Kathryn's Reviews > Fortune's Folly

Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagan
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 07, 10

liked it
bookshelves: ya, fantasy-sci-fi, fairytales-folktales-mythology
Read in May, 2010

It's taken me awhile to formulate my review for this one as I have a lot of mixed feelings. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book but not nearly as much as I hoped I would. Interestingly enough, some of the things I most enjoyed at certain points were also things that frustrated or annoyed me at others. For example, I thought the premise of Fortunata having to lie and tell fortunes to keep her and her father alive was really interesting--but I felt she carried those lies farther than she needed to with people that she should have been able to trust. While perhaps a realistic portrait of what many would have done (taken the easy way out) it's not something I would like to see in a heroine. And this story does seem fairytale-ish enough to set up Fortunata as our heroine. Also, the writing style seemed old-fashioned at times ("he mounted his steed" and other such phrases), and while at times I found this charming and a great help in making this story seem like the fairytale it was meant to be, at other times I just found it a bit wearing and uninspired. In terms of plot, I was really intrigued and I think this is what kept me eager to read the book--I was really curious how Fortunata was going to get herself out of her predicament and to her "happy ever after" which seemed inevitable (again, this being a fairytale!) But, in terms of character, I really didn't care that much. None of the characters seemed three-dimensional to me, and, I never felt empathy or a fondness for our heroine (certainly not enough for me to forgive her aforementioned ill use of someone). Even the prince, whom I'm sure was meant to be a little beyond the typical fairytale type, was not deep enough despite his kind heart, wise political views and "endearing" stutter. It's not giving much away to say that there is a love story involved somewhere along the line and, while I'm sure my adolescent self would have been swooning away (and it was sure nice to see a G-rated romance), there was not enough depth for my adult, married-woman self to feel that there was a true meeting of the minds and souls going on here. Too, I felt a bit confused as to the target audience for this book--on the one hand, it seems geared for middle grade, but then Fortunata herself is seventeen which seems to indicate and older/YA audience. With all of these gripes, I DID still find pleasure in reading the tale and I absolutely loved the last few pages! The final line had me all misty-eyed despite myself ;-)

Then again, maybe I'm just not cut out to read fairytale novels, since I didn't get on the bandwagon with Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl, either, and practically everyone else loves it. That said, if the premise of "Fortune's Folly" sounds interesting to you, give it a try!
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Fortune's Folly.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Lisa Vegan I really enjoyed this book, Kathryn. I hope you do too.

Kathryn Thanks. I'm a few chapters in and enjoying it so far.

Lisa Vegan I did like this better than you.

I'm surprised so many people have said they don't care about any of the characters. I really did care about her.

Unfortunately, I forget the last line (it's been a while since I read the book) and now you've got me extremely curious.

Could you please pm me and tell me what it is? Thanks!

message 4: by Jeanette (new)

Jeanette I just picked this up from the library today. I must admit it does not seem like the type of book I would normally pick up (I have not read Shannon Hale's books or really any fairy tale retellings) but I am willing to give it a try.

Kathryn It's funny because I am a huge sucker for fairytales. I love all the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty princess-y stuff and the silly falling-in-love-at-first-sight dancing at the ball ;-p And I especially love the more modern updates like Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" where there is some substance to the relationship. I really am not sure what it was with "Fortune's Folly" I really felt that I SHOULD like it more than I did and I totally appreciated reading your review, Lisa, and think that you make some great points. It's not that I dis-liked the book, exactly, just that I wasn't as enthralled or touched as I thought I'd be.

I hope you enjoy it, Jeanette! :-)

Lisa Vegan Maybe this is a fairy tale book for people who don't generally like fairy tales. ;-)

Kathryn Lisa wrote: "Maybe this is a fairy tale book for people who don't generally like fairy tales. ;-)"

Haha, perhaps that's it ;->

message 8: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Kathryn, you've described my feelings about Goose Girl -- it was nice, but I wasn't blown away.

Kathryn Miriam--wow, amazing to find another person who wasn't absolutely in love with "Goose Girl"--have you read any of Hale's other works? I was so underwhelmed by GG that I haven't yet but feel I ought to since she seems so beloved by so many. Maybe I just chose the wrong book to start with.

And, Abigail, I agree--I will be looking into more of Fagan's work and hope she does hit her stride with the next one.

message 10: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I started the sequel to GG, Enna Burning, but couldn't get into it.

message 11: by Kathryn (last edited May 10, 2010 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kathryn Miriam wrote: "I started the sequel to GG, Enna Burning, but couldn't get into it."

Good to know! I admit I wasn't really compelled to try any of the GG sequels. I got "Princess Academy" for $1.00 at a library sale so I will probably try that one and if I don't get into it (since it's a completely different story/characters) then I guess I'll have to assume Hale just isn't a match for me.

message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ann Another great review, Kathryn!

back to top