Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses Series #1)

Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses Series #1)

by Sharon Shinn

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Gillengaria seethes with unrest. In the south, hostility toward magic and its users has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such mystics are to be tolerated. It is whispered that he issued the decree because his new wife used her magic powers to ensnare him…

The King knows there are those in the noble Twelve Houses who could use this growing dissent to overthrow him. So he dispatches the mystic Senneth to assess the threat throughout the realm. Accompanying her is a motley band of magic-users and warriors including Tayse, first among the King’s Riders—who holds a hard view of mystics in general, and Senneth in particular.

But as the unlikely allies venture farther into the south, they will face death in a land under the sway of a fanatical cult that would purge Gillengaria of all magic users. And they will come to realize that their only hope of survival lies in standing together…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441013036
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/2006
Series: Twelve Houses Series , #1
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 348,729
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by  Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.

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Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A totally enjoyable first book in an adventure/fantasy series. The unusual characters are well developed and have diverse and unusal life experiences and talents. In this book the characters get to know each other and form bonds of friendship and caring that continue throughout the rest of the series. Another favorite of mine is a later book in the series entitled Fortune and Fate that features an interesting and unusual heroine.
Anonymous 12 months ago
If you like fantasy and a good story I always recommend Sharon Shinn. Happy reading!
janemarieprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good first book in this series. The characters are well developed and you can¿t wait to find out what happens to them next.
jessicawest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Over the past two weeks I have read the first three books of the series of The Twelve Houses, by Sharon Shinn. I was forgetting to do book reviews individually for them, so I thought I would just do them as a group. The three books are Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House, and Dark Moon Defender. They take place in a fantasy world called Gillengaria. (Gillengaria is actually the name of the country; their are a handful of other lands in this world, where the action does not take place.) This country is made up of twelve houses, each house owning the majority of the land under their control. The politics within these noble houses are as in depth as many other fantasy novels.The basic plotline for the entire series is that there is rebellion brewing in the southern houses, who do not believe that the king will live much longer. They have no faith in his daughter to rule after him, and so have plans to depose her once the king dies. The king's death seems to be a foregone conclusion, although he is in perfectly good health. The other issue that is causing unrest in the kingdom is the presence of mystics. Mystics are people who have various types of magical powers, and they have been around for as long as anyone can remember. But a new religious cult is spreading fear and distrust of mystics throughout the land. Because the king favors mystics, he is seen as weak, and perhaps even under their control.Each book follows through this plotline, revealing more information and developing the story as time passes. All three books follow the same six characters that are introduced as traveling companions in the first book. These are the central characters to the story, although a few others are introduced along the way. Each book centers on one or more of these central characters, telling the story from their point of view. The relationships between the characters are very well developed, and very complex. There is also a good amount of romance, that fits in very well with the overall plot of the series, and does not seem in any way out of place. Shinn includes at least one romance in every one of the books I've read by her, and she always does a lovely job of making you really feel connected to the characters. This series is just as inventive and entertaining as her Archangel series, and I look forward to reading any new books that come out.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'll give it 4 stars because it's part of a series so one is expected to keep reading in order to reach fulfillment. If it were a stand alone novel, I'd probably give it 3.5 stars.It's a fast read and not very "deep". Shinn's Archangel series has much more "meat" to it than this... there are no hidden plots, the tension between the characters is weak, and the "good versus evil" theme is mild as well - big difference between the wrath of God and some farmers who don't like magic.That being said, it's not a bad story, and it's pretty quick and easy to read, so perfect for a lounge in the sun on those days you don't feel like thinking too much.
Tiffmeister on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think I've found a new favorite fantasy author. Shinn develops a great central character and combines prejudice with magic as the figure head for trouble. I loved the tension created as a civil war brews under the guise of good vs. evil. The evil being anyone with magic, of course. It reminds me a lot of the Deryni books by Katherine Kurtz. I recommend this book for anyone that loves magic in their fantasy realms.
mmillet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful fantasy epic introducing us to the world of the Twelve Houses -- a group of 12 families in a kingdom -- poised on the brink of civil war. A powerful mystic, Senneth, with a mysterious past has been commissioned by the King to discover the source of discontent and is escorted by two of his personal guards (highly trained Riders) and a few other mystics. Senneth is a powerful heroine who is used to relying only on herself but quickly sees how much she needs her companions on this perilous quest. I was continually astounded by the ingenuity of the plot and the humanness of the characters. Such a great book and I'm so glad it's a series because I can't wait to read the rest!
b00ksonthebeach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the series and the first of Sharon Shinn's that I ever read. Like a Tamora Pierce for adult (and older teen) readers, Shinn captivated me from the first. Her characters evolve, and I can't turn pages fast enough to find out what will happen. Bliss!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my 3rd reread of this series. I think Sharon Shinn is amazing and I love the worlds she creates and the people who live there.
ADropOfInkReviews More than 1 year ago
Honestly, it seems silly to be writing this review now. This book, and the others of the Twelve Houses series claim a special spot on my bookshelf. I have read them to the point that I have already replaced them with digital versions for when my paperbacks disintegrate. I pick up this series, and this book in particular, every time I want something to read that I know I will enjoy. Sharon Shinn’s use of language to convey what she wishes to the reader is amazing. I’m awed by it every time I read these books. She has a masterful way with the concept of “show, don’t tell” that constantly plagues writers. This story is well-written and it seems like the characters move from one end of the country to the other without the constant travel seeming to get in the way. As a matter of fact, it adds to the story as it leads from one conflict to another. Since none of the characters seem to really trust each other, you even have the internal conflict of the main group to contend with. It’s fun to watch the change in Senneth and Tayse as they move through this story. Senneth was one to always remain alone, moving from place to place with no where to really call home, and no one to call true friends. This book is mainly her story, as each of the books in the Twelve Houses series is the story of the other characters in this motley group. I highly recommend this entire series. I have since gone on to read just about everything Sharon Shinn has written since I stumbled across this book in a bookstore. She has taken place as one of my favorite authors of all time. However, this series will always remain at the top of everything I’ve read by her. There’s just something about the depth and emotions of these characters that keeps dragging me back to read these books again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favourite fantasy books and series, although I love all her books. I highly recommend! When will these books be made into movies? Or better yet, a television series?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book and the series. Could never get enough of the world created in them.
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Leani More than 1 year ago
After looking for high fantasy series/authors that were new to me, I stumbled upon Sharon Shinn's Twelve Kingdom series through a short story anthology, "The Queen in Winter." The world she was able to build, seemingly effortlessly, was unique, believable,and utterly immersive. I HAD to find the books! Depth of characters, underlying themes, and excellent writing have characterized the entire series. After the initial series of 4 books, I had some trepidation approaching the 5th book. Some writers, once their initial saga is finished, seem to flounder in later installments. I should never have worried. I can only hope for more installments!
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