Fortune and Fate is the 5th book in the Twelve Houses series. This review is mainly for readers already familiar with the series as this is not a stand alone novel.
The author has taken Wen (Willa), a King’s Rider from the previous book, The Reader and the Raelynk and made her a lead character in Fortune and Fate.
In an uprising against the King, half of the houses of Gillengaria storms the palace and kills Baryn, the king of all Gillengaria. Wen is one of the Riders that are responsible for protecting the king. The King’s death left Wen anguished and full of guilt because she failed to save him.
Her remorse drives her from the palace and away from her friends. She adopts the life style of a wanderer, moving from place to place never staying in any one place for long until she rescues the kidnapped Serramara Karryn of Fortunalt House. Fortunalt House is one of the Twelve Houses that revolted against the king, for which the marlord lost his life. Wen returns the serra to her uncle and resumes her journey.
Circumstances take Wen to Fortunalt House where she takes up residence and becomes the leader and trainer of the House guards. Through a series of escapades, Wen finds and receives love from an unlikely source.
There is more to this book then just Wen’s story, but I will not elaborate on it because this aspect of the book did not flow and appeared to be out of context with the rest of the story.
I am somewhat disappointed with Fortune and Fate as it is not what I expected of Sharon Shinn’s latest book. The story started out well enough but veered off course. This book’s only saving grace is the subtle, but poignant love story.
I am a big Sharon Shinn fan and I am happy to say that this is the first book by her that I have read that needed to be whittled down to find the core of the story and forego the mundane parts. Rated: B-