I LOVE this book!
I believe this was the first book I ever read by Sharon Shinn. I do not care for all of her books, but the ones I like I really do enjoy.
Mystic and Rider is the first novel of four in the Twelve Houses series by Sharon Shinn. Six companions come together to on a mission for the king to wander through Gillengaria. Senneth heads the group. She is a fire mystic. Mystics are looked upon with suspicion as they have powers that not everyone else necessarily has.
With her are fellow mystics Kirra Danalustrous and Donnal. Both Kirra and Donnal are shifters. They can change themselves and any item they touch into something else. Kirra is also the daughter of a Marlord. There are 12 Marlords, one for each house, and they are the leaders right below the king of Gillengaria. Ergo, Kirra is a very important lady. Donnal is her companion. He has been with Kirra for ages and is somewhat of a bodyguard/ friend to Kirra.
Next we have Justin and Tayse. They are King’s Riders, an elite group of soldiers who report directly to the king. They are the best fighters in the country. The king assigned Tayse and Justin to Senneth as protection. They are not mystics, just very loyal and very formidable individuals.
Last we have Cammon. Senneth picks him up along the way. He is a reader mystic, making him sensitive to others emotions and thoughts. Otherwise he’s just a random person along for the ride.
Mystic and Rider is a third person limited story told from Tayse’s and Senneth’s perspective. It’s a romance, though not a steamy one. If it matters to you, you will not find any sex here. However, you get to experience a gradual love grow between these two. And along the way you learn about how Gillengaria may need to prepare itself for some tumultuous times.
Heads up, I will NOT review the second book in this series, Thirteenth House. I find it morally objectionable in a lot of ways and have no desire to reread it and offer a thorough review. It is well written, and from Kirra’s perspective, however the general basis is something I disagree with, so I skip it. Books three and four however are excellent.