Author: Chloe Gong
Reviewed by Chloe Fuksa
Foul Lady Fortune is the first book in the newest young adult duology from author Chloe Gong. It is historical fiction, with some fantasy elements as well. Gong’s prior series was These Violent Delights, and this new book takes place in the same world, with the same characters, but a few years later, in 1931. The setting of the book is Shanghai, China, as the Nationalists battle the Communists for control of the country, and as they both try to fend off a Japanese takeover.
Rosalind Lang is an assassin who, due to a life-saving injection, can instantly heal any of her wounds and who will forevermore stay at 19 years old. As mysterious chemical attacks start killing people around the city, Rosalind is paired up with Orion Hong to act as a married couple and go undercover at a Japanese newspaper. Soon, the two are being trailed at night, their car is bombed, and they are arrested for treason, among other wild things. Can Rosalind and Orion save themselves, while also connecting the dots to prevent any further attacks?
Foul Lady Fortune certainly has its great moments, but at least for this reviewer, there were numerous parts that just didn’t seem believable. Rosalind, for instance, is sometimes portrayed as tough, hard-charging, and brilliant – and yet at other times makes foolish decisions in order to advance the plot. As well, between the three different sides and the secret identities and the double agents and triple agents, it seemed rather difficult to remember who was who and which side of the conflict each character was on. The author has stated that readers don’t need to read the These Violent Delights series beforehand, but I think doing so would really help with understanding Foul Lady Fortune better. The exciting part, though, is that the sequel to this book, Foul Heart Huntsman, is due out this September, and it does have a fantastic cliffhanger to pick up and run with.
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