[Happy birthday to me . . . and Ann Marie!]

Sharon Shinn is a St. Louis-based writer (I think), a graduate of Northwestern, and in the same writers’ group as Laurell K. Hamilton. They’re nothing alike, by the way. She’s published a great deal of books, ranging from the vaguely SF futuristic fantasy series starting with Archangel, to the high-fantasy series starting with Mystic and Rider, and a handful of unrelated novels. I actually started reading her books over ten years ago; Archangel knocked me out, and that was her second published novel. She has written three children’s fantasy novels, starting with this volume; they were published by Firebird.

One night, in a little town called Tambleham, a woman named Damiana is having a baby. Her sister, Angeline, is attending her, and a mysterious stranger on horseback stops off and leaves a second baby with her. Damiana decides to raise both children on her own; the girl, Fiona, and the boy, Reed. Damiana and Angeline are both Safe-Keepers, people in their society who hear secrets, never to reveal them. There are also Truth-Tellers, who always say the truth, and the Dream-Maker, who can make dreams come true. In any case, years pass, and Fiona has decided to become a Safe-Keeper like her mother. Unfortunately, Thomas the Truth-Teller has said to her that she won’t be one. What will she become? And what of Reed, who can’t settle down with any one pursuit? (more…)