Fortune's Wheel is the second novel in the Sholan Alliance series, following Turning Point. In the previous volume, Kusac uses illusion to get Carrie and himself into the Valtegan base to use their transmitter to alert the Khalossa, the Sholan mothership. After Carrie and Kusac enter the base, his Sholan shipmates and the Keissan resistance attack the Valtegan base as a distraction. Once the message is sent, the attackers destroy as much of the base as possible, including the main antennas, to preclude the Valtegans from detecting the approach of the Khalossa.
In this novel, the Khalossa and other Sholan warships attack the Valtegan bases on Keiss and free the colony. The Sholans then initiate first contact negotiations with the humans on Keiss and on Terra itself.
Carrie and Kusac have become a Leska Link couple, the first such pairing between different species. A Leska Link forms a deep telepathic bond between telepaths, but the link between Carrie and Kusac is much deeper than normal, allowing them to be constantly aware of each other's thoughts and capable of forming a gestalt with amazing powers. Moreover, both Carrie and Kusac can fight and kill, normally an impossibility for Sholan telepaths.
The Leska Link must be consummated by sexual intercourse and the bond must be reinforced by sexual intimacy about every five days so that Contact Deprivation does not cause them to fall into a coma and die. Carry is unaware of the needs of a Leska Link couple, is intimidated by the strength of the lust aroused by the bond, and is shamed by the contempt of her fellow humans. She tries to avoid contact with Kusac and he just waits for nature to take its course. They both are close to death before their friends become aware of the problem and bring them together.
The news of the mixed species Leska bond causes a furor on the Khalossa. When Kusac attacks a human taunting Carrie, the Captain informs Alien Relations, who discover that Kusac is the son of their head, Konis Aldatan, and heir to Clan Aldatan.
This novel dwells on the conflicts that occur between Carrie and Kusac despite the strong attraction of their link and the ability to perceive each others deepest thoughts. Carrie has the most problems with their relationship, but Kusac is also prone to misunderstandings; after all, they are alien to each other.
Recommended for Norman fans and anyone who enjoys stories with strong characterization and interpersonal development.