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Fortune's Fool (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 3) Hardcover – March 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Lackey's ornate, meandering third installment in her Five Hundred Kingdoms romantic saga (after 2006's One Good Knight) heralds the fair Princess Ekaterina, seventh daughter of the Sea King, whose magic enables her to surface from the watery deep and live on land as well. When her father dispatches her on a spying mission to the Drylands, she falls in love with the land-born seventh son of the king of Led Belarus, Prince Sasha Pieterovich, a Songweaver who calls on magic through music. But their steamy courtship is soon interrupted by an evil Jinn, who captures Katya and confines her to his castle along with dozens of other magically gifted females, whose powers he saps to enrich his own. But stealing clever Katya is a big mistake for the Jinn, as it leads to a pyrotechnic showdown—dragons and all—before the gifted couple continue on their path to wedded bliss. (Mar.)
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About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey has written over one hundred titles and has no plans to slow down. Known best for her tales of Valdemar and The Five Hundred Kingdoms, she's also a prolific lyricist and records her own music.--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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This isn't just a rewrite of a fairy tale to make it into another version of the same thing - this is a series of books written in a world view that is uniquely driven by The Tradition (a force that is both natural and magical, which attempts to create the circumstances that ensure stories follow the templates expected, stories acted out by the people that live in the various kingdoms of this world).
This particular book explains how The Tradition works better than the others, and goes into more detail about it and how the fairy tales, stories, legends, and various other components 'feed' The Tradition to create the circumstances that allow it to pressure the people in the Five Hundred Kingdoms into following the expected plots - and how they can be manipulated to change the plots.
People can move between kingdoms, and in each kingdom The Tradition is a little bit different or, in some cases, a LOT different. Therefore, the fairy tales become intermingled with stories from a variety of backgrounds, and the books are therefore anything but a cookie cutter repeat of the fairy tales they get their starting point from.
Add in magic, godmothers (that are far from the godmothers we would expect), a little fighting, a bit of romance, hard work rewarded by more hard work, villains that aren't villains, heroes that aren't heroes, and the inevitable moral - and the only thing that was in any of these stories that I actually expected was the moral, which usually wasn't the moral the original fairy tale laid out.
While each book in the series builds on material from previous installments, they are easily stand alone books. I read this one first. It was from somewhere in the middle of the available books in the series, and mentioned characters or activities from earlier installments, but I didn't realize it until I read the earlier books that they were characters with stories of their own. Later books mention more from the earliest ones, but not enough that you would be lost if you read the last one first.
This book is also part of a box set, so if you think you may be interested in more than one book in the series, I would suggest buying the boxed set instead of this one.
I should have known that Mercedes Lackey would not give us a poorly executed storyline, and only wish I had read this series sooner!
The tale of "The Fortunate Fool" seems to be cross-cultural; even Credence Clearwater Revival wrote the song, "Fortunate Son". :)
Most recent customer reviews
More than most, this would make a splindid animated story.Read more