Thursday, October 23, 2008

General Winston’s Daughter

by Sharon Shinn

Lady Averie tries very hard to be a perfect lady, but she never quite manages. She’s always too impulsive and curious, and it drives her chaperone, Lady Selkirk, nearly mad.
On the journey to join her fiancé—Colonel Stode—in distant Charrin, Averie is bored to tears with life aboard a ship, until she meets Lieutenant Ket Du’Kai. The handsome young lieutenant entertains her and expands her world by explaining the reasons that her native Aebria overtook and colonized Chiarrin.
Although it is said to be a rough place not fit for a lady, Averie instantly falls in love with the bright colors and delightful festivals of Chiarrin. Her feelings regarding Chiarrin and her beloved Colonel Stode begin to change.

I have truly enjoyed Sharon Shinn’s previous books, despite their being somewhat predictable and you can always tell that they’ll end happily. But this one was a huge disappointment.
Averie acted more like a spoiled 12-year-old than her supposed age of eighteen, and didn’t have much depth after being curious and demanding. None of the other characters were developed beyond having some extremely basic personality trait, either.
Another issue I had was the romance. For one thing, it was predictable; I could tell that Averie would fall for Lieutenant Du’Kai literally from page one. For another, I haven’t the faintest idea what Ket Du’Kai sees in Averie. Lastly, aside from their few “meaningful” conversations, their relationship was almost completely built on flirting on both their parts and feeling protective on his.
And the plot...was boring and slightly predictable. Averie “grew” from very spoiled to not so spoiled while in Chiarrin, a time that seems to drag on and on for the reader. When the climax finally comes it seems tacked on, as if Ms. Shinn changed her mind about the conclusion at the last minute, or had a limited amount of pages with which to finish the story.
I’m sorry to say that General Winston’s Daughter was definitely not my favorite of Sharon Shinn’s books.

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