- Title: Foul Lady Fortune
- Author: Chloe Gong
- Series: Foul Lady Fortune, Volume 1
- Genre: historical mystery crime
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
- Link: https://www.amazon.de/Chloe-Gong/dp/152938026X/ref=monarch_sidesheet
It‘s a spin-off of the „These Violent Delights“-Duology, so there are mini-spoilers to that duology. But you can read „Foul Lady Fortune“ without previous knowledge.
It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.
Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging – and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.
Code name: Fortune.
But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.
To reduce suspicion, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong. Although Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanour infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.
After the imperfect ending of „Our Violent Ends“ I was exiting for the new dilogy. You read from different points of view I loved all. The story of Rosalind was the most interesting for me, because she is a character with a hard past and a great development during „Foul Lady Fortune“. She is a brave, passionate and strong woman who found her independence as a spy. I like about her that she didn’t forget her past, especially her family, and look ahead as well. Rosalind learnt from her mistake and fights for her city Shanghai and the persons she loves. But I gladly read about the others main characters, too. Rosalind‘s sister Celia was already one of my favourite characters in the former dilogy and in this story she can be herself at last. In contrast to the Lang sisters or Alisa Montagov I didn’t know the Hong siblings before. Mostly we fellow Orion becoming Rosalind‘s alibi husband and my favourite Hong. He is real family guy who put his family always first. I admire his loyalty the most. But my favourite scenes were the shared between him and Rosalind. At the beginning they are only bickering (which was very funny) and with the time the newly weds build their trust as well as heal their old wounds together. They become a great and supporting team, although Rosalind and Orion learn each others‘ flaws, too. I liked them much more than her sister Celia and his brother Oliver together.
The whole setting Shanghai 1931 was very intriguing and different from Shanghai 1926. There are more factions like Nationalists, Japanese and some more who fight for the rule over Shanghai and different spies everywhere. It was a exciting situation because you (and the characters) never know who you can trust and who is on which side. Concurrently I love historical settings where you learn something about the „real“ past.
The story is a great mix of historical fiction, political schemes, mystery crime and some fantasy elements, because of that you never know what to expect. At first the book develops slowly, but constantly. Throughout the story you learn more and more about the characters, the world and the many secrets. We have a new mysterious person/monster which attacks at night with chemicals and all protagonists need to uncover. Chloe Gong wrote a complexity story where every little detail matters at the end. The isn’t any boring moment. On the contrary you get surprised regularly because of the many plot twists. I hope and fight along the characters during the whole book. Especially the last ten chapters are full of twists and surprises. I couldn’t stop reading and get shocked more than once. My heart gets even broken because the cliffhanger at the end is open and nasty. I cannot expect the second volume and my anticipation increased thanks to the last sentence. I have a guess and hope that I‘m right.
If you loved „These Violent Delights“, you will also love „Foul Lady Fortune“