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Fortune's Folly

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  869 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Ever since her mother died and her father lost his shoemaking skills, Fortunata has survived by telling fake fortunes. But when she’s tricked into telling a grand fortune for a prince, she is faced with the impossible task of fulfilling her wild prophecy—or her father will be put to death.

Now Fortunata has to help Prince Leonato secure a magic sword, vanquish a wicked witc
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Henry Holt and Company
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Cloie Rainilla Well I'm 16 and I liked it. Anyone from middle school and up.

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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 ...more
Lisa Vegan
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: girls 10-13 & readers of any age who enjoy a good fairy tale or children’s novel
Recommended to Lisa by: CLM
This is a wonderful fairy tale for older children. It’s not a twisted fairy tale, but a story that takes itself with just the right amount of seriousness. It’s a terrific story with interesting characters.

I love the main character, a girl on the cusp of womanhood, who’s a skeptic and doesn’t believe in magic. Fortunata makes a very unusual fairy tale character in part because of her lack of belief.

The ending was exactly as I expected, but that did not in any way diminish the fun of reading this,
This was cute, but I guess a little slight in the end. I generally enjoy stories that walk the line of "Is this magic or not?", so I enjoyed that aspect, but everything wrapped up too quickly! And the love story wasn't developed enough.
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
Fortunata has a name with a lot of weight and meaning to it, and unknowingly she will have a profession to fit it. Nothing has been the same since Nata's mother died. Her father can no longer make his legendary beautiful shoes, and they struggle to keep food in their bellies. Things change for them when Nata angers a Captain and they must flee Valenzia. This is where the real adventure begins and we see how she transforms to the All Knowing Fortunata.

This romance, adventure, fantasy story has a
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Valerie by: Ash
Shelves: fantasy, retellings
I loved this book. It was what some would call charming. It was clean, funny, magical, and best of all happy.

Nata, as her father calls her, is very down to earth. She stopped believing in magic ever since her mother died. And who could blame her because her life has been anything but a fairytale. All she has left in the world is her father, who is so kind and believing, but near useless since he can't make a decent shoe. So it is up to Nata to keep them surviving and in order to do so she has to
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to CLM by: Kirkus
Great fun! A resourceful and clever heroine with a sense of homor, a hero with hidden depths, some interesting/unusual minor characters, an unexpected plot development or two, and a blend of magic and would-be magic...
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle Grade Readers Who Enjoy Fantasy
When Fortunata's mother dies, and her gentle father - believing that the fairies had abandoned him - loses his shoe-making skills, the young girl must grow up fast, shouldering the burden of caring for herself and her befuddled parent. Fleeing the city of Valenzia, after she makes an enemy of Captain Niccolo of the Guard, Nata and her father fall in with a traveling fortune-teller, and her violent companion. With her quick wit, and keen eye for detail, Nata is soon training as a fortune-teller h ...more
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ash by: Valerie
A magical tale with a perfect heroine, a stuttering but sweet and handsome prince, with a quest to fulfill a prophecy, to find a weapon, to defeat a witch, so that they can retrieve a golden slipper and save a princess. This is obviously no easy quest.

Quick Overview:Fortunata has had a hard few years since her mother died. Her father, once called the finest shoemaker in Valenzia can no longer make a shoe that is anything less than hideous. Since her mother's death her father says that the fairie
Apr 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ann by: Katie - thanks!!!
Fortunata and her father fall on hard times and must travel with a heartless group of performers to make a living. Fortunata is taught the art of fortune telling and makes her living thus. But, when she finally has to tell a very grand and important fortune she must make sure the fortune comes true or risk her father's life.

There were some good things about this book that I really enjoyed. The endings were far less predictable than I'd expected, and for that I was grateful (and surprised!) I did
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I seem to have been on an "original fairy tale" kick lately; not that it's a bad thing, if the books are as enjoyable as this one!

Fortune's Folly is about a young girl, Fortunata, who falls in with a group of performers and is taught the fine art of fake fortune telling. When she makes a prophecy for a young prince, she doesn't know that the specifications of the prophecy must come true in order for him to take the throne. Fortunata finds herself accompanying Leonato on a journey to find a magi
Jane G Meyer
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middlegrade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I SO wish this book had been around when I was ten years old (never mind that you were probably, like, four at the time). FORTUNE'S FOLLY is the kind of book that made me a reader -- the kind of book I would have disappeared with into my room for hours on end, until I knew everything would be okay, because these characters from another time and place feel so very, very real.

Thankfully, I haven't grown up all that much. I still love stories like this, and most of all, reading this ARC, I was exci
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
What an enchanting tale. All the elements of a fairy tale, along with action! mystery! and romance! There's truly something for everyone in this book.

Deva Fagan's writing is so eloquent and evocative, and her main character is delightful and clever. I loved watching Fortunata stay ahead of danger and find a future for her father and herself. In fact, all of Fagan's characters are so fully formed and well rounded, including the bad guys. Add in a richly drawn environment and a high-stakes plot,
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
A fun and absorbing read that left me cranky every time my subway arrived at my stop, because it meant I had to put the book away. I enjoyed the references to other fairy tales and the plot twists that made me wonder just how Fortunata would muster her wits. The Prince was indeed charming, and I liked how his charm was based on his innate capacity for joy and delight, rather than just his good looks and Princeliness. I also relished Fagan's fantasy version of Italy, which made me want to head to ...more
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love, love this book. I think the story is lovely and honest. I love the characters a lot specially the prince and the fact that he is not perfect and he have fears to conquer. Fortune's Folly is the kind of book that shows me why I love literature so much. I hope to see more of this author.
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a fast and very entertaining read that got better and better as the story progressed. It is definitely more on the Middle Grade side of YA, but still enjoyable to me as an adult. However, I am most excited to read it to my girls when they get a little older.

Fortunata is a great character - full of spunk and determination to do what needs to be done. I loved all of the different fairy tales whose various trademark elements found their way into this story. FORTUNE'S FOLLY is full of adve
I feel like this is a younger, less violent, sister to Graceling and The Hunger Games. Fortunata is so aggressively self-reliant; she just struck me as the sort of girl who could grow up into a Katsa or Katniss if the circumstances required. Plus she’s smart and resourceful and funny. I love how the story suggests that trusting yourself and working for what you want will get you a happy ending you might not have even dared to dream about.

With all the best bits of fairytales popping-up, and a gir
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for

Life is difficult for a shoemaker who has lost his skills, and even more difficult for his daughter, Fortunata. When they are forced to leave their home, things get even worse. Nata is forced into telling fake fortunes for a living, and before she knows it, she's tricked into telling the fortune of a prince.

If the fortune doesn't come true, Nata's father will pay the price. Fortunata's only hope is to make sure the prince secures a magic sword, vanq
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not sure where I came across this book - or possibly I came across the author through one of my LJ flist - but I was glad I did however it happened. I liked Fortuna a lot, with her slightly desperate loyalty to her poor father, and her growing cynicism, which never became too much. Her learning to tell the fake fortunes was very well done, and the device which led her into telling the fake of them all and then having to do everything she could to make it come true, no matter how reluctant sh ...more
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
This was a very cute book. I liked the overall plot and how the author wove in different fairy tales throughout her story. Fortunata is a very clever girl and it was fun watching her learn the art of fortune-telling and eventually end up on a made-up quest. The story moved along nicely and was well written. I liked Prince Leonato, he was sweet and kind. He does come across a bit naïve though and I kind of felt he was missing something. The villians were entertaining, and of course the quest they ...more
Patience Thomas
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It was my good fortune to pick this book from the new 2010-2011 book list! It is a delightful fairy tale written in a manner which soothed the senses. The story line was both absorbing and intriguing. Fortunato has a dear relationship with her Father who is a shoemaker. Unfortunate events put both of their lives in peril which is the impetus for her to embark on a journey bred of fantasy and lies. She falls into the role of a clever fortune teller with the life of her Father at stake. The settin ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked this one, but I didn't love it.

Fortunata was fantastic - clever, pragmatic, and very determined. She was what made the book. The plot by itself didn't really grab me, especially because a couple of the - hmm, let's go with "coincidences" for lack of a better word - coincidences were a bit to easy for my liking.

Fans of fairy tales will enjoy this one, and I certainly liked that it was a more modern treatment of what could have been a very traditional fairy tale-type story.

I'll certainly b
John Behnken
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fortunes Folly was excellent. And truly amazing when you consider it is the first book by this author. Ms. Fagan has a true gift for characterization and setting. And her story structure is complex enough to be interesting and clever, but not so much that her audience (young adult) will be confused. I'd recommend this book highly to both adult and young adult. A quick read for those (like myself) who are used to reading 600-1000 page tomes on a regular basis.

Check it out!!!
The Library Lady
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
This has been classed as children's fiction in our library and I'd rather have it in YA. There's no sex or 4 letter words here, but there's some menacing and innuendo. Besides, I don't think is exactly on an 8 year old's level, no matter how bright the eight year old, and a lot of parents won't be that discriminating. I am and I don't think my 10 year old is ready for this one.

For girls (I doubt if boys will go for this one) old enough to read it, I'd highly recommend it.
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
As I got to the end of this book, I thought "you know, this would make a great Disney movie." Not that it's all sunshine and happiness all the way through (and, if you think about, neither are Disney movies--lots of misfortune, death and destruction abound in those cartoony-concoctions), but, what it does possess is a good story that can be easily visualized. Evil villains, princes, prophecies, princesses, and a great setting (loosely disguised Italy).
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I didn't think I would like this book at all, but I did. Fortunata finds herself in a real bind, part of it as a victim of circumstance and part of which she brought upon herself. This is a bit of a fairy tale, so of course the ending is happy.

Overall, I found this to be a satisfying read and one that I enjoyed quite a lot. In my local library it was in the "Tweens" section, and I do think that this would be the appropriate audience.
Cloie Rainilla
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Brenda Maye
This book was cute. I love how the main character was a con artist and told false fortunes. She ends up in a very sticky situation because of that. I didn't necessarily have any problems with the story. It was just filled with one dimensional characters. They didn't make me feel anything really. The prince was unique compared to other princes. He had a very bad stuttering problem. That was kinda enjoyable. It's a nice read if you love classic fairy tales with happy endings.
Elizabeth P
The perfect fairy tale; this book has it all- "far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise" (quote from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"). This book was tailor-made for me- I loved every character, every scene, EVERYTHING about this novel. Readers who like Gail Carson Levine's "Ella Enchanted" will adore this book.
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a charming fairytale with a clever heroine. It's also squeaky clean, suitable for the 8 and up princess-struck set, I'd think. It would be great fun to read aloud to someone all wrapped up in pink and glittery pajamas. There's plenty of adventure, a little bit of derring-do but never any actual gore. I look forward to seeing what comes next from Fagan's pen.

Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: May have been a victim of its own cover ultimately, but a nice new fairy tale for kids looking for something along the lines of Gail Carson Levine.
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I write fantasy and science fiction for teens and tweens. I live in Maine with my husband and our dog. When I'm not writing I spend my time reading, playing video games, doing geometry, and drinking copious amounts of tea.

NOTE: My comments on books I've read are not meant to be critical reviews, but are just my own reactions. I don't generally use stars, but I do occasionally mark a book with five

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