by Josh Lanyon
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Pub Date 31 Dec 2008 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2020
Dashing soldier of fortune Major Valentine Strange, late of the Emperor of Alba’s 21st Regiment of Benhali Lancers, is hired by Brahman Ehimay Warrick to find a legendary diadem reputedly hidden in a lost monastery somewhere deep in the distant, snowy mountains of Hidush.
To ensure Strange’s success in this quest vital to the future of the politically unstable Hidush, the powerful Holy Orders designate Master Aleister Grimshaw, a powerful young witch with his own history of instability—political and other—to accompany the dashing major.
But long before Strange and the unwilling Grimshaw reach the tea bushes of the foothills and the lost city of Nagara, they realize there are forces both natural and unnatural at work to stop them from ever achieving their objective.
Their only chance for success relies on each other and their tentative friendship—as does their only hope for survival.
(Print edition available through Blind Eye Books)
A Note From the Publisher
Mystery author Lanyon (the Adrien English series) makes her first foray into fantasy with a taut, energetic and romantic tale. In Hidush, an analogue for India in its final days as a British colony, a colonial religious group sends bisexual adventurer Maj. Valentine Strange and troubled witch Aleister Grimshaw to retrieve a goddess's lost diadem from a mountain monastery. As the two men are beset by traitors, wild animals, monks with political agendas and a spiritual force that threatens all of Hidush, their mutual attraction unfolds beautifully and dramatically.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 15 members
"Strange Fortune" was surprising, adventurous, thrilling and magical.
I absolutely adored it, from start to finish.
When I requested it, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I definitely wasn't expecting such an action-packed read, full of myths and legends, goddesses and evil magicians, battles and daring escapes.
I adored the setting and the worldbuilding: it works as a sort of analogy for the Indian subcontinent during the British colonial rule, but it's completely reversed at times. I loved how the author described the different mythologies and legends and religions and they way she managed to make Harappu and the White Mountains, the sprawling forests and the underground tombs, feel like something visible and tangible.
I also loved the political undercurrent in the book, the struggles between Alba and Hindush.
Finally , I absolutely adored both of the MCs. Valentine Strange was darkly funny and pragmatic and loyal, Aleister Grimshaw was troubled and weird and prickly and together they made sparks fly and my heart melt.
I'll probably wish for a sequel for the rest of my days but "Strange Fortune" has a perfectly satisfying ending and I recommend it to whoever is looking for an adventurous fantasy, with a touch of romance and heartbreak too.
Strange Fortune is a standalone fantasy with a significant M/M romance sideplot written by Josh Lanyon. Originally released in 2009, this reformat and re-release is 324 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
I am not a regular reader of romance, but I -am- a devotee of alternate worlds fantasies, and I was familiar with some of the author's previous work. I was also intrigued by the alternate Earth setting (based on India during the British Raj). It's a fantasy, so add some minor gods, old ones, a male witch, and a handsome cavalry officer, some artifacts of power, brooding political subterfuge, and stir well.
The author is adept at her craft; I never felt lost or that the pacing was too uneven. The story is told in alternating narrative around the two main characters. They're very different from one another; sensitive magician and brawny soldier of fortune. It is well written and engaging. I would definitely recommend it to fans of M/M fantasy romance and historical romance.
There are several love scenes but none are overtly explicit (I would catergorize them as R-rated). The dialogue is surprisingly well written. There are some elements of narcotic use, murder, claustrophobia triggers, mild (systemic) racism, and murder.
Four stars. Well written and definitely worth a look, especially for fans of the genre.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
I have this distracting mental block when it comes to historical books and even though Strange Fortune isn’t exactly historical, it has that ‘historical’ feel. That’s what I’m blaming the fact that it took me a while to get into this book. Once I got to know Strange and Aleister a little better, it didn’t take long for me to become invested in their story.
Aleister didn’t argue with those who thought he was losing his mind, because he felt it was true. At first, Strange wouldn’t have argued with that conclusion either, but the more time he spent with Aleister, the more he realized that there was something more going on. Something that couldn’t be explained and something that wasn’t just in Aleister’s head.
As the description states, there were a lot of powers at play, both physical and supernatural. It was hard at times to tell who could and couldn’t be trusted and those changed as the story progressed. Between the action, suspense and just the need to find out what exactly was going on, Strange Fortune became harder and harder to put down. The romance played a backseat to the action and suspense, but was still a sweet part of the story.
Strange Fortune is a book from Josh Lanyon’s back list. Since I didn’t catch it the first time around, when it was written doesn’t really matter. After all, a good story is timeless. ❤
Josh Lanyon never never disappoints. The mystery is captivating and interesting, all the time you are looking for clues.
Josh lanyon is one of my favorite authors,.
Another excellent novel by Josh Lanyon.
It’s a well written, highly entertaining and gripping.
Excellent storytelling and character development, fascinating world building.
It’s highly recommended
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine
This was such a great book. I loved every minute of it!! It had a feel of historical to it but it was also fantasy which I loved.
I really enjoyed 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. Aleister understood Val's humor but he was also quiet and stayed to himself. I loved the journey Val and Ali go on and all the things they encounter from betraying bearers, masked priests, bandits, bad weather, demon possessions and weak friends. I couldn't help but laugh at certain times but I also was hanging on the edge of my seat at other times. While the romance is light, it still is there it's just slightly hidden.
I absolutely loved this
Such a great book with a solid storyline and great characters.
I eagerly look forward to reading more from this author.
A definite recommend!
Josh Lanyon never disappoints. Strange Fortune ensnares the reader in a brilliantly crafted world with characters whose emotional depth and growth are a standard for her..
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