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Fortune's Fool (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, #3)
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Fortune's Fool (Five Hundred Kingdoms #3)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  7,657 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews

The seventh daughter of the Sea King, Ekaterina is more than a pampered princess--she's also the family spy. Which makes her the perfect emissary to check out interesting happenings in the neighboring kingdom...and nothing interests her more than Sasha, the seventh son of the king of Belrus. Ekaterina suspects he's far from the fool people think him. But before she can fin

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published March 1st 2007)
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Sep 24, 2007 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2007, fantasy
Mercedes Lackey does a good job mixing romance and fantasy in this latest installment of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. The one thing I have been enjoying about the series, and this title is no exception, is that the heroines are strong and capable, without entering the dreaded "feisty" zone (veteran romance novel readers will know what I mean!). My only complaint is that there is never any real sense of danger/darkness - you just know nothing bad is really going to happen. Not necessarily a ...more
There's nothing quite like recent-vintage Mercedes Lackey to get me through feeling ill. When the flu knocked me down a week ago, I knew just where to turn:

The seventh daughter of the Sea King, Ekaterina is more than a pampered princess--she's also the family spy.

Really, how could that be a better companion to chicken noodle soup, ice cream, and extra-fluffy pillows?
May 30, 2008 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The heroine is the Sea King's daughter, who serves as his spy and assassin because she can breathe as well on land as in the sea. (The Sea King and his children are human shaped with legs, not mer-people with fins.) The hero is the Seventh Son of the king of a Russian-style kingdom, a Fortunate Fool. It takes Lackey a while to get the "real" story underway, because she first sends the heroine off on an adventure in a Japanese-ish kingdom. This adventure seems to have nothing to do with the main ...more
Jul 28, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance fans, fairy tale fans
So, this is a retelling of several Russian fairy tales, and there are points when it really does feel like a fairy tale itself, which was well handled. I also enjoyed the two main leads -- Katya, the Sea King's daughter and spy, and Sasha, the Seventh Son and Songweaver. That's an essential element of any romance, and really any book -- that I not want to throw the book across the room because the main character has a case of the Stupids.

Also, as always, the worldbuilding was interesting, thoug
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Katya is the Sea King's youngest daughter--and his eyes and ears in trouble spots. Sasha is the seventh son of the King of Led Belarus, which makes him a Fortunate Fool. But his foolery is only an act to gently steer the Tradition in ways that lead to peace and prosperity for his kingdom. The Tradition is made up of all the tropes that are always found in fairy tales. A seventh son meets an old beggar woman on the road? If he's nice to her, she'll help him with his task. If not, she'll curse him ...more
Jun 17, 2009 Mikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of the four Five Hundred Kingdoms books out, this is far and away my favorite one. It has wonderful characters, an exciting set of stories, and most notably, beautiful settings.

I don't know if it was Mercedes Lackey's vivid descriptions or my own personal hangups from a childhood spent watching The Little Mermaid every week, but I was instantly enchanted by the underwater kingdom the heroine of this story is from. I loved the idea of it and of the way things were run there, as well as the execut
Barbara ★
Not as good as the previous books in the series. Lately I've been getting bored with these endless quests. I find myself trying to hurry things along.

I did like Sasha and Katya and the various talking animals along the way. Enjoyable but not particularly noteworthy.
Jadis LeFeu
Dec 30, 2009 Jadis LeFeu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One more, favourite genre. I very liked Katya. However, I have another list of naming gripes, this one even longer: Nippon is another name for Japan. Please be slightly less obvious that you're copying countries straight out of Earth, or else own it all the way. Belarus is a country. You make Japan a tiny distance away at Nippon, but you can't even come up with something that isn't currently a country for blatantly-russian-place? Adding Led to the front doesn't make it original. The Kitsune was ...more
Dec 15, 2013 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story. Loved the Russian fairytale aspects.There are some amazing characters in this book. Happy sigh.Would love stories about all the sisters and brother and secondary characters.Grins.
Note to Self:
Ekaterina(Sea-King's 7th daughter,spy,21yo,"Katya","Tsunami",King's personal guard,sis, Princess, water magic,pal)+ Sasha Feliks Pavel Pieterovich(Prince of Led Belarus,7th son,bro,King's F
Sep 24, 2010 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, own, re-telling
Ah, unadulterated chick-lit. Fantasy chick-lit even! Mercedes Lackey started a new "universe" series, all set in the Five Hundred Kingdoms. I think the first one, The Fairy Godmother, was the best. Basically all the novels tell the story of some mixed up fairy tale. This book dealt with more Russian folklore, which I don't know much about, so that was kinda fun. It also had a short bit where one of the characters travels to a distinctly Japanese island. Overall, the book was okay, but the plot d ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Kit★ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing with my reading of the 500 Kingdoms series. This one was very good I thought, there was a lot of action, and more of a focus on the romance in this one as compared with the first two. This book tells the story of Katya, youngest daughter of the Sea King, and her love, Sasha, seventh son of the King of Led Belarus. Katya works for her father, being his eyes and ears both in the sea and on land. Sasha is a Fortunate Fool, as well as a Songweaver, and his job is to ensure peace and prosp ...more
NOTE: Actual personal rating is 1.5 out of 5.

I have nothing against beach-reading. Most of what I read could probably be classified as 'escapist, wish-fulfillment fluff.' And I'm OK with that. However, I prefer my books to possess some sort of internal logic and cohesive world-building. In Fortune's Fool, I felt as though Lackey threw out anything resembling conflict because that would be *bad* and scary and perhaps give this morass of a story some sort of palatability.

(view spoiler)
Fortunes' Fool is based off of some Russian fairytale that I had no idea even existed, so I wasn't really anticipating much when I cracked it open.
Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be one of my favorites from her Five Hundred Kingdoms' series. Moral of the story: Don't judge a book based on the fairytale...or something.

My reason for liking the book may be based on the fact that, unlike in some of Lackey's other books, the hero in this one isn't a total douchebag. I found it refreshing
Dec 22, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book almost half a year ago, having had great success with the first two installments of Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series. Unfortunately, I had some trouble with this one at the start. I just couldn't seem to get into it, which is really quite rare for me. In fact, I ceased reading about a third of the way in, set the book aside, and moved on to some others in the meantime. However, since I hate beginning things without finishing them, I ultimately decided that it ...more
Here we meet Ekaterina, also called Katya, the seventh daughter of the Sea King who serves as his enterprising secret agent and Sasha the seventh son of the king of Led Belarus and the Fortunate Fool of the title who serves in a somewhat similar capacity for his father albeit within the border of his country.

Both are particularly gifted seventh-born children. They are both lucky, yet the feeling of fortune that they experience doesn’t mean that they do not get into difficulties or that they do
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: extended-reviews
True rating: 4.5 stars.

Each book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series is similar: Engaging characters are moved deftly through a simple, yet interesting plot filled with heartwarming (but never cloying) and smile-inducing moments. Each tackles an aspect of the fairy tale Tradition – or perhaps it is better to say that each approaches the Tradition from a different angle, thereby keeping fresh the conceptual thread that runs through these novels. Another similarity is that I always think Ms. Lacke
Dec 16, 2015 TheCosyDragon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

In another tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Sasha and Katya are both seventh born children. The difference between them is that one belongs on the land and the other in the sea. Both have important roles for their kingdoms, but both are equally alone as well.

Sasha and Katya show very little character development. Sasha is the kind hearted soul
Cassandra Page
This book didn't suffer from the same sense that the romance was tacked on, the way it was in One Good Knight - in fact, through almost the entire book the story follows both Katya and Sasha, our romantic leads. So that was good; at least they had a good, strong storyline. (Although they did fall in love in about two days. What's with that?)

But what it did suffer from was an extreme need for an editor.

For example, there is one particularly noteworthy paragraph that is a PAGE AND A HALF LONG! Mor
Dec 13, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today's post is on 'Fortune's Fool' by Mercedes Lackey. It is published by Luna which is an imprint of Harlequin Books. It is 362 pages long and is the third in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. The cover has the two main characters with some of the elements of the story like the paper bird and the harp. The intended reader are fairy tale lovers, light romance readers, and fans of Lackey. There some sexuality in this novel so be warned. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

Ekaterina - Katya - is the seventh
Kate McMurry
Fun fairy-tale retelling for older teens as well as adults

Ekaterina, "Katya" for short, is the seventh daughter of the Sea King's fourteen children. Her father is a very wise man who has brought peace rather than endless war to his kingdom. He believes that all his children should have useful work to do based on their individual talents, rather than getting spoiled, lazy and causing trouble due to idleness. Katya can function equally well breathing air and walking on land and breathing water and
Feb 20, 2014 Maja rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This one didn't live up to the previous. I find it a little incredible that suddenly everyone is an expert in The Tradition, when, in the first book, it seemed like The Tradition was only revealed to a select few. And the character's in this book were a big let down. They were absolutely flat and lifeless, not personality to them what so ever. Not good, no.
Apr 18, 2014 Lark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After the first two books, I was expecting a struggle in romance between the Sea King's daughter and the main male lead. But nope! This book is a conglomeration of little stories, almost like a collection of short stories with the same protagonists.

Even though I liked both Katya and Sasha, this book is more about the side characters and the little stories. It's not really about their romance at all. Which is good because if you really think about it, the
BK Blue

It's cute, fantasy-romance fluff.

I like the way the author combines folk and fairy tales together in her fantasy world, and how there's always a twist on the familiar stories.

I noticed a few typos which always bothers me in non-indie printed format. There's no real excuse for that.

I'm weird about my fantasy. I have some friends who absolutely love the heavy epic type of fantasy, and I just cannot do that. I am always weary of the author spending too much time on world-building and description
Aug 05, 2014 A B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love happy endings. That's what fairy tales are all about. Heroes and heroines may go through some rough patches and face an evil witch or two, but good wins out in the end. I can't help but love it.

Don't think this is a retelling of "The Little Mermaid". It is based on Russian folk tales, not the works of Hans Christian Andersen. Yes, there is a princess of the sea people - basically, humans without tails that live underwater - who happens to walk in love with a dry land prince, but that is a
Julia Andersen
I was a little wary of this book at first; I was crunched for time, about to be stuck in airports and on planes sans WiFi for 15+ hours, and desperately needed to check out some eBooks from my library back home. Really, I chose this book because a) it was recommended for people who'd enjoyed "Once Upon a Marigold," b) it was one of the few recommended ebooks I could find that was actually available from my library. The fact I chose this book under some pressure, and the fact that the other book ...more
Jul 02, 2015 Ashli rated it it was ok
I really like the world of the 500 Kingdoms that Lackey is putting together in this series. I find it nearly as engrossing as her world of Velgarth with the Valdemar novels.

That said...

More so than in the previous two installments, I'm finding things in the novel that irk me. I'm a bit of a Grammar Nazi, so the increasing amount of comma splices and similar small but noticeable grammatical errors annoy me. Most people won't notice or care, so really that's not a big deal. Lackey's writing style
Lauren Schuyler James
Really cute fairytale love story! There is a sex scene that surprised me. Overall it was really cute!
An interesting setting and concept, but overall the writing was subpar. I liked the idea of fairy-tale figures being self-aware and being able to take advantage of their roles. I especially liked the character of Sasha. But it seemed as if I were being told a great deal, instead of being shown things. This made me feel rather detached to the characters and the plot. And certain elements just seem to have been 'thrown in there' not necessarily because they fit, but because the author thought they ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's weird seeing an author rip off their own stuff, because everything this book does, Firebird did it better.

The use of Russian mythology as a backdrop, the main male lead being set in the Tradition as a Fool, the enchanted castle run by an evil magical force that is cursing the landscape around it...this reads like someone read Firebird and tried to write a cheap knockoff of it and sell it, only the person writing the cheap knockoff also wrote the original novel.

The Five Hundred Kingdoms is
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2015 Reading Chal...: Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey 2 13 Jan 10, 2015 05:31AM  
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  • The Destined Queen (Umbria, #2)
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Five Hundred Kingdoms (6 books)
  • The Fairy Godmother (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #1)
  • One Good Knight (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #2)
  • The Snow Queen (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #4)
  • The Sleeping Beauty (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #5)
  • Beauty and the Werewolf (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #6)

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“I'm not a legend or a hero, I don't slay dragons, I don't do any of the things that a real hero can. But I can make things better, one day at a time, for most of the kingdom.” 15 likes
“There are more nasty things in pretty packages in the world than most people would believe.” 13 likes
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