Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fortune and Fame, Redox

Rereading books you've read a long time ago is a pleasant time of nostalgia, but rereading books you've recently finished is self-indulgent. I am nothing if not self-indulgent, of course, so this is a frequent habit for me. There are the books that you reread as soon as you finish, because you want to see how it looks now that you understand the characters and the plot. There are other books that are instant comfort reads, so in a bad time you might go back to them several times.

Fortune and Fame is just good fun. I read it earlier this year, because I enjoy Sharon Shinn's books, particularly the ones in the Twelve Houses series, and when I saw it on the librarian picks shelf I grabbed it again. The main characters are new, with a few appearances from the jolly group that earlier books focused on. Wen, the super-cool fighter whose guilt over a failure keeps her on an endless quest to do good, has all the benefits of a supremely competent protagonist with a believable reason not to be smug about it. Her new boss, Jasper, is a bibliophile, so I liked him immensely too. There's a romance, which is fun because of the role reversal -- can Wen's lover handle her violent profession? There is intrigue, there is a young noble learning her responsibilities and capabilities, and there isn't really any danger of it all going bad. I had fun revisiting Wen's problems and adventures, and knowing what was going to happen didn't detract, since I knew even the first time that it would end happily.

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