I would not really call this a romance at all - its really more like a science fiction allegory for racism, sexism, and caste discrimination - with just a hint of romance for flavor. Comparisons to the modern political and war novel would not be entirely misguided either...Shinn has really managed to pull LOTS of diverse themes together for a incredibly well melded, startingly well-drawn, and flat out amazingly well thought out read.
This was one of those FEW FEW and FAR in between that made me stay up all night to read and had my eyebrows climbing into my hairline. Interestingly, its not that the situations are unfamiliar (just reversed)...but that clever little Twist of Reality - really makes the main themes so much easier to illustrate. Immensely satisfying. GET THIS!
The only thing I can say as any sort of criticism, is that if you are expecting a light "easy read"...this is NOT the book for you. This book aims to make you THINK.
If you'd like to THINK about alternative religious theory (I'm NOT at ALL religious and I LOATH "preachy" books - this book is NOT that way at ALL!) with the same FABULOUS author, try her Archangel Series, beginning with a book of the same name. That one has a good bit more romance, but the story is just as cleverly and deftly drawn.
Sharon Shinn is an excellent sci-fi author. This book is not part of her popular Samaria series, but it is a good stand-alone read.
An exploration of race, class, gender, politics, hate and love. What more could one ask for?
A little harder to get into than the other Sharon Shinn books I have read. But it was overall a wonderful read and well worth the effort.
Sharon Shinn is a very good writer and this book is one of my favorites. It's a very good example of prejudice against people who are different and how views are changed. Along with that it has a good romance.
Cross-class romance in social justice, science fiction garb.
Nolan was a scientist by nature... he used his rational powers of observation to examine more closely the privileges he was born to enjoy - and the people he was raised to despise.
Kitrini was a rebel at heart... she followed her fiercest passions in the sruggle to overthrow a legacy of hate - one that had poisoned her family for generations.
On a planet divided... between rich and poor, strong and weak, intellect and feeling, only one thing could bring these two opposites together: a strictly forbidden desire.
For justice. For equality. For each other.
"Explores the complex struggles of decent people caught in a web of deceit and treachery as they discover the common ground that underlies superficial differences..." - Library Journal
What if you could explore the questions of prejudice, race relations, and the assumptions you make about people in a place completely seperated from "black" vs "white"? In "Heart of Gold," Sharon Shinn has done just that. The Indigo are a matriarch ruled, mostly wealthy people, steeped in technology as well as tradition. The Gulden have a mostly poorer, male-dominated people, where women have little or no rights. The Albino are stuck in the middle, neither this nor that. Nolan and Kit let go of their prejudices to work together for the good of their world.
I stumbled on Sharon Shinn by accident and found I like her writing style. Heart of Gold is an obvious commentary on race relations and the tensions caused by intolerance. it was an interesting premise and an enjoyable airplane read.
This was a great book. The world building was superb and unique, and the characters reeled me in and didn't let go.
I have really been enjoying Sharon Shinn books. So I thought I'd give this one a try. It's more a Sci-Fi book with the focus on two races and cultures that live on the same planet. The Indigo and Gulden people have lived with disagreements and turmoil until the City was built so both races could live together. It has brought some mutual peace, but troubles still brew.
Nolan is an Indigo man that has been taught that his place is to get married and have children. Kit is an Indigo woman that was raised with the Gulden people. Both find themselves saving their people from total extinction through a mutual sharing of respect.
I enjoyed this book, but seem to like Sharon Shinn's fantasy a bit more. Bioengineering and germ warfare are just not my style as much as spells, horses, and castles.
So much potential, but so poorly executed.
First of all, the writing was all right. It started off a little shaky but improved a lot over the book and I got into it enough that I wanted to continue reading.
This book is really something and in a bad way. Shinn tries to do a whole lot and it ends up being WAY too much. I had very high hopes for this book. The racial and sexual politics intrigued me at first. The set up of EXTREMELY flawed characters was nice in the beginning. There was room for a lot of growth. However, that growth never really happens as much as it should. I mean, we have a bit of it. But the "change" wasn't actually that far from the original points of views of the characters anyway.
Shinn really should have also stuck to just race. She brought in homosexuality (and made a really mind-boggling distinction between female and male homosexuality that was unbelievable in such a society) and abortion, but she never dealt with them. I mean, we have two conversations where it's like, "yeah. We believe this and you believe that and we both back no sense," in terms of homosexuality, but it's never resolved. On one hand, we're cool with female homosexuality, but even though Nolan spends quite a bit of time talking about his feelings about male homosexuality, it's never resolved. I mean, why put it in, if you're not going to actually tackle it? It makes it seem as if you're supporting that kind of idea. And then abortion is brought up for literally no reason. I got the idea that Shinn is anti-abortion because that side kinda wins the argument (even after comparing abortion to murdering children um . . . ).
Race is dealt with acceptable for the most part, though I must point out that we never actually meet a "good" guldman even though we have several "good" blueman characters. It could have been done a whole lot more effectively but it wasn't atrocious. And sex is done about the same.
I think Shinn tried to hard to reverse all the conventions of our world and ended up messing up big time.
The romance is kind of weird but turns out relatively cute, which was nice.
Enjoyable, not as good as her Angel books.