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Fortune and Fate by Sharon Shinn
Review by Beth Slater
Ace Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441016365
Date: 04 November 2008 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Wen is running from demons –- her own. We return to the world of the Twelve Houses, to the world of the King's Rider Wen. Wen is traveling wherever the road takes her, helping those in distress who need her assistance. Upon our entrance a young woman has been kidnapped by a young suitor she had declined, and he had decided to force the issue. The serramara has no magical or warrior training so she is quite helpless against the young man who has political aspirations. When Wen offers her assistance selflessly, the two women escape, much to the surprise of the serramarra. Wen is feeling quite satisfied, until she finds out her rescuee is Karryn Fortunalt, daughter of the man responsible for the death of the king.

Wen puts her feelings aside and returns the innocent young woman to her guardian, Jasper Paladar. Understanding the odds, Jasper offers Wen the position of Captain of their guard, but Wen wants no ties. She leaves, taking odd jobs, but ends up back in Fortune with two orphans who need work. One is a mystic, a talent not always welcomed, so she approaches Jasper to see if he will hire the children – but her plan backfires. She agrees to a temporary position to form and train a guard to protect Karryn from whomever or whatever is trying to hurt or kill her.

Meanwhile Camman, consort to the Queen, has begun a tour of the country with some of his Riders as well as Senneth. He picks up a few friends on the way, and they tour the houses and spread goodwill with the people of the country. Little do they all know what fate and Fortune have in store for them.

A great Shinn story in the world of the Twelve Houses. Wen's maturity and inner struggles throughout the book draw the reader into the storyline where one normally expects more magic, but this time the main characters are people without magic who live in a world with magic. More character development and background for the fantasy world with the hint of more installments to come. You also get updates on the characters from the previous books of the Twelve Houses.

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