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Fortune and Fate (The Twelve Houses) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Aug 2009

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books (25 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441017754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441017751
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 5.6 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 855,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Emma on 10 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a little surprised no-one has reviewed the book before me because it is really excellent. Set in the same world as the Twelve House novels, this tale follows the journey of Rider Wen. Note: having read the previous Tweleve House books is quite helpful, especially as some parts follow the activities of characters who starred in them. Anyway. Having fled her life in the city after she was unable to protect the king, Wen has determined to spend her life helping strangers without forming any close attachments or keeping contact with any old friends as penance for her 'failure'. All this is going rather well until the girl she rescues turns out to be the daughter of one of the traitor's that plotted against the now dead king. From there, as the title suggests, fate takes a hand.

Overall I enjoyed discovering what had happened in Gillengaria following the end of the war - and although I wasn't sure initially whether I would like the character of Wen her story proved very interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Dec. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A new novel from writer sharon shinn, who specialises in fantasy stories with a touch of romance. Set in the same fantasy kingdom as four of her previous novels called novels of the twelve houses. The fourth of those concluded the story of the main group of characters from them, but this spins things off in a new direction by taking a minor character from those four novels and putting them centre stage.

Whilst you could probably get into this without having read those four earlier books Mystic and Rider (Ace Fantasy Book)The Thirteenth House (The Twelve Houses)Dark Moon Defender (The Twelve Houses)Reader and Raelynx (Twelve Houses) the main characters from those do feature here and the backstory - despite being quite well detailed here - means you're possibly better off starting with them.

And they're very good reads anyhow, so why not?

Anyhow, the land of these tales is a medieval style world ruled by a king and twelve noble houses. there are also mystics who have magical powers. after some of the nobles rebelled against the king and lost, wen, one of the elite group of riders who guards the monarch, has left her role and now travels alone, helping out those in need. she has things she feels she needs to atone for.
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By Michael Godfrey on 26 Sept. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Love Sharon Shinn was sad when I finished it....Wish she'd write more....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 47 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Angieville: FORTUNE AND FATE 19 Nov. 2008
By Angela Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge Sharon Shinn fan. Archangel (Samaria, Book 1) is one of my very favorite comfort reads and so is Mystic and Rider (The Twelve Houses, Book 1)--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.

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.

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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellently written companion to the Twelve Houses series 11 Nov. 2008
By Tracy M. Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the main 6 from the other Twelve Houses books (Senneth, Tayse, Justin, Cammon, Kirra, and Donnal) do make appearances the primary focus of this book is on Wen, a former Rider who felt that she disgraced her king by letting him die. She flees Ghosenhall and spends years wandering the countryside until fate causes her to cross paths with the heir to one of the Houses that had revolted against her king. Over the course of the story she comes to love the House and, while I won't spoil the ending, it is a delightful outcome for her and everyone else.

The romance between her and a scholarly (in our modern language, nerdy) noble is a delightful feature. The tough and burly swordswoman and the aristocrat is a very nice role reversal from the traditional pairing of warrior man and damsel-in-distress so common to fantasy stories. It was refreshing and I found it satisfying.

I do recommend this book although it definitely isn't a stand-alone novel...while Shinn does explain some of the backstory it would be better for the reader to read all the other Twelve Houses books first.

I liked this one a lot and I look forward to reading more in this series.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A New Generation 19 Sept. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Fortune and Fate isn't the best of the Twelve Houses books, let me say that right out front. To that end, it certainly isn't Sharon Shinn's best book. Put it next to The Shape-Changer's Wife or Summers at Castle Auburn, and it looks pretty pale, but that doesn't make Fortune and Fate a bad book.

Fortune and Fate finds us following Wen, Rider gone awol with a major guilt trip, traveling the country and doing good deeds. One of these good deeds (the first and most important as far as the plot is concerned) puts the heir of one of the Twelve Houses in Wen's debt. Houston we have plot development.

Though the story centers around Wen (with snippets from Senneth like every other Twelve Houses book), the most important point is how the new generation is acting as stewards of their Houses and their country. We see the new Queen working to make changes for her people, her 'king' connecting with the common folk, and young heirs struggling to better themselves and not become like the mothers and fathers who brought ruin on their country just a few years before.

A worthy continuation to the Tweleve houses books, and hopefully a stepping stone to more!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A relaxing read for a new or seasoned fan of the "Twelve Houses" series 12 Nov. 2008
By E. Mennemeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a spinoff of Shinn's previous series "Twelve Houses." It is set in Gillengaria two years after Amalie take the throne after a bitter civil war and features the former King's Rider, Wen.

The first question regarding this book is if it can stand alone as a novel or if it is too dependent on the previous story line. After much consideration, I think this book can stand alone as an independent novel. It is much like 'Dark Moon Defender' in the sense that the story is independent enough to enjoy without previously reading the "Twelve Houses" books. Granted, some of the subplay in the text would be lost on a new reader but Shinn does a reasonable job filling in the missing bits of information. Further, this book focuses on a character that we only met briefly before and takes place in a place in a part of Gillengaria that wasn't visited in the previous books.

This book is easy to read with a nice story. I've only given it 3 stars, however, because it feels somewhat disjointed. 'Fortune and Fate' is very much a story independent of the other tales - even Wen's "demons" could be explained without reading the other books - but it seems that an effort to link this story with the other books, and that effort falls short. Fans of the "Twelve Houses" know Cammon, Senneth, Tayse, Justin, Kirra, and Donnal quite well by now. In this tale, Kirra and Donnal's appearance lacks depth and purpose - they seem to stop by for the sake of stopping by without adding any dimension to the tale. Much is made in the whole series of Senneth and Tayse's aversion to being apart but Senneth is casually directed to travel with Justin without Tayse's presence or even opinion. [I actually reread that part, thinking I had missed something.]

This is not a book about magic in the way that the other "Twelve Houses" were. This book is about loyalty, power, strength, and commitment. It is not a bad book, it just suffers from being tied too closely to the previous stories. 'Fortune and Fate' also has the same problem I found in 'Reader and Ralynx' - the ending is rushed and feels edited. As if key paragraphs were left out in favor of shortening the book. My sincere hope is that these books were the victims of editors and that this is not Shinn's trend in writing!

Overall, I liked this book despite it's problems. Wen is quite a capable character. I would recommend this book as both a stand alone book and as part of the series. In keeping with her style, Shinn wraps up the story into a nice little package for us.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Missing Rider 11 Sept. 2009
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fortune and Fate (2008) is the fifth fantasy novel in the Twelve Houses series, following Reader and Raelynx. In the previous volume, the southern coalition was destroyed and many men lost their lives. The whole of Gillengaria was disturbed and economically depressed because of the war.

King Baryn was killed by assassins during the war and Princess Amalie was crowned as the Queen. Cammon became her consort and their mystic talents helped weed out hostile and incompetent rulers in the provinces. They restored the Riders to almost full strength, but a slot is left open for the missing Rider.

In this novel, Willawendiss is a former King's Rider. Wen left the group after the death of King Baryn. She blamed herself for surviving after the King died. She ran away from the Riders and is afraid to contact any of her fellows. She has been atoning for the king's death by rescuing others from violence.

Karryn is a serramarra of Fortunalt and the future Marlady. She has been abducted by Tover Banlish to force a marriage.

Jasper Paladar is a scholar and widower. He has been requested by the Queen's consort to be Karryn's guardian until she reaches the age of consent. He likes Karryn, but doesn't want the responsibility and power that the position brings.

Orson is the leader of a group of shipping guards. They are escorting a set of gold doors being shipped to Forten City. They were attacked by bandits and have a couple of openings.

Cammon is a reader, a mystic who can read minds and sense moods. He is also the Queen's consort. He and Amalie can communicate with each other from anywhere within Gillengaria.

In this story, Wen rescues Karryn from her abductors and returns the serramarra to her guardian. She tells Karryn and Jasper that she is named Willa, but refuses an offer of a job as captain of their guard in Forten City. Then she moves on and takes a job with Orson guarding the gold doors.

After Wen joins the guards, the shipment is attacked again. Wen becomes suspicious of the wagon driver and he tries to make a run for it. The guards take him along to Forten City and turn him over to the magistrate.

Wen leaves Forten City and encounters three ruffians who are using two children -- Ginnie and Bryce -- to lure unsuspecting travelers into their trap. She kills two of the bandits and frees the children. Then she takes them back to Forten City and gets them jobs.

Wen learns that Bryce is a mystic with reader talents. She thinks that his best option is to hire on with the serramarra. So she goes out to Fortune -- the Marlord mansion -- and talks to Jasper. She gets jobs for Ginnie and Bryce, but also find herself working as captain of the guard for a limited time.

She fires the former guard captain and recruits new guards. She finds that Bryce can provide helpful information about the guard candidates. She also asks Orson to join her group as her second in command.

Meanwhile, the royal couple decide to prepare for a grand procession throughout Gillengaria. Cammon takes Senneth, her husband Tayse, eight other Queen's Riders, and seventy royal troops in a tour through the southern provinces to gauge the risk. Their last scheduled stop is Fortunalt.

This tale finds Wen training new guards for Karryn and making new friends. Karryn is a typical teenage girl, who has temper tantrums, yet doesn't have any cruel tendencies. Wen has younger sisters and soon learns to like Karryn.

Wen is also attracted to Jasper. He is a noble and a scholar -- much above her station -- but he is also kind, curious and very polite. He introduces her to books that she can like and even some enjoyable poetry.

This story has several action scenes and numerous training bouts, but the main emphasis is the lessening of Wen's survivor guilt. Wen learns that she is important to others for her own sake rather than only as an armed protector. But they also learn to accept her as a soldier.

Wen seems to be fated to remain in Fortunalt. Everytime she thinks to leave, something demands her personal attention. She trains her replacement, but can't seem to leave her responsibilities. Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Shinn fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of depressed survivors rediscovering their place in the world.

-Arthur W. Jordin
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