Fortune and Fate
Ace, Nov 2008, $24.95
Considered one of the best amidst the Riders sworn to protect the king, Wen is down on herself; when a revolt broke out, the warrior failed to protect King Baryn. Adding to her depression is that her lover married someone else; leaving her no one to turn to for solace.
Wen’s mental state improves a bit when she saves Karryn, teenaged daughter of a rebel, from a kidnapping and rape. Karryn’s grateful Uncle Jasper Paladar offers Wen a position as instructor to his bodyguards; she accepts. Reluctant at first, Wen ends up falling in love with her intellectual employer
Although not part of the original Twelve Houses saga, this exciting sword and romantic fantasy directly feeds off the events of that quartet especially with the attitude of the heroine. Thus it helps to have read the previous tales to better understand Wen’s depression and her world, but FORTUNE AND FATE can stand alone. The story line is fast-paced focusing on a female warrior who makes a strong case that women can be adept in combat as well as lovers. Although nothing new is added to the Shinn mythos, fans will appreciate this fine entry that looks deep into the soul of one of the survivors.