Fortune and Fate (Twelve Houses Series #5)

( 36 )

Overview

Plagued by guilt for failing to protect her king, Rider Wren has fled the city of Gilengaria and given herself the penance of a life of wandering, helping strangers in need. But when chance brings her to the great estate known as Fortune, Wren will find her fate, and finally confront the ghosts of her past.

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Overview

Plagued by guilt for failing to protect her king, Rider Wren has fled the city of Gilengaria and given herself the penance of a life of wandering, helping strangers in need. But when chance brings her to the great estate known as Fortune, Wren will find her fate, and finally confront the ghosts of her past.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Following 2007's Reader and Raelynx, which wrapped up the original Twelve Houses fantasy quartet, this rousing sword-and-sorcery romance introduces Wen, a former elite warrior Rider haunted by her failure to protect King Baryn during a rebellion and heartbroken by her lover's marriage to another. After Wen saves teen heiress Karryn, daughter of one of the rebels, from kidnapping and ravishment, Karryn's uncle and guardian, Jasper Paladar, rewards Wen with an offer to train a cadre of bodyguards. Reluctant at first, Wen gradually faces her fears and falls in love with Jasper, the soul of sexy scholarly gallantry. Despite the tweeny dialogue and predictable derring-do, Shinn combines a substantial range of appealing characters with a solid reinforcement of women's capabilities in peace and war, making the story comfortable, if not profound. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Beth Karpas
Shinn is at her best in this fourth entry in the Twelve Houses series. It stands alone well, although there are spoilers for those who have not read the earlier books. Shinn tells the story of Wen, a minor character from the earlier titles. Formerly part of the elite guard of King's Riders sworn to protect the king with their lives, Wen survived when the old king was assassinated. Although also grievously wounded, she cannot forgive herself. She has taken to wandering the roads of Gillengaria looking for innocents in danger and charging to the rescue. As this book begins, she rescues a young girl from an unwelcome suitor. The girl turns out to be Karryn, the future ruler of Fortunalt, and thus begins Wen's eventual healing. There are many predictable elements in this book for Shinn fans. Wen will fall in love and live happily ever after. She will heal her mental wounds and learn that her fears of rejection by the other Riders are totally unfounded. The six companions of the first three titles will make guest appearances, but the threats to Karryn are anything but expected. None of this predictability takes away from the fact that Shinn is a wonderful storyteller whose characters clamor for the reader's attention, refusing to let the book be put down until the end. This title is sure to please existing fans and win new ones. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
Library Journal

Failed King's Rider Wen embarks on a personal quest seeking redemption against a background of political entanglements and social disquiet. Shinn's fifth installment in her "Twelve Houses" series (Mystic and Rider) continues to feature strong female protagonists as the author skillfully blends romance and adventure. The author explores new parts of her richly detailed world and introduces new characters while maintaining contact with old favorites. As a stand-alone, this volume is a good introduction for readers new to the series, while longstanding fans will appreciate another venture into a world of magic, swords, and political intrigue.


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441017751
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Series: Twelve Houses Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 430,708
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by  Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I remembered how much I liked this world and Shinn's characters.

    I probably should have brushed up on the Twelve Houses by re-reading the previous book, but it came back to me. Every book Shinn writes has a character involved in self-discovery and it makes you love them all the more as you grow with them. The focus of this book is a minor character from the King's Riders, Wen. I wasn't sure I'd really get interested, but I should have known better. Two years have passed in Gillengaria since the events in "Reader and Raelynx" and the familiar characters have grown and lived their lives but they are as enjoyable as before. Wen is the focus, but we get to touch base with the original six which lends such a sense of familiarity to her books and makes them thoroughly enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Angieville: FORTUNE AND FATE

    I am a huge Sharon Shinn fan. ARCHANGEL is one of my very favorite comfort reads and so is MYSTIC AND RIDER--the first in Shinn's Twelve Houses series. Her characters become friends so quickly I forget what life was like before I read them. That's why the Twelve Houses series is so much fun. It follows a disparate group of six travelers who, despite differences of rank, temperament, and fundamental beliefs, become first allies and later friends. Shinn tracks this six of them through four books, eventually wrapping up each thread of the overarching story. Or so we thought. FORTUNE AND FATE is a companion novel to the Twelve Houses series. An unexpected and delightfully welcome fifth volume. <BR/><BR/>Wen was a King's Rider, one of fifty elite guards dedicated to protecting the king with their lives if necessary. Until the king died. On her watch. Shortly after, Wen resigned her post and rode out of the capital city forever. Two years later she is still roaming the countryside, searching for people to save in a futile attempt to atone for her sins. For failing to save her liege. Determined not to connect with anyone ever again, Wen finds herself reluctantly accepting a post as captain of the guard at House Fortunalt after saving the young serramarra's life. Answering to the serramarra's guardian, the bookish Jasper Palladar, Wen promises to stay for a month at most. Long enough to train a rough guard. Not long enough to form any attachments or find any reasons to stay. Meanwhile, the queen's consort wends his way through the southern Houses on a journey to sound out the new Thirteenth House nobles as well as the upcoming generation of marlords and marladies. <BR/><BR/>The story alternates chapters between Wen's sojourn at Fortune and Cammon's journey through Gisseltess, Rappengrass, and Fortunalt. But this is essentially Wen's own story. And I was pleased to find myself soon attached to this tough young woman so intently bent on self destruction. It was naturally extremely pleasant to spend time with Cammon, Senneth, and Justin again as well. But Ms. Shinn does a good job of extending her readers' affections to Wen and her particular set of troubles. The secondary characters are well-drawn and sympathetic, especially Jasper, Karryn, and Ryne--the young lordling from Coravann. This is a quieter, more self-contained novel than the previous Twelve Houses books. It unfolds slowly as Wen struggles to retire her ghosts and maintain some distance from those who would try to keep her. As Jasper quietly works to rebuild a house in disgrace and extend Wen's stay at Fortune. As Karryn learns who she can trust and how to differentiate herself from her parents' failures. A very fine coda to a simply wonderful series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Meh

    I enjoyed Wen's story. Unfortunately, too much of the book was taken up with Cammon and Armalie, who I just can't stand. The idea that anyone , loyal to the previous king or no, would accept being ruled by a feckless guttersnipe and a perpetual naif leaves me cold. I hate it when author's insist on pushing us beyond the point where one can willingly suspend disbelief. I also hate it when thety set their works in a feudal society and then insist on adapting it to modern democratic principles in so short a span of time that it absolutely could not happen i guess it's ok if you're writing entirely for adolescents, but adults know social change of the magnitude depicted here does NOT happen in the space of two years. And you don' t really do those adolescents any favors by letting them think such a thing is possible.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Easy to Read, Fun to Experience

    This book was a surprise in the series, concentrating on a character who doesn't possess magic and his growth. The other characters of the series are still present, of course, so old friends will not be missing. I liked this look at the southern parts of the land.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Last Of The Series

    I am so bummed. It's all over and I want more. Another great addition to the series.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    She's the wanderer, she roams around around around

    Fortune And Fate focuses on a character NOT part of the original six that I grew to love with the past 4 books. Which is why I waited -and with the waiting, forgot most of the details. What is great about Fortune And Fate is that it can almost serve as a standalone novel with occasional references to earlier books and homages to the already-loved characters. I could settle back into the world of Gillengaria, and still find it as exciting and new as ever! Wen reminded me of Tamora Pierce's strong female characters, namely those who wielded swords and more than equaled their male counterparts. She lived and breathed the soldier's life, unapologetically, except those rare occasions when she catches herself caring about the opinion of Karryn's guardian. I think Wen was a great character who obviously thought on her feet and could come up with a plan when in a tight spot. A woman you definitely wanted on your side when the going gets rough and full of flying arrows. And when her relationship with Jasper (guardian) kept growing, I thought it was probably the most beautifully done romance that I have ever read. I don't know how to describe my reaction. Watching Jasper try to get Wen to trust him and sneakily court her without raising her hackles was simply wonderful. When he finally breaks through her shields and throws the ball into her court, I was literally grinning like an idiot. Of course, Wen took forever to figure out what she wanted and where she wanted to end up and if Jasper would get tired of her. Fortune And Fate is definitely worth the time if you enjoyed previous books in the Twelve Houses series, especially if you are in the mood for some light fantasy with some swordsplay and whodunit intrigue. I would also say if you are a fan of Song Of The Lioness quartet, you might want to check this out - I think it can stand alone, as long as you don't mind missing some small details about the bigger picture.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read!

    Fantastic book, fits right into the series by Shinn about the Twelve Houses and King's Riders. Lots of action and adventure plus a little soul-searching. Great read.

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fortune and Fate

    After King Bayrn was killed during the uprisings led by houses Fortunalt and Gisseltess two years previous, Kings Rider Wen has felt nothing but regret and guilt for letting the king be killed while under her protection. Unable to face her fellow Riders, she refrained from swearing allegiance to Queen Amalie and instead set off in search of redemption - by aiding anyone in need of help. In her travels Wen rescues young Kayrrn Fortunalt - serramarra and future marlady of Fortunalt - from a young man trying to force her into marriage. Finding Wen to be particularly handy with a sword, Kayrrn and her bookish guardian Jasper Palladar ask Wen to stay on at the underprotected Fortune to train a house guard for the serramarra. Feeling a need to keep moving, Wen only agrees to stay at Fortune for a short time, all the while becoming more and more attached to the people of Fortune - especially the serramarra and Jasper.

    Back in Gosenhall, Cammon - the Queen's consort - has decided to take a tour of the southern houses and has asked Senneth(!), Tayse, and numerous other soldiers and Riders to accompany him on his journey. I was thrilled to see a new Cammon - one who could easily navigate court politics while simultaneously glad-handing every man, woman, and child they passed on the road. Gone are the days of his complete cluelessness (which I sort of missed), but Cammon can always be counted on to watch out for even the most seemingly insignificant person.

    This fifth installment in Sharon Shinn's much loved Twelve Houses series was full of adventure and the loyalty and love that I've come to expect from her characters. This book does depart from the others in that it was much slower moving with more inner character development and less constant and often explosive action. Which was not a bad thing. I quickly grew to love Wen in all her guilt-ridden but selfless heroism. Fantastic writing with nary a hitch.
    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    exciting sword and romantic fantasy

    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.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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