October 7, 2016

FOF Book Club: Troubled Waters

We're back this month with another Flights of Fantasy book club review! Last month, we invited you to read Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn along with us. Today, both Rachel & I are sharing our thoughts on this novel, as well as answering our usual questions. We'd love for you to share your thoughts and answers in the comments section! Without further ado, here's what I thought of Troubled Waters.

Troubled Waters book cover
All I really knew about Troubled Waters before going into it was that it was the start of a series about young women who had elemental abilities. While this impression was not unfounded, Troubled Waters was actually not quite what I expected it to be! It is the story of a young lady named Zoe Ardelay, who has just lost her father to a grievous illness. She isn’t given any time to mourn, however, as a stranger comes to fetch her from their village to take her to the capital city in order to marry the king. Zoe makes the journey to the city, but before she can be introduced to the king, she slips away to give herself time to figure things out. She soon discovers that she is actually the prime (head) of her mother’s clan, and with that realization, a whole slew of new things – palace life, court intrigue and lots of secrets come into play. 

Truth is, I was expecting amazing things from Troubled Waters after all I’d heard from other readers. So when I cracked it open and it read a bit slow for me, I was a little worried. Would I wind up not enjoying this novel at all? Thankfully, once I fell into the flow of the story proper, I was reeled in. Shinn has constructed a really fascinating world and elemental system, the framework for the tale she writes that is rife with family secrets, court intrigue and subtle romance. It was a lot more character-driven than I’d expected, and that was definitely not a bad thing (though not what I had expected) as I enjoyed getting to know Zoe and the other major players in this great game. Zoe is a girl coming into her own adulthood and abilities, and I really liked being able to read about her journey from who she was at the beginning to who she is by the end. I finished this novel and immediately wanted to read the sequel, which is always an excellent sign of how much I enjoyed a book. So yes, in the end, I wound up truly liking Troubled Waters.

Every time we share about our book club reads, we'll be answering the questions below! We'd love for you to join us and share your answers in the comments or in your own post. Don't forget to leave a link in the comments or in the monthly link-ups.

1. Who is your favorite character? I’m most drawn to Josetta, even though I loved a lot of the characters in this story (Darien was a close second). I think it’s because I see younger self in her personality, even though I was never a crown princess. It’s her quiet nature and composure that really felt like it reflected a part of who I was.

2. Which is your favorite book? I’ve only read the one, but I definitely have the sneaking suspicion that I may enjoy the next novel – Royal Airs. It’s Josetta’s story, so it’s a given that I’m already pre-invested.

3. Would you read more books by this author? Oh, yes, I definitely would! Now that I’ve adjusted my expectations, I look forward to binge reading the rest of this particular series already.

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn | Series: Elemental Blessings #1
Publisher: Ace | Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Paperback purchased from Book-Off


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