first novel in the Vorkosigan saga.

    I do agree with at least one other reviewer that certain aspects felt unfinished. Although the arc of the protagonist was satisfactorily concluded, the fate of some secondary characters was left up in the air.

    Nevertheless, I am sufficiently impressed with the author's skill in world-building and storytelling that I am eager to read more in this service.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Me_Mo Hungary 12-07-16
    Me_Mo Hungary 12-07-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Perfect narration of a fantastic book"

    Background story:
    The society of the Kingdom of Welce is built around the balance of the five natural elements with related character traits & blessings: water (blood), fire (mind), air (soul), earth (flesh), wood (bone) & people’s resonance to one them.

    Besides the King, the country is ruled by five great families with a particular affinity to one of the elements, especially embodied in the heads (Primes) of the families: water (“coru”) - Family Lalindar, air (“eelay”) - Family Dochenza, fire (“sweela”) -Family Ardelay, earth (“torz”) – Family Frothen , wood (“hunti”) – Family Serlast.

    The story is about Zoe Ardelay-Lalindar, how, instead of marrying the King as his 5th wife, she comes into power as the new Prime of the Lalindar (her mother’s) family, how she is growing into her role and how she navigates the troubled waters of high society & court intrigue.

    Things I loved:
    - Sharon Shinn managed to “create” a story that flows simply & naturally without great fuss, pointless grandiosity & forced BIG revelations. Every detail seems to be in its place & fits naturally into the greater picture. She did indeed achieve BALANCE.
    - The concept of the world building is based on the 5 elements & loosely on numerology. The author builds up her world slowly, but surely, with lovely, interesting & intriguing details of geography, religion, politics, social customs without being over- or underwhelming.
    - The magic, if it can be called magic at all, is understated. It is more like natural powers coming to characters, in-synch with their intrinsic elements, with greater power being concentrated in the Primes of the 5 houses. It is an important feature, but not the actual drive behind the story.
    - The heroine, Zoe: she is not your typical kickass one (not that I have anything against them in general), but still has a solid inner strength to her in perfect harmony with her natural element (water) that is very appealing.
    She IS actually lovely, likeable & easy to relate to. She is not perfect & has no false humility about herself either. And that, my Fellow-Readers, is no mean feat considering how many authors seem to miss the point entirely by creating these „oh-so-very-speshul snowflakes” whose specialness lies in being insufferable („oh, please don’ tell me I am special, for I know I am not, though everyone else keeps telling me I AM”), spoiling the whole reading process, even if the story is a good one.
    It is also a refreshing change that Zoe – upon learning that she is heir to her Coru grandmother & Prime of the Lalindar family – instead of denial and running away from her fate in the usual fashion of „chosen ones” of most fantasy novels, actually takes to her role like a duck is taking to water (pun intended), flowing into & filling in the space she needs to occupy naturally without any needless rumpus.
    - The characters in general: main as well as secondary characters are well drawn. There is no black & white characterisation.
    - The love affair is also understated: part of the story, without events having to evolve around it all the time. There are no earthquakes, fireworks all screaming: „HE/SHE is the ONE!!!” It is still believable how the 2 characters are influencing / are slowly being drawn to each other without the author having to hit us on the head every other page with how much they are in love, describing every move / look / facial expression / thought / feeling in excruciating detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 08-23-16
    Melissa 08-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Disconnected characters"

    Took a long time for the story to develop and the main character's motivations just seemed detached from her actions. I could not get into the story and it seemed the main character was somewhat cold and disconnected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dawn MOCKSVILLE, NC, United States 08-17-16
    dawn MOCKSVILLE, NC, United States 08-17-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "loved the story"

    well done! I was loking for a new romance and thought to try this. It was a great story. Glad to find a love story and not over done sex.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Jackson Hyannis, MA USA 02-21-16
    J. Jackson Hyannis, MA USA 02-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing book!"

    I read this on recommendation by author Gretchen Rubin and am soooooo glad I did! The fantasy and story of a made up land was captivating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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