Quite some time ago I requested Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey from my local library and I was surprised to find the hold request figures in the mid-double digits yet only one copy was ordered. I couldn’t wrap my little brain around this but let it be. The spring semester prevented me from running out and buying any books I didn’t have time to read. If my hold came in, it came in. I’d try to be patient.

In the second week of June, it came in.

I finally sat to read it this past week.

I’m happy I waited. I’m no longer surprised the library only owns one copy for its many branches.

This is the third novel set in Ms Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdom’s world, at least mostly. Led Belarus is a peaceable kingdom without a godmother of its own to help the Tradition along, instead there is the seventh Son, the “wise fool”, Sasha. He’s a song weaver who helps things along. The Sea King has many children, including his seventh daughter Ekaterina (Katya). Tradition has a plan for these seventh children.

However, overall this is a very weak novel. The character development is poor and I felt the plot slapping me in the face a few times. Yes it centers on the Tradition trying to coëxist and fit its antithesis within the Five Hundred Kingdoms, but I wasn’t very impressed with this novel.

Additionally, some of the scenes between the love birds were a bit more adult than I expected—nothing too graphic, but more than I recall in other books of this series. Ask me if you aren’t sure if you should lend this to your child to read. (My mum let me read anything but boy did I blush sometimes. This had me blushing!)

The plot picked up briefly in the middle while the cast was problem solving, but could have ended much earlier if not for the need to tie it up with a super sugary sweet Traditional bow which I found unnecessary.

So, I’m happy I waited for my hold request to come in. This is not a book I feel the need to add permanently to my shelf. It was a fun escape and there are some folk tales I want to explore based on passing references made within Fortune’s Fool. I also found several stereotype driven remarks forced, unnecessary, and avoidable.

My negative response has left me curious to see Ms. Lackey’s next publication. She appears to have much on her plate so I’ll assume this “light” book didn’t receive the same attention to detail as the rest of her works.

Also read this past week:
Harmony Guide: Lace and Eyelets edited by Erika Knight.
A beautifully designed stitch dictionary. This volume includes 250 knit stitches. The photography is phenomenal.

Reader interactions

3 Replies to “expectations”

  1. The whole series is ‘light’. I will say, the newest one (just out) doesn’t have the lovey stuff that Fortune‚Äôs Fool does, but it also didn’t get deep into character development.

    In the author’s defense, the newest one has a short foreword about her year and that of others being a difficult one, and how writing light fantasy is her attempt to bring a bit of enjoyment to otherwise dreary day-in day-out. And this whole series seems to do a bit of that beyond the first few. If you’re looking for a very quick, light read, they’re good. If you want something more substantial, try Valdemar or the newer ones with James Mallory – or a different author.

  2. thank you so much! I had an idea that this hadn’t been the best year for her .. I’m happy she is still writing and I hope it helps .. I love her writing which is why I’m not hanging up and will try what she writes next (because I think I’ve read everything else already). Valdemar is definitely a more substantial series and the Obsidian Mountain trilogy was superb!

    I am looking forward to Snow Queen and will come to it knowing it is light and fun. I guess my review was a bit harsh but I was expecting Valdemar ….

  3. As a Lackey fan I am a little disappointed with Fortune’s Fool. The book is still good but didn’t fascinate me quite as much as her others. Just seemed off.

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