cover image Quatrain


Sharon Shinn, . . Ace, $24.95 (369pp) ISBN 978-0-441-01758-4

The four enchanting novellas within Shinn's shimmering collection make delightful introductions to her romantic science fantasy worlds and thrill fans eager for a return visit. In “Flight” (the Samaria series), Aunt Salome tries to protect her niece from Raphael, an archangel with a dark past. In “Blood” (Heart of Gold ), 17-year-old Kerk Socast moves from Gold Mountain to a distant city, where women's activist Jalciana Candachi helps him search for his runaway mother and find peace. In “Gold,” (Summers at Castle Auburn ), war endangers the life of Princess Zara, who enjoys refuge in magically alluring Alora so much she doesn't want to go home. “Flame” (the Twelve Houses series) explores the fiery dangers of an untutored young Mystic and provides a whimsical conclusion to a satisfying collection that affirms Shinn's skill with the shorter form. (Oct.)