rating: 4 of 5 stars
Actually, I'd give this book 4 1/2 stars.
Fortune and Fate is part of Sharon Shinn's "Twelve Houses" series, set in Gillengaria. This novel takes place two years after the end of Reader and Raelynx and tells the story of Wen, a former King's Rider who exiled herself after being unable to save the king's life. She's tortured by guilt and believes she must travel the country helping strangers to atone for her failure. She thinks she is unworthy of friendship and cannot be trusted with anyone's life, so she keeps moving from place to place in order to avoid building relationships. Fate intervenes, of course, or this would have been a terribly boring novel. :)
Shinn does such a fabulous job of blending character development and plot into a seamless story. I admit I did guess the villain before Wen figured it out, but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I especially loved the way Jasper Paladar teaches Wen to appreciate books and reading--that warmed my librarian's soul. And I was glad that parts of the book also focused on the ongoing story of Senneth and Tayse, Cammon, Justin, Kirra, and Donnal--the series' original leading women and men. I wasn't ready to let these characters go after the end of Reader and Raelynx, so it's a relief that the story continues.
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