Fortune and Fate
by Sharon Shinn
Ages: 15 and up
Sequel to Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House, Dark Moon Defender, and Reader and Raelynx.
Wen was once a Rider, until the day her king fell. She blames herself for not dying before him, and she now feels that she is worthless and unreliable. Leaving her old life and friends behind her, she sets out alone. Three years have passed when she saves a young girl from her abductors. She then discovers that this girl is Karryn Fortunalt, heiress to one of the Twelve Houses. Wen returns her safely to her uncle and guardian, who offers her a job getting his soldiers into shape so that Karryn will not need to be rescued again. Wen is reluctant at first, but eventually finds herself unable to refuse. Though she keeps saying she will not stay long, she keeps extending her stay again and again as she begins to make friends, and finds someone who will perhaps be more than a friend.
This book is different from the others in the series in that it is about a character who was only in the background before. Wen is an interesting person and is completely different from all of the previous main characters in the series. She is strong and yet incredibly vulnerable, always afraid that she will fail anyone she allows herself to become close to because she failed her king. I liked Karryn, she is a naive, headstrong young girl with more to her than meets the eye. Though she loves frivolous things and flirtation, she cares about people and is stronger and wiser than is immediately obvious.
This is more of a companion book than an actual part of the series, and it is wonderful to visit this world again. Not to mention a visit from old friends from earlier in the series. :)
I give this a 3.10 for language because of a few mild swearwords and one that is a little worse.
There are several scenes of violence, including a threat of rape and several sword fights so I give it a 5.10.
I rate this a 6.10 for a vague scene, a few fade-aways, as well as some references and innuendos.