Today it’s Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses series, beginning with Mystic and Rider and continuing for four more books. Some in Gillengaria are born with magical abilities like healing, shapechanging, fire, and are called mystics. Mystics are too often regarded by the less talented majority with fear and suspicion, both of which seem to be growing, along with tension between king and country. Must it be war? King Baryn sends Senneth, a mystic, and two of his Riders, Tayse and Justin, on a fact-finding mission to find out. They are joined by mystics Kirra and Donnal and they pick up Cammon along the way, almost without realizing it forming a small, formidable force that will buckle and swash from Gosenhall to Gisseltess and back again. Many times.
This series is, variously, epic fantasy, allegory (you’ll get it, trust me), a road trip, a buddy movie, uplifting, heartbreaking (the ending of the second book will gut you), thrilling (the third book is a roller-coaster), a master class in characters good and bad (the Lestra–shudder), with a satisfying conclusion, and in the fifth book, we even get a coda.
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