Hardcover Þ Troubled Waters PDF/EPUB ¼

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 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


10 thoughts on “Troubled Waters

  1. says:

    It's always risky for me to reread a book As I grow older I find that my tastes have changed and even so I find myself becoming increasingly critical of certain elements in books I usually do not reread books but recently a friend asked me for YA high fantasy recommendations and I remember enjoying this book when I first read it 3 years ago Thus I decided to revisit this book to see if it was as good as I remembered because if I'm going to recommend it to my friend I better make damn sure that it's a good book It's my reputation on the line after allThis is one of the rare instances where the second reading turned out to be even better than the first I am so happy to say it is even better than I remembered even reading it from a critical standpoint actually particularly from a critical standpoint This book is glorious I do not give 1 ratings lightly and neither do I give 5s unless I feel like a book overwhelmingly deserves it In my humble opinion all YA high fantasy should strive to be this goodThis book has it all compelling brilliantly detailed world building a main character with weaknesses that evolve into strength with beliefs and ideals that change along the way The romance is light and utterly believable There is politics there is magic there is court intrigue There is friendship there is backstabbing the evolution of relationships platonic and romantic are credible The reader is taken from the slums to the palace from a small village to a bustling town I truly enjoyed every moment of this bookSummary Zoe Ardelay is 23 years old and her father has just died She is prostate with grief at the death of her brilliant loving father the only family she has had since her mother died 11 years ago since her father has been exiled from the royal court some 10 years ago Zoe has barely had time to mourn before the king's right hand man Darien Serlast shows up and gives her a most unexpected and unwelcome news Zoe is to be the king's fifth wifeI know this doesn't sound promising I know it screams that Zoe is a special snowflake I know you are rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another convenient parent's death Please bear with me and trust me when I say that this book is so much better than it initially seemsZoe is in shock almost catatonic with grief from mourning She follows Darien without comment barely able to comprehend anything and barely capable of anything than the simple act of existing Once they get to the city Zoe snaps out of it and escapes She is not an idiot she has been in the city before and she knows where to stay where she can be safe She finds a place to settle near the banks of the Marisi river and there Zoe slowly awakens She grows out of her grief she comes to life again and she slowly comes to realize that her father is not who he seems as much as she loved him he kept secret from her One of those secrets is that she is the coru prime The heir to her houseArmed with this knowledge Zoe knows she is empowered As a prime Zoe has power than that of being a king's wife We are there with her as she grows to realize the full extent of her power to come into her inheritance and her destiny As she navigates the treacherous waters of the royal court and the royal wives and uncovers a mystery Perhaps she might even find love with a man as strong willed as she isWhat I Loved About This BookThe Setting Wonderfully imaginative Simple but absolutely compelling You know how numerology plays a large role in some countries like the Asian countries Certain numbers are good luck certain numbers are avoided for their negative associationthe world of this book works similarly only it is influenced by the number 5 More on this in a bit Five keep that number in mindAll the elements in this book pun intended mesh together so well This is set in an alternate universe with light elements of magic Not everyone possesses magic only a select few the heirs primes of each of the five major houses within the country of Welce There are five major families which have the majority of power and influence within the royal circle without being directly royal themselves They are the Ardelays the Dochenzas the Serlasts the Frothens the Lalindars Zoe herself is the result of an union between two of the major houses the Ardelays and the LalindarsThis world is ruled by the belief of five elements in the body and soul which corresponds to each of the five families which corresponds to five seasons of the year I absolutely loved this and how well created this system turned out to be There is no glossary but the world is so well explained that one is not needed and for the curious there is a chart and a brief explanation of the elements and the year located at the very beginning and at the end of the book Simply put there are five elements and blessings coru waterblood elay airsoul hunti woodbone sweela firemind torz earthflesh This elemental blessing system is incorporated into every aspect of the story and it is so incredibly well crafted From the birth of a child and the selection of blessings to the explanation of traditions within the country to someone's personality to the incorporation of magical elements this world is absolutely consistent My mind bogglesThe year itself is still composed of 365 days but organized differently again according to the five elements There are five seasons quintiles each lasting for eight ninedays with one Changeday a holiday and a major celebration at the endbeginning of each quintileThe setting itself is lovely and well described from the slums by the river to the spectacular palace itself I never tire of the world in which this book is setThe Characters Zoe Ardelay is awesome She is not perfect there were moments I lost patience with her but altogether she proved to be a most satisfactory heroine Zoe is weak at the beginning although that is somewhat understandable due to her grief She also has a tendency to run away when times get rough due to a lack of patience with others not because she is an ostrich with her head stuck in the sand Zoe is brave she is not perfect she doesn't understand the extent of her power sometimes she loses control of her own power at others but she is never malicious never evil I loved seeing Zoe come into the power which she has inherited and I enjoyed seeing her learn to play her part as a prime as a court woman as a woman with power and strength and wealth in her own rightI grieved with her when her beloved intelligent loving father died I felt for her when she came to realize like most of us eventually do that parents are not perfect They are human they are flawed The Zoe comes to know her father and his deeds the angrier she becomes as she feels betrayedbut her feelings are so understandable and relatable Zoe is reasonable rational intelligent And for that I loved her “If he was alive I might have abandoned him at this point tired of one too many betrayals” she said “But I do not have that luxury now I must understand him and accept him or lose even my memories of him And I am not prepared to do that—not now Not yet Perhaps not ever” The other characters in the book are equally well crafted Great care is given to all the side characters and I enjoyed them all Nobody is purely evil Someone we start out distrusting disliking someone who is initially standoffish cold distant may prove to become a friend along the line There is a great attention to detail in everything in this novel from the setting to the characters no matter how small and I truly appreciate thatThe Plot Always kept me engrossed The story moves around a lot and it gives us an opportunity to learn with every setting we come across We come to know new characters new things new intrigues new mysteries with every setting It is always a learning experience and a pleasant one The characters themselves comtribute so much to the plot that they become part of it This book always keeps me entertainedI absolutely loved the court intrigue I do not enjoy an overwhelmingly political book and this book has just enough politics and power play to keep me interested without losing my attention I particularly enjoyed the royal court with the king's four wives This world is not polygamous only the king is allowed to have than one wife and as always with than one woman in power there is always an interesting power play and cattiness to keep me entertained There's light intrigue a mystery that does not overwhelm Zoe's story and throughout all of it Zoe always has a role in which to participateThe Romance Light enjoyable and completely believable For much of the book Zoe doesn't even think about romance about having her own family about love about marriage FUCK YEAH ahemSorry I just get a wee bit excited when a female character is rational and consistent and content in her own self without the need or reliance on a man like thatZoe's love story is so gradual one hardly notices it It starts with distrust grows into a reluctant alliance then friendship Love eventually comes into the equation but it is not the centerpoint of the book by any meansFUCK YEAHSorryZoe and her love interest are so good together They are both such strong personalities and I loved them for it They are both stubborn unyielding in their own way and through their contrast they find their similarity Opposites attract Coru woman who could not be contained Hunti man who could not be moved There is no mind games There is no petty jealousy There is friendship alliance trust love They find strength in each other in their opposing personalities “There is nothing but heartache for a coru woman and a hunti man” she said deliberately contrary “He cannot control her and she cannot change him”“He never fails her and she always moves him” he corrected “She can trust his strength and he can be lifted by her joy” Altogether a fantastic book Highly recommended for all ages This is classified as YA but the characters are adult however there is nothing in this book that would offend anyone older than 12 I will enjoy this book when I reread it at 90


  2. says:

    Troubled Waters is a really lovely high fantasy novel I liked it almost as much as my favorite so far Sharon Shinn book Summers at Castle Auburn Zoe is the daughter of a once powerful man in the kingdom of Welce who lived in hiding in a small village for ten years after falling from the king's favor As the story begins Zoe's father has just died and the king's closest advisor Darien Serlast swoops into town with the surprise announcement that Zoe has been chosen to be the king's fifth wife Yay?Zoe numb with grief and shock allows Darien to take her to the capital city but as soon as they arrive there she slips away from him at an opportune moment and goes into hiding once again But life of course has in store for Zoe and she and the royal court ― and Darien ― aren't done with each other yet And magic is quite literally waiting to manifest in Zoe's bloodThere are five powerful families in the kingdom each gifted with a particular affinity to one of the five elements air soul fire mind water blood earth flesh and wood bone The leader of each family the prime is gifted with extraordinary gifts and powers relating to their element Zoe soon discovers she is the coru or waterblood prime since her grandmother died several years ago Not a spoiler this is in the book's blurbIt was interesting to read about a society tied so closely to the idea of the elements and their powers Most people in this society doesn't have magical powers it's mostly just the five primes and to a lesser extent their heirs But everyone in Welce carries traits of one of these elements sometimes with an aspect of another element as a secondary part of their personality kind of like how we sometimes categorize people's personalities in our society by color In Wence this is woven into the core of their culture The story contains a heartwarming romance that develops slowly and believably but doesn't ever take over the plot to the exclusion of everything elseShe could not resist leaning into him just a little just to feel his reassuring strength against her shoulder But that is my point exactly she said Who I am now and who I seemed to be then are two very different peopleNot so different that I cannot recognize you he said No matter how much you change you will always be familiar to meThere's also quite a bit of intriguing and conniving once Zoe takes her place in high society Most of all this is a coming of age story ― even though Zoe is already about 23 years old as the story begins ― as she gradually discovers who she is as a person and what she wants from lifeVery highly recommended for those who enjoy romantic fantasy that's on the quieter side and maybe even for those who don't normally read fantasy but appreciate well told tales


  3. says:

    If you are looking for bloody wars on immense scales with mythical creatures of the apocalypse sword fights violent deaths foul conspiracy fast pacing this may not be the book for you to read But if you are open to something different you may end up enjoying this novelI decided to give it a try upon reading the superb review of TadianaI am happy to say I was not disappointed at all I just loved reading it now consider it as one of my favourites of the Fantasy genre 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 of themBesides 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 intrigueThings 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 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 „HESHE 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 detailBe warned again that the story takes its own sweet time to gather real monentum so if you want a quick action fix choose something else


  4. says:

    I just wrote a great review of this and Goodreads ate it GODDAMNITOk let me try to duplicate SOo I really like this author's other books but this one I kinda enjoyed but also didn't especially as it progressed to the endFirst let me say I have a weird attraction to books with worldbuilding that brands people at birth with personality attributes I know it goes against my whole independent philosophy but if I can identify myself as a Hufflepuff or a Green Ajah or like here a Firey sweela I'm usually like SIGN ME UP Problem is in this book people refer to it SO MUCH their elemental heritage that there's almost nothing else to them It got a bit annoyingALSO double ID whammy you get three blessings at birth pulled from a barrel like power love time beauty etc that FURTHER define your life And if you're in doubt go pull something out of the barrel and the word will tell you what to do People in this world live WITH NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER It got seriously confining after a while Ok that's that So the plotmeandered I wanted to slap the main character a lot Her family situation was interesting but her actions were lethargic at best And then ALL OF THE SUDDEN towards the end she starts doing something INSANE and then NO ONE PUNISHES HER Like they should totally kill her she acts like a psycho and she GETS HER WAY It's so weird to me PLUS she has all this insane power but none of the other powerful Primes step forward to help her manage her powers at all They just string her out No wonder she acts like a crazy terrorist at the end which has no real repercussions so it was fine all along GrrAnd I didn't get the main love interest he was ok but he didn't display a lot of redeeming qualities except maybe stalkingBottom Line I'll probably read the next one But I might rant about that one too haha


  5. says:

    Although I liked Archangel I believe Troubled Waters has been the last Sharon Shinn novel for me At the moment new authors sprout out of the ground like grass or nettles so it relieves me a great deal to cross one off my observation list I know that this decision is probably a harsh one after just one and a half tries especially since Troubled Waters is not a bad story There is nothing blatantly wrong with the writing or the characters or the setting Really It is rather the other way around The heroine is a kind of smooth uebergirl Zoe calmy mourns her father she levelly decides on the right things she does this at the right time the reader should not try to look into her head it is a useless endeavor and does that correctly and smiles benignly Her actions like the actions of the other inhabitants of this fantasy world are solely determined by her biologically given character set she is coru which means water and blood which results in both an affinity also the means elemental manipulation to real water and in the walter like urge to wander to go with the flow ecetera and by the three random blessings bestowed on her at birth by three strangers Beauty Love and Power The constant reminder of who was supposed to act so and so because he or she was wood or stone or air or fire left little room for letting characters just be themselves Apart from that I had the feeling that during the first 160 pages not much had really happened although that is objectively seen not true Zoe's father dies On the next day she is fetched by a messenger of the king She is driven across country in a kind a steampunk camper She flees the vehicle she settles among the homeless although she has plenty of gold sewn into her shawl She quickly acquires lovely friends and a fulfilling job and draws the random blessing of change at a temple which certainly changes her life once in a major kind of way which again felt completely eventlessunimportant to me The plot did have notable turning points but no drive no compelling force If I had not encountered some specimen of excellently captivating fantasy fiction recently I would have said high fantasy and I should just go our separate ways for a while As it is I just kick the book out Shoo Teccc do you want to give the paperback a new home?


  6. says:

    Listened to this one with my daughter on our shared commute It was a great re read and sharing it with her was a great deal of fun I particularly enjoyed that sense of awe as the blessing structure reveals itself during the story and how well integrated that dynamic is in the society and people Shinn's worldbuilding is second to none and it was great to relearn that this time around Also on a reread I had lots of leisure to do the math on the calendar and find that once again Shinn's creativity is outstanding in small details tooNot that the worldbuilding is really the draw Zoe is a great character and the plot flows naturally from the interaction of her personality with those surrounding her I was drawn immediately to her as she re enters a society that had banished her well her father I loved seeing her explore find her bearings and remain herself as she decides what to support and what to ignore I loved seeing her build real relationships amid the scheming and her steady good sense despite chaos and upset I also noticed this time around how the plot flows very much like the river at the heart of this kingdomcapital city mirroring the central image of Zoe as a woman of water I don't know if that was deliberate but given that it's by Sharon Shinn I find it likelyAnyway this remains a solid five stars and I'm glad I got to re experience it with my daughter Such a fun story to shareA note about Chaste The romance in this story is understated but very fun Seeing such very different people come to respect and connect with each other is a large part of the draw for me but Zoe going through so much disruption means they didn't have time for any shenanigans So this is very chaste with only a kiss or two Shinn's calendar math Dividing the year into five quintiles and having nine days instead of weeks gives you a very even calendar with each quintile being 73 days—or eight nine days with a change day left over So the calendar would actually fit current day Earth and a great deal cleaner than our weird monthsquartersweeks


  7. says:

    This is what I would call a fantasy lite story and as such is an easily accessible tale for those who may usually shy away from fantasy stories believing them to be too dense and foreign feeling to make for non stressful reading This is the story of how 23 year old Zoe Ardelay grows out from under the shadow of her larger than life father whom she joined in banishment from the royal court some ten years earlier It's a nice story easily processed and digested and Zoe makes for a likable main character There is a small romance angle at work but if romance is your bread and butter look elsewhere The romance here is presented in drips and drabs I actually would've liked a little so there is no danger of it overwhelming the rest of the story If action is your thing again look elsewhere because this is of a late bloomer storywith an emphasis on how Zoe moves through her new circumstances I would have liked a deeper dive into the world of the Five Families and their Primes As it is it feels like the story skimmed over and just hit the highlights See what I mean about fantasy lite? But it was an enjoyable story for all that and I'm curious to see how subsequent books go since it looks like each one will showcase a different character


  8. says:

    Audiobook re read April 2018This is probably my favorite bookAudiobook re read February 2017Comfort read 3Audiobook re read October 2015I love this book sooooooo muchRe read January 2015Still love this a lot although this time I think the rest of the book worked better for me than the endingAnd I got my sequel That I just started last night Oooh and GoodReads is listing a third book YesOriginal reviewAhhhhh This one of those books where it took me forever to get through the first half and then I didn't want to put it down Zoe's an awesome character And the romance ends up being lovely and wonderful The world is really interesting and refreshingAnd I would really love a companion novel to this? I don't think I want a direct sequel but I'm very interested in finding out what happens to some characters


  9. says:

    February 2020 Practically perfect in every way It takes its time it is perfectly focused it builds beautifully it is quietly epic September 2016 This is such a cozy sweater of a book It's slow and intricate and warm and before I get too tangled in this metaphor quietly surprising Sharon Shinn can build beautiful worlds and populate them with original interesting people and she's at her best right here


  10. says:

    While this is not quite a OMG I'm in LOVE 5 star book for me it came pretty close to being at least a loved it 5 star er However in the end sadly I went with 4 stars because it was just missing that spark that would have pushed it from good to brilliant You know that spark that connection that emotional bond you feel when reading something you find truly fantastic I'd hoped I'd find it somewhere in these pages In fact when I started this one I felt sure that I would but it just wasn't in there for me Don't get me wrong this is a really good book If you like light fantasy with a romantic component give it a try at least You may find that elusive spark I missed To begin with it has most elements I look for when reading a fantasy romance from a smart self sufficient heroine to a stoic brooding leading man to an interesting and well developed quasi magical system in this case people being linked to certain elements and those traits reflected in their character The romance itself took a backseat to the actual plot which is another aspect I appreciated There was also an interesting cast of secondary characters some developed than others and some I'd like to learn about My hope is a few of these will be found in future books of this series Now the plot it was a little murky I wasn't quite sure what the author hoped to accomplish I felt the story just meandered at times and there are moments I thought our MC acted too rashly and impulsively She seemed not to take her power seriously just as she seemed not to care how her actions affected others Honestly there were times it bordered ridiculous and selfish Then again maybe that is just her coru nature However even then the story was crafted well enough to hold my attention which is a feat unto itself these days and the writing was really very good I was engrossed in every page and I was sad when the story finally came to end That's really all there is to it I enjoyed almost every minute of the book and those small parts I didn't enjoy as much didn't do much to negate my opinion I have only read one other book by Ms Shinn but I can assure you this will not be my lastUPDATEAfter taking the night to think about this and in fact sitting here at work still thinking about it I'm going to have to revise my immediate assessment Yes I still liked the book but the I thought about it the Zoe's crazy actions bothered me I'm going to leave the star rating alone but I'm mentally bumping this down to 35 stars