Book Review: Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey

fortune's foolTitle: Fortune’s Fool

Author: Mercedes Lackey

Series: Five Hundred Kingdoms #3

Edition: Kindle (omnibus with The Snow Queen)

Blurb: New York Times– bestselling author Mercedes Lackey spins a variety of fairy tales — think The Little Mermaid and old Russian folktales — into a satisfying romantic fantasy in this third installment in her Five Hundred Kingdoms series.

Katya, the youngest daughter of the Sea King, is sent by her father on a spying expedition. It’s a perfect assignment for one with the unique ability to transverse both land and water. Once on land, Katya encounters a spectacular battle between two mages, then meets Sasha. He is also of royal birth — the seventh son — destined to play the part of the Wise or Fortunate Fool and Songweaver. Their instant affinity and blooming romance is interrupted when Katya’s father calls her back on business: Two magical maidens have gone missing from an island. Katya disguises herself and gets kidnapped by the Jinn who is keeping the others prisoner, but it will take all her cleverness and powers, as well as Sasha’s magic, to get them out alive. Readers will admire Katya’s spirit, and fans of the previous two books — The Fairy Godmother and One Good Knight — will welcome the return of the Little Humpback Horse.

Where to begin, where to begin.

This book wasn’t as strong as the first two books in this series, which is why it took me so long to finish it. The characters were fun, in a way. Katya is a strong female lead and Sasha is pretty adorable at times, but they were way too one dimensional. Things came pretty easy to them and they didn’t have hardly any faults at all to give them depth. Granted, this is a fairy tale, but still. There wasn’t enough to really make them interesting.

The story was also a little all over the place. First there was a battle between Katya and a sorceress, aided by a kitsune fox spirit. Then there’s a confrontation between Sasha and a ruselka. Then there are several little bits here and there which eventually lead up to the main confrontation with the big bad villain of the book, but it had a haphazard feel to it. It was hard to keep my attention at times, which is never good.

That said, it was really interesting how these books are all loosely tied together. You don’t have to read them in order, but doing so allows you to see all the little connections between these fairy tale stories. Sort of like the author is winking at you, which is fun. I also liked the Russian flavor that this one had. The world building still remains top notch, with the Tradition still a force trying to bend the people into their proper roles. I loved how the characters are trying to take the Tradition into their own hands and either call upon it for help or find ways to bend it to their own advantage. It’s really clever.

I don’t want to say that I didn’t enjoy this book – I did, for the most part. And I still plan on reading the rest of the series, for completion’s sake if nothing else. But this is definitely not my favorite of Lackey’s work, not even my favorite of the series. I loved the first book, but these last two have been lacking in its charm. I’m hoping book four will turn that around. We’ll see. And of course, I will let you all know. 😉

GoodReads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



Teaser Tuesday for 6/9/15

Teaser Tuesday NewTeaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules if you would like to play along:

Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Her heart leaped with excitement. This could only mean he had a task for her that she must carry out in secret.

And that almost certainly meant a spying trip to Dry Land.

Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey

I should probably mention that these characters are mermaids. 🙂 This is the third book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series and I’ve only just started it (this is the very end of chapter one). But hey, I like mermaids!

Please leave your teasers in comments!

Book Review: One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

One Good KnightTitle: One Good Knight

Author: Mercedes Lackey

Series: Five Hundred Kingdoms #2

Edition: e-book

Blurb: When a dragon storms the castle, what should a (virgin) princess do? Why, turn to her studies, of course! But nothing practical-minded Princess Andromeda of Acadia finds gives a definitive solution. The only Traditional answer, though, is soothing the marauding dragon by a virgin sacrifice. Things are going fairly smoothly with the lottery–except for the women chosen, of course–until Princess Andromeda herself is picked!

But facing down the dragon doesn’t go quite as planned, and now, with the help of her Champion, Sir George, Andromeda searches for the dragon’s lair. But even–“especially”–in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, bucking Tradition isn’t easy. It takes the strongest of wills, knowledge, quick wits and a refusal to give up, no matter what happens along the way….

I love Mercedes Lackey. There’s something about her writing that is very relaxing to me. I particularly love this series because it combines several things which I enjoy: new twists on old stories, fairy tales, and good story telling. I reviewed the first book in this series, The Fairy Godmother, in this post.

I’m not sure which fairy tale this book is retelling, but anything that has a dragon that steals away fair maidens is fair game. What really sells this book is the characters. Princess Andromeda (or Andie, as she is called) is a bookish girl who only wants to find a way to prove herself. She isn’t comfortable with the spot light. Let’s just say I identify with her. A lot. The champion, St. George, first seems a bit boring, but is hiding a very important and surprising secret. And I haven’t even gotten to the dragons yet. Yes. Dragons. There are more than one. And they are awesome.

I really do love The Tradition, a magical force that tries to push people into set storylines. It is almost a character in its own right. There are many ways that characters try to manipulate their circumstances in order to manipulate The Tradition, with varying levels of success. It’s a pretty creative plot device.

This is working towards finishing another series from years past, so that’s a good thing. I can’t wait to see what the next book has in store!

GoodReads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Teaser Tuesday for June 2nd

Teaser Tuesday NewTeaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB over at A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules if you’d like to play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

He squeezed through the gap, leaving it open as always. If he had to leave in a hurry because of an emergency or the unexpected arrival of a servant . . .

One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

Please leave your teasers in comments!