"Touching story of dealing with survivor\'s guilt"
Ever since King Baryn was killed, Wen has been drifting. As
a Rider, Wen vowed to protect her sovereign with her life.
So when he died and she didn't, Wen was filled with guilt
and as a result, Wen left Ghosenhall and the other Riders
and set off on her own. She's been helping strangers in
trouble here and there, never staying long in one place or
getting close to anyone. While traveling through Fortunalt,
Wen comes across three people at an inn. A young woman, a
young man and another man, obviously a guard. Wen can tell
the young woman does not want to be with the men, so she
approaches their table and ends up rescuing the young
woman. Turns out the young woman is a serramar, and not any
serramar, but the daughter of Rayson Fortunalt—the very man
who started the war which caused the death of the king.
Karryn—the young woman—was kidnapped by the young man, who
hoped to force her into marriage in order to gain Fortune.
After the death of Rayson, Cammon—the queen's consort—made
Jaspar Karryn's guardian. When Jaspar finally catches up to
Karryn and Wen on the road, he is overjoyed by the safe
return of his niece and offers Wen a job, which she
declines and continues on her way.
While trying to figure out where to go, Wen ends up
rescuing a young boy and his sister. Since they are orphans
and have no home, Wen will have to try and find them a
position and she immediately thinks of Fortune. Leaving the
children at the inn where she's staying, Wen goes to
Fortune and meets with Jaspar, who agrees to take on the
two orphans. Once again Jaspar offers Wen the job of
captain of the household guard, which she accepts. Of
course, Jaspar has to agree to hire new guards and abide by
Wen's word as regards Karryn's safety. And, Wen will only
agree to stay one month. Jaspar agrees with Wen's terms and
demands the option of negotiating an additional month at
So Wen goes about the business of hiring guards and
training them, and meeting with Jaspar every night to
discuss her progress. Not surprisingly, they begin speaking
of other things and Wen looks forward to these nightly
visits. She also keeps an eye on the two orphans to make
sure they're doing well. As she's training these guards,
Wen is also becoming fond of them.
When the month ends, will Wen be able to leave Fortune?
Will Wen and the guards be able to keep Karryn safe? What
of the relationship between Wen and Jaspar? Will it develop
into something more? Will Wen ever be able to forgive
herself for surviving when King Baryn did not?
FORTUNE AND FATE is a wonderful story of dealing with
survivor's guilt in a fantastic medieval setting. Sharon
Shinn does a fantastic job of putting us in Wen's head so
we know exactly what she's going through every step of the
way, from trying to escape her past to finally redeeming
herself in her own eyes. And while Wen is definitely a
soldier, it's hard not to love her on her journey home. The
secondary characters only add to the richness of the story,
as Karryn changes from a spoiled girl living under the
disgrace of her father to a very strong and capable young
woman. And I loved Serephette's "uniqueness" in this story.
All in all, an exceptional story and one which is already
on my keeper shelf.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted July 23, 2009
National bestselling author Sharon Shinn’s “lyrical and entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews) Twelve Houses books have captivated readers and critics alike with their irresistible cocktail of fantasy, romance, and adventure. Now Shinn returns with a new novel set in the same world, where a troubled Warrior Rider named Wen faces her greatest challenge in the last place she ever expected: behind the walls of a great family estate known as Fortune, where Wen has been hired to guard the young heiress. Once there, she will find that fate has other plans for her…