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Strange Fortune

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,605 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Valentine Strange, late of his Majesty’s 21st Benhali Lancers, needs money. Happily, the wealthy Holy Orders of Harappu are desperate to retrieve the diadem of the Goddess Purya from an ancient temple deep in the mountainous jungle—an area Strange knows well from his days quelling rebellions. The pay is too good and the job seems too easy for Strange to refuse. But when Ma ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published December 2009 by Blind Eye Books (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,605 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Strange Fortune is probably the biggest departure for Lanyon, a fantasy adventure novel about two very different men, one witch, one soldier, who are forced to journey together to retrieve a religious artifact, and along the way, discover a far more sinister plot with potential world-ending consequences.

The story is set in an AU world, but Lanyon’s fantasy setting is heavily inspired by turn-of-the-century India under Britain’s colonial rule. In this story, ruling Alba is trying to maintain its
4.5 Stars

Holy shit. That was absolutely nothing like anything I've ever read by Josh Lanyon, and while it is definitely not my was still really entertaining. Kind of like reading Indiana Jones. If the plots of all 3 movies (we don't count the last one) also happened in a Fantasy dimension with all sorts of magic, spells, rituals, archaic gods, some cray-cray priests, divine prophecy and a plot to basically bring death to the entire world - plus the handful of misfits that try to stop
This was a great book. It had a feel of historical to it but it was also fantasy which I loved.

I liked Valentine because he had such a dark humor. He was amused by the littlest thing and instead of being angry at something he'd get amused by it. Of course, he did get angry but most of the time he was pretty laid back. I loved Aleister, though. He understood Val's humor but he was also quiet and stayed to himself. People thought he was crazy all because he'd start ranting about weird things but
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed that book quite a lot. It was the first gay themed fantasy adventure story I've read that did not focus on the romance. I enjoy gay characters a lot, so I appreciate having them in a fresh environment like this one.
I loved the world building, it was very unique and believable - and quite colorful!

I'm really glad I gave this book a chance. It was my first Josh Lanyon, by the way.

Oh, there was one huge detail missing in the book!!
No spoiler intended, but WHO is Major Strange actually?!
Cleon Lee
Mar 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Action packed, intense, and adventure filled novel. I am really glad that the romance is secondary to the adventure, I am quite bored with too much romance now. I love that the romance built slowly, and I am doubly glad to read they could restrain themselves and enjoyed simple intimacy whenever they can. It's not all about sex. This novel reads like an epic journey & adventure. There is so much going on, but it doesn't feel rushed at all.

This fantasy world is so unlike any other fantasy story I
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, historical
This fantasy is once again proof of Josh Lanyons great writing skills. Colorful and brilliant like a Persian Carpet, this story, set in an alternative reality colonial India could have flowed from the quill of a Kipling or a Kaye. Far eastern lore interwoven with fascinating magic makes an exquisite backdrop for the love story between a grizzled soldier and a young yet jaded witch.

And since Josh Lanyon wrote this, the plot contains a solid, gripping mystery complete with a deliciously nutty vil
Box of Bees
If I was rating this in terms of quality, I would probably give it a 4. But unfortunately, it didn't work as well as it could have for me. I found it a bit slow and not as immersive as I would have liked. I didn't particularly connect with the characters and I didn't see much connection between them, nor did I really understand their motivations. We only got a little information, for example, on Valentine's background, so I didn't really feel why Valentine Strange was so loyal to the maintenance ...more
suebee ~Always Reading~
I was a bit lost during this entire book. The setting was strange and I could not understand where this was taking place. It seems as if there is a world that is fantasy but with real elements and it just baffled me. I thought I was getting into the story once the characters set off on their quest to find a diadem but the book just dragged with never-ending babble that I felt did not need to be included in the story.

I also did not feel a connection between the characters. Valentine Strange did n
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! I can't believe I left this on my bookshelf for so long! You're missing a wonderful book if you don't get the chance to read it. ...more
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you read this blog regularly, it comes as no surprise when I say I am a big Josh Lanyon fan. He is known for clever, witty mystery male/male romance books. Strange Fortune is his first foray into fantasy, and it is an amazing one at that. While this book took a chapter or two to really get into, I ended up with a love of the two main characters and picture of the world stamped in my mind.

Valentine Strange is in desperate need of money having bad luck at the gaming tables recently. His fortune
Elisa Rolle
I will start this review up front: I’m not so fond of fantasy novel and neither so much of “quest” type of adventures. So why I read Strange Fortune that is the quintessence of both the above genres? Since I trust Josh Lanyon and his characters; it’s strange but whatever he is writing a mystery, a romance or a fantasy (and Strange Fortune is his first foray in the fantasy genre), I’m always sure that I will find two men that are unique for their story. Above all, these men are unexpected and wel ...more

Okay, a disclaimer first, I did NOT finish this book. I made it around 50% and decided to give up. But let me say this upfront: this is NOT the book’s fault. I repeat, NOT the book’s fault. High-fantasy is not my genre and I always have difficulties enjoying it, M/M or otherwise. When it comes to fantasy, I can count the number of authors I can read on one hand…

What I can say is … this is a different kind of story from Josh Lanyon who usually write
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Book Review: Strange Fortune by Josh Lanyon

Reviewed by Alan Chin
Publisher: Blind Eye Books
ISBN 978-1-935560-00-5

Valentine Strange is delighted to accept a job from the Holy Order to find and retrieve an antique diadem of the Goddess Purya from somewhere in the distant White Mountains. Although the mountains are filled with bandits and scoundrels, this soldier of fortune has little fear of anything short of not being paid for his services. But when the Holy Order insists that Master Aleister Grim
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Proof that Josh Lanyon can write pretty much any genre (well... that's not to say I want him to write het romance!) and it will be brilliant. While breaking new grounds with his first fantasy novel, he keeps his trademark wits and sharpness. There's great chemistry between the two lead characters, and real conflicts, emotional turmoil, and a great adventure/mystery to make it difficult to put down the book. Not to mention flawless characterisation and structure (the devil is in the detail). I ca ...more
3.5 stars
Nothing Lanyon has written since The Adrien English series has been as wholly enjoyable. Good thing that was my introduction to Lanyon. Start there, I assure you it's solid mystery, sexual tension, and character development, and exquisite--exquisite!--reward for all three.
Strange Fortune is not without its charm though. It's an alternate historical (think British occupied India of the late 19th century) that includes fascinating mystical elements, but the characters feel like thin redoe
Sam (Hissing Potatoes)
Emotionless, dimensionless characters. Amateur writing style in need of proofreading. Constant delves into infodumping or introspection that made any attempt at steady pacing impossible. Generic evil supernatural antagonist.

Cut-and-paste of the British occupation of India into this fantasy world replete with racism and colonialist attitudes, not just in the characters but clearly from the writer's perspective as well (the historical "sources" about India Lanyon listed to inform this fantasy worl
Vastine Bondurant
I love Josh Lanyon's writing, particularly his historical romance. But I had never heard of this book, 'Strange Fortune', until a friend recommended it.

I'm at a loss as how to review it. Sometimes a book is just too beautiful---prose, imagery, tension, romance, sensuality---and my limited vocabulary is just that...too limited.

First of all, the MC's, former soldier Valentine Strange and witch...yes, witch...Aleister Grimshaw were two of the most memorable, perfect characters ever. Particularly,
Barb ~rede-2-read~
An excellent story from Josh Lanyon, definitely different from his others. I don't usually like fantasy but this one was so rich in detail, complex, interesting and intriguing that I just couldn't put it down.

Valentine Strange is a soldier, but he's also a gambler, and as the book opens he's in so much debt that he agrees to take on a job for the Holy Order to find a diadem, a jeweled crown belonging to a past god. Aleistair Grimshaw is a witch, a master of magic and is the person appointed by
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, slash-fantasy
4.5 stars. Recommending it to y'all.
Awesome adventure, filled with magic, quests for artefacts, ancient gods, saving the world and gunfights :)
It's set in an interesting fantasy world influenced by colonial India and it's one of those gems of the MM genre that value plot over smut.
Not giving it 5 stars because I was dying for a bit more romance. Despite me being a critic of overly romantic stories I do want a good chemistry between the main characters. (view spoiler)
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Strange Fortune was an odd read for me. At times I was loving it and then other times I had to force myself to read through the pages. I flipped back and forth the entire time I was reading so when I came to the end I didn't really know if I liked it or disliked it.

I think the biggest issues I had with this story was the lack of relationship driven events and lack of character development. The world and its religions and societies seemed to have been worked on far more then the characters themse
Wow, if I already wasn't a fan of Lanyon's fantasy novels, I'd be one now.

Strange Fortune has to be one of the best fantasy novels I've read this year. The fact that it also has a m/m romance is a plus. SF has everything a good fantasy novel ought to have, intriguing, peculiar heroes with great chemistry and unusual dynamics between them, well crafted world, exciting adventure, dangerous voyages, a hunt for an ancient artifact, magic, curses, scary gods/demons, fights, a great battle, miracles a
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Not sure if this is quite my cup of book. It's a bit Indiana Jones-y. If Indie was gay. And Indian.
But it's a well crafted fantasy story nonetheless. Quite different from anything else I've read from this author.
The world building is excellent. It conveys everything you need to know to build a mental picture of the place and it's history, without being overwhelmingly wordy and descriptive.
Overall, a sweet, funny adventure story, featuring two likable characters with great chemistry. 9/10

SUMMARY: In an alternate world British-India, Major Valentine Strange (formerly of the Benhali Lancers) is a mercenary who owes a lot of money to a lot of people, including his fiancee, the fabulously wealthy Isabella Hyde. So when beautiful Brahman Warrick of the Holy Orders offers him two hundred thousand rupees to go to a temple and retrieve a goddess' diadem, he jumps at the opportunity. What
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook: audio quality: good ; Narration: good
Unfortunately the story wasn't very original, I'm sure I have read roughly similar stories and Lanyon dragged out the part taking place at the temple, which was unfortunately the most unoriginal part of the story, too much. In addition, some of the Conflict resolutions were too simplistic for a book that is not aimed at children.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
A decent adventure story

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 7/10

- The story has an exotic feel to it. Many of the characters are larger-than-life (without falling into the realm of caricature), the setting is unusual and mysterious, and the events are fantastical and, for the most part, exciting. (see cons below also)
- It took a while for me to figure out whether the setting was historical or fantasy, which is a mark of a good fantasy setting, in
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good, slashreaders, series
Slash Readers: "Strange Fortune", is very much a fantasy novel situated in a fully formed and functioning world all it's own. We, the readers are quickly introduced to the two main characters Major Valentine Strange a cynical soldier of fortune in need of money. Despite his views on the church and religion Strange takes the job that is offered and the assigned companion from the church who is sent with him one Aleister Grimshaw. However, Aleister is more than just a witch he is the last son of a ...more
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Loved it! Great story, great world, great characters with great chemistry.

It's more a fantasy/adventure story than romance - actually the romance is on the slow burner for a long while, but that's kind of expected in a Josh Lanyon story :) The world building is original, coherent, and thorough - if rather regionally focused since we don't get a lot of information about the world outside the country/general area the story plays in. The prose is fluid, easy to read, with glimpses of humour and th
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a great action adventure mystery
This blindsided me, but in a good way. Don't know why I was shocked, because once again Mr. Lanyon has written a well crafted mystery. This time it is an action adventure set in an alternative world.

Valentine Strange is ex-military, who is commissioned to find a diadem of an ancient god. He is forced to take a witch, by the name of Master Aleister Grimshaw. There are rumors about Alesiter suggesting he is quite mad and evil. The two forge and unlikely alliance which leads to an even more unli
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Strange Fortune by Josh Lanyon was a great fantasy read. I did find it a little difficult to get into initially, but after a couple of chapters I was totally sucked in. Unique world building aside, it was the characters and their budding attraction that kept me engrossed. I liked Valentine Strange and his lithe good looks, snippy comebacks and that he did not suffer fools gladly. He was a good foil for Aleister, who seemed rather vulnerable at times. Not in such a way that was irritating to read ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Snowtulip by: glossedcurls
Shelves: m-m, fantasy
I enjoy being fully immersed in a story. Strange Fortune did that for me immediately in the first chapter. At once all my senses were utilized with Lanyon's imagery that continued throughout the book. The action was well paced and kept me coming back for more.

My favorite part of the book is Aleister, my heart just clung to him. His personal history has impacted his character and actions that you really feel for him and want something good for him. Enter Val, the something good for him. I loved w
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Josh Lanyon is the author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance.

Her work has been translated into eleven languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the f

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