By Polly Shulman
Updated November 30, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

With war looming, the kingdom of Gillengaria needs both alliances and heirs. Inviting suitors from 12 noble houses to woo Princess Amalie, the king hires a telepathic young mystic, Cammon, to divine their intentions. But the deeper Cammon looks into Amalie’s heart, the closer he comes to losing his own. Cluttered with couples united in previous books in Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses series, Reader and Raelynx has all the appeal of a stranger’s wedding album, and her prose (”they wore gloves on their hands”; ”he could tell that blood was being shed in multiple locations throughout the realm”) the virtuosity of a reception-hall DJ. C+