Friday, October 30, 2009

Fortune and Fate - Sharon Shinn

Summary: For the Rider Wen, peace in Gillengaria has only brought despair. Plagued by guilt for failing to protect her king, Wen has fled the royal city and given herself the penance of a life of wandering, helping strangers in need, making sure they remain just that: strangers.

Until the day she helps a terrified young woman abducted by an overeager suitor. The girl, she discovers, is the daughter of one of those who rose against the dead king, and is now heir to the great estate known as Fortune. Once she has delivered her safely home, Wen wants nothing further to do with the girl or her family.

But fate has other plans...For behind the walls of Fortune, Wen will find her future--and she will finally confront the ghosts of her past. (Image from amazon.com - summary from back of book)

My review: For the most part, I enjoy Sharon Shinn’s books. I loved the Archangel Series (read my review here) and Summers at Castle Auburn. They are light fantasy/romance novels that I can always recommend to my mother. Those, I tell you, are in short supply. When I picked up Shinn’s latest, Fortune and Fate, I thought it was a stand-alone novel--and it was, sort of. Fortune and Fate is the story of Wen, an self-exiled Rider (or bodyguard) of royalty. While her story is resolved within the pages of this book, it is also inexorably tied to the stories of many, MANY other characters. My main complaint about this book, isn’t really very fair--because any SANE person might have thought to read the FOUR books previous before starting in on book five. I obviously wasn’t paying attention and by the time I figured out my mistake it was too late to just put the book down and start a (currently) five book series.

Had I started with the first book, Mystic and Rider, I might have read all the ones that follow. However, now the surprise is ruined and although I enjoyed myself, I probably won’t read the previous books. I already know what happens. What fun is that?!

On its own, Fortune and Fate is pleasant, but not life-altering. Those in search of thrilling book club discussions should probably look elsewhere, but it was a nice way to pass the time and if you are a fan of the genre, I would definitely recommend trying the series.

(BEST READ IN THIS ORDER):
Mystic and Rider
The Thirteenth House
Dark Moon Defender
Reader and Raelynx
Fortune and Fate


My rating: 3.5 Stars. I had fun and it might have been higher if I hadn't been such an idiot.

Sum it up: A light medieval romance with LOTS of back story. Don't read it before the others.

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