Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

The Shape-Changer’s Wife

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By Sharon Shinn (WHY, Sharon, WHY!?)
Don’t sue me, buy it here:
Rating: Poor.
Read: 2003/2004ish
Category-Fantasy Category-Ugh

I had high expectations for Shape Changer’s Wife, since I began with Shinn’s Castle Auburn and the Archangel/Samaria series- all of which are stellar.

Unfortunately, SCW fell very, very short of what I had hoped for. There simply is not enough action to justify 200+ pages- it felt like a short story that had been expanded, with much effort, to enable her to break into novels.

The characters waste most of the novel being idle, overanalyzing fruitlessly, refusing to question things, or absent. Everything is low-key and downplayed, and the main character, Aubrey, was not very likeable. The ending is predictable (You saw the title, didn’t you?) and the conclusion is anticlimatic.

It’s a shame that it was executed so poorly, as the majority of Shinn’s work deserves its excellent reputation. By all means, give SCW a try, as I know a few people who enjoyed it very much, but if you don’t like it, please don’t let it turn you off of Sharon Shinn. She really is an excellent writer, and should be forgiven this token pass at a first novel. She’s greatly improved. 😉

Review also posted on


Written by Shen

March 26, 2005 at 12:34 am

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