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Fortune's Fool

(Eterean Empire #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.

Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal.

Cast out of the safe and luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, Kyrra navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers while disguising herself as a man.

War destroyed her f
Kindle Edition, 737 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Impossible Books
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 stars

The blurb surmised this first-person character-driven debut nicely; spies, smugglers, vengeance, war, and love, this hefty book has them all.

Fortune’s Fool is Angela Boord’s debut and it’s the first book in Eterean Empire series. The story revolves around Kyrra d’Aliente as she seeks vengeance for the harshness inflicted towards her in her past while masquerading herself as a man. Fortune’s Fool is undeniably a character-driv
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I admit, and there’s no shame to it, that once I got the book, I found its page count daunting. At 737 pages, Fortune’s Fool is terrifying. I love novellas and short fiction. I consider 350 pages enough to tell an engaging story. When I hear people raving about over 500 pages of roaring fun, I turn and run in the opposite direction. 

Because I had to read it, I took a deep breath, explained my dog there wouldn’t be any walks for a week, and started reading. And couldn’t put the thing down.

Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
F I N I S H E D....and I'm left a wrecked mess!

An ocean of words in a tome over 700 pages long, have come together to form an awesome, in-depth built world around silk production and trade, powerhouses and family feud in the fantastical Fortune's Fool, and combined it with a character-driven plot of revenge by the underdog. It is made of all the right stuff to sink your teeth in, in a journey that takes its time and braids a narrative from different angles and two main timelines, but don’t be fo
kartik narayanan
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I finished fortune’s fool. I liked it till I got to about two- thirds of the book. It is so reminiscent of guy gavriel Kay’s writing. But the biggest issue is that it is overly long and starts dragging after a while.
Nils | nilsreviewsit
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
‘What nobody tells you is that magic is a pain in the ass.
It’s like the dinner guest who always shows up uninvited. It comes too early and stays too late. It ruins your evening plans. It’s the mistake you wake up with the morning after.’

Here’s my thoughts from our SPFBO review on The Fantasy Hive.

The characters;

Kyrra/Kyris is a character whom I enjoyed seeing develop throughout the book, I was thoroughly impressed by how well crafted her narrative voice was. I particularly liked her plight early
The Captain
Jul 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there me mateys!  This book was the second book on me list from SPFBO #5 in 2019.  I recently read the book from that year that sounded the coolest and it freakin' rocked (and won).  This placed second in the contest and also sounded like the book for me.  Sadly I only made it to 36% before abandoning ship.

This book seemed to have all the elements that I love - a woman who dresses like a man, is snarky and intelligent, has a magical arm, used to be rich before a downfall, became a mercenary
Mark Lawrence
I haven't read this book, but it's a finalist in this year's Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, so it must be good!

See the finalist board here:
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I tend to favor character-focused stories over more plot-focused stories, from Pratchett to Becky Chambers, any book that makes me feel like I'm reading about real people will instantly go on my favorites list. I'm pretty stoked that this is the second time during the finals that I've been blown away by how attached I became to the characters. Both Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang and Fortune's Fool have struck a chord with me and are in my top three favorites of the finalists.

This is a single POV s
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
* I read this as a judge for the #SPFBO *

Full video review here:
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-published
This is one of those books that I agonized over a star rating because 4* doesn't really do it justice. On a 10 point scale, I'd probably give it an 8.8/10 (4.4/5), which is right up there with some of my favorite reads.

Boord's world-building is top-notch. The politics, the religion, the setting (the food!)--it very much has the feel of a living, breathing, vibrant world with a history that we only get to brush against in Fortune's Fool.

Fortune's Fool is also very much a character story, and the
Travis Peck
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book nailed every phase for me. The prose, characters, worldbuilding, pacing, and plot were all masterfully woven together. This book is on the longish side and I didn't even notice, as I was so engrossed in the story. The author deftly manipulated two timelines with great effect, doling out answers as more questions arose with great skillful skill(I had to embrace my inner Seuss there, apologies), and it all comes together beautifully in the end.

Do yourselves a favor and pick this one up p
Jason Aycock
Tonight I’m doing something I haven’t done on the blog before. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. I’m admitting I was wrong, and I’m changing a rating I gave a book.

I first reviewed Fortune’s Fool back in September 2019 as part of Self-Published Fantasy Month and gave it a 4.5 of 5 Stars. Tonight I’m changing that rating to 5 Stars. Why am I doing that? Well, because as the book has sat with me I’ve realized to an even greater extent how well it was written and how much it impacted
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Also reviewed at Fantasy Book Critic and Whispers & Wonder

A girl and an illusion of love. A girl betrayed. A girl punished and maimed and scorned.
A woman and a reckoning.

Kyrra d’Aliente, sole heir of the Aliente House, falls victim to the charms of Cassis di Prinze. Now a pariah within her household, she's cast into the dirt to appease the mighty Prinze. Mutilated and cursed to a life of serfdom, she lives her days under the mocking ridicule of the Household, but one day is lifted from the d
Calvin Park
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Angela Boord has given us a beautifully written and captivating novel in Fortune’s Fool. This is the story of Kyrra d’Aliente, fallen scion of a powerful house. It’s the story of her fall and the story of her vengeance. More than this, however, it’s a story about family and love and discovering that how we see and understand the world when we’re young—how we’re certain the world works—isn’t always true. Perhaps more central still to the work is this question: is trust possible?

In her debut novel
Adah Udechukwu
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fortune's Fool was really good. There were opportunities for it to be better. Hopefully the rest of the series will be better.
The length of the novel was unjustifiable.
Only standalone novel have the right to be that long.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Edit: I changed my rating to five, because I can't stop thinking about the characters and waiting for the second book. If that doesn't mean it's a great read, I don't know what does.


At the beginning I was a bit overwhelmed by the length of the book – this is a LOT of book – yet when I finished I immediately wanted the second instalment.

For a good part of it, this book operates with a double timeline. This is a blessing, because Kyrra is extremely irritating for a long time – she's a teenager
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fortune's Fool is a great read for someone who likes their epic fantasy with a touch of romance!
It was a real pleasure to beta read Fortune's Fool. The characters were well fleshed out, so fun and interesting to read about. Kyrra, the main character, is both likeable for her strengths and believable for her flaws. The romance was delightful, a lovely piece to the large plot that includes family dramas and political intrigue. I especially love the time period, with Italian influence and matchloc
Stephen J Coey
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kyrra is an epic fantasy badass with a metal arm, intent on revenge, and I loved her. I especially loved the tale of her formative years. The story is set at a good pace and is written exquisitely well. I had the pleasure of beta reading Fortune's Fool before it went to an editor, and it was immaculate then. And Arsenault is such an intriguing character, again easy to love. I look forward to the next instalment, especially as there are so many possibilities with Arsenault.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo2019

Really enjoyed reading this epic fantasy book. It's a finalist in the spfbo 2019 competition. First finalist read for me in the competition.

This a very good book and a serious contender to win. The pacing and the level of the quality of writing is top notch all the way through.

I.lost track of time on at least 3 occasions especially on the bus home from work.

This is an author to watch out for in the future.
Travis Riddle
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo5
I always enjoy stories (in any medium, really) that play with structure, so I appreciated Boord going for a nonlinear narrative in her debut. We follow Kyrra's story both in the present and past, with the prose's tense shifting accordingly, which I found to be a nice touch. I think the two narratives played off each other well, and Boord was smart about when she chose to jump from one to the other--oftentimes we stumble upon a piece of information about the book's various mysteries or a characte ...more
A.M. Justice
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo, spfbo5
4.5 of 5 (SPFBO rating: 8.5/10)

Beautifully written, exquisitely detailed pseudo-historical fantasy in the style of Guy Gavriel Kay. The story is a very slow burn, and the pacing can be exhausting, but by the end, the deliberate detail of the storytelling really worked for me. The romance was extremely well done and forms a solid core of this story of murder and betrayal. The plot is extremely complex, with lots of apparent betrayals and double and triple crosses. The changing alliegances can lea
Kitvaria Sarene
This is a copy from my part of the SPFBO review for the book on Fantasy Faction. That's also why is says out of 10 stars not out of 5. Find the full review (including other judges views) here:

Out of the 10 finalists of that contest - this was the winner for me!

I was dithering between giving this a 9 or a 10. I only had one gripe with this one—but it was a big one: I really didn’t like the start. There was so much info dumping, so much names and things to
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
The victim of a power-play between the houses Kyrra, has fallen from grace and has been excommunicated, not even allowed to use her name. For a young woman who has spent most of her life pampered and is now among the lowest of the servants, it’s a rough punishment to pay for following your heart.Her story picks up five-years later, Kyyra now a mercenary going by the name Kyris and has been hired to kill the one person in the world she would happily do in for free.


This started a little rough f
David Stewart
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
The longer I sit with Fortune's Fool, the more I appreciate it. There is a maturity to its craft that is not that common - an obvious commitment to the act of writing as opposed to writing whatever might catch on and be popular. This is not to say that Fortune's Fool wouldn't catch on in the mainstream fantasy community, the Renaissance background and rakish nature of its characters, as well as its romance, have wide appeal, but Fortune's Fool strikes me as something that will burn steadily in t ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo5
Full review is here, on my blog!

This is the story of Kyrra d’Aliente, who is the daughter of a nobleman in the city of Liera. The Aliente House deals in silks, and as such is one of the most powerful houses in the city. Not nearly as powerful as the Prinze though. When Kyrra has a secret affair with the heir of the Prinze House and is caught, her entire life changes, starting with the removal of her right arm. She is exiled from her house, and sent to work with the other serfs. There she meets A
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
What if Romeo was a bit of a prick?

That’s not an apt enough description for the book in its entirety, far from it – but it does encapsulate my impression of its first quarter. And indeed, throughout I could never escape the impression that there’s something almost Shakespearean in Angela Boord’s Fortune’s Fool. The setting is inspired by Italian city-states in their hay-day, with all the backstabbing, trade rights and struggling for power. The story is heavy on personal drama, and is, when all i
James Latimer
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women, indies
I really enjoyed this book, which I noticed because of SPFBO, but wasn't convinced I'd like until I picked up the sample and fell into the world and the character - or characters - of Kyrra/Kyris. This is quite a traditional tale in many ways, something I could imagine from JV Jones or Carol Berg. It is driven by the single protagonist across the two timelines, which were perfectly interwoven to bring us through numerous (perhaps too many?) twists and turns to an epic conclusion. The writing is ...more
Stephen Richter
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting world and setting. That makes this book worth reading. At its heart it is a revenge plot. and Angela Boord nails the " Reasons for the desire to Revenge" part. A single POV tells the tale, but in an interesting twist it is two versions of the same indivdual. A young Kyraa and a slightly older Kyrss. I was totally invested in the young Kyrra story, not so much the older version. Then about the halfway point, I got more invested in the Older Kyrss and and less with the Younger Tale. ...more
Lisa Cassidy
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of great political intrigue!

This is quite a long read, but I was engaged all the way through, particularly by the ongoing political intrigues that are at the centre of this story. I found that I liked the supporting cast of characters more than the protagonist..they all seemed a bit more engaged and dynanic, but the central relationship between Arsenault and Kyrra was rich and extremely well done. If you like medievil Italian-themed political fantasy with magic and swords and lots of power
wanderer (Para)
Sadly, I bounced off it for no particular reason but it could be worth a try if you like:

- books with a narrow PoV focus
- Reneissance-inspired settings
- a fairly "narrative", fluid writing style
- political scheming and family rivalries
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: November 2019: Fortune's Fool 3 33 Nov 29, 2019 12:13PM  

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SPFBO 5 Finalist Angela Boord published a handful of short stories in the early 00s, then had a bunch of kids who are now all sleeping at night so she can write again. She lives in northwestern Mississippi with her husband and their nine kids, plus two dogs, one cat, and varying numbers of chickens.

FORTUNE'S FOOL is her debut novel and a finalist in SPFBO 5. She is currently hard at work on more

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