A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.
Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal. Cast out of the luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, and blamed for the war that destroyed her family and the man she loves… Kyrra disguises herself as a man and navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers. Only one thing keeps her going: she believes her missing lover is alive, and she will stop at nothing to find him. But when Kyrra is offered the chance to assassinate the man who betrayed her and put the wheels of war in motion, the seductive draw of revenge changes everything.
In a world of scheming gods and precarious loyalties, vengeance comes at a deadly cost. Now Kyrra must choose between killing the man who took everything from her…or rescuing the man who gave her back her life.
Revenge is finally within her grasp. But is she willing to pay its price?
Fortune’s Fool is the first novel in the Eterean Empire series and the first published work from Angela Boord. SPFBO5 finalist (second actually), Stabby Nominee; not going to lie, I was a little bit intimidated before starting. And I can’t be happier of reading it, because Fortune’s Fool is an authentic mastercraft.
The story introduces us to Kyrris/Kyrra, the main character who seeks vengeance after what she has suffered due to the affair between houses in this universe. Boord quickly divides the character between present Kyrra and past Kyrra, which helps us submerge into her story without any problem, letting us know more about her thoughts and her plans. I have to admit I found past Kyrra really lovable because it has a perfect mix between suffering and not self-compassion which hit me right in the feels.
We are going to follow Kyrra during the whole novel, watching her trying to realize her vengeance, but having to take a difficult decision once she meets her past love interest and mentor, Arsenault. As we can realize once we are deep diving into the book, this is going to be a character-driven story, and the spotlight difficulty will move from that regard.
The world of Eterean Empire is probably one of the favourites I’ve had the pleasure to dive into. It’s not a secret I’m a lover of any kind of different setting we can get, and this particular version of Renassaince that Angela Boord crafted is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. Different houses, the conflict between thems, commerce, all the big points are crafted. But you know what? Also, the small ones are really well treated, even things as food, clothes, all are developed.
My only negative point with the book is how slow it starts, it takes some time to hook you onto the story, as the first fifty pages drag the pace too much in my opinion. Once you pass that barrier, it’s impossible to drop the book, because I was enjoying it too much.
In summary, I think this book really well deserved the praise it got. Despite I was a little bit scared also due to the mentions of romance here and there (I have a small problem regarding that particular genre), I totally fell in love with Fortune’s Fool. I can recommend it to almost anybody who loves a deep world, and character-driven stories. Can’t wait to see what more Angela Boord has in her pocket!
Angela Boord writes giant fantasy books that like to blend genres–from romance and historical to espionage and epic and beyond—and explore character in all its messy glory. Her debut book FORTUNE’S FOOL, a twisty, Renaissance-inspired historical fantasy, placed second in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blogoff (SPFBO5) and was nominated for a Stabby in 2019. Angela lives in northern Mississippi with her husband and children, where she writes most of her books at the kitchen table surrounded by Nerf guns and Legos.