Lyrical and entertaining fantasy, second in The Twelve Houses series begun with Mystic and Rider (2005).
Shapeshifter and mystic healer Kirra is sent on a mission to rescue Romar Brendyn, the abducted regent of Gillengaria. Successful, Kirra returns home to Danalustrous, where she learns that she has been passed over as heir in favor of her non-shiftling half-sister, Casserah. When Casserah refuses to leave Danalustrous to pay a social visit to each of the Twelve Houses, Kirra offers to assume her shape and go in her place. While visiting the other houses, she runs again into Regent Romar, and an attack on the regent's life forces Kirra to reveal herself to him in order to save his life. They must find the cause of this unrest among the houses if they are to keep Princess Amalie and the regent alive and prevent mystic-fearing factions from taking control. Peopled by well-drawn characters that readers can really bond with, Shinn’s tale of a land divided among those who wield magic and those who do not trust it abounds with subtle romance and high-spirited adventure.
Ideal for readers who like a little romance with their fantasy.