KayKay #CRB5 Review #52 Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Fortunes Pawn


My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

I tend read a lot, and it’s not unlike me to forget key plot points, characters, and entire books.  After reading The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron, I was totally surprised to find that her characters stuck with me long after I had finished the book. Needless to say, I had high expectations for the characters of this book.  Did it live up to the Legend of Eli Monpress?  Here is what I thought….


Devi is a mercenary looking to become a ‘Devastator’ (a group that services the Sacred King directly.  They get the best armor, the best guns, they go on the most dangerous and important missions…”), by taking on the most challenging jobs she can find.  Queue a year long security position on the Glorious Fool- a notoriously dangerous ship.  Getting the job on the Fool, Devi falls in love and encounters several life threatening situations.

On one mission, Devi and Cotter explore a seemingly empty xith’cal ship and she is bitten during the attack.  After this bite she starts seeing little glowing bugs and she has strange new abilities (her fingers turned black and she killed someone by touch).  She doesn’t get to explore this too much, because she finds out too much about what the ships captain and Rupert really are, and they wipe her memory.

Plot Score: 3/5 


Devi incl. The Lady Gray (her armor) , Sasha and Mia (her weapons)- a headstrong female lead, she kicks butt, in and out of her suit, she’s head strong (“I was born a bossy bitch, so you can either roll with it or get rolled over.”)

Rupert- Devi’s love interest is also a Symbiont- an alien parasite, created in a lab and put into a human host.  They are is incredibly strong, fast and hard to kill.  They were also supposedly destroyed by the Terrans.  However, Captain Caldswell’s arch enemy Seni Major, is also a symbiont, and he had at least two others with him when they attacked The Fool.

Captain of the Glorious Fool,  Brian Caldswell- so far he is a mystery.  He seems like a fair captain, but it seems he kills any of his security that finds out too much about what he is doing.  He has a royal warrant, which indicates he is ‘in’ with the king, but none of that back story is known.

Basil- the pilot of the Glorious Fool, is an Aeon, which is the most populous race in the galaxy, and are large birds.

Hyrek-a xith’cal, a race that eats humans and does scientific experimentation.  Hyrek is the ships doctor who has to patch up Devi several times.  Devi immediately wants to kill Hyrek (she has never met a ‘good’ xith’cal), but I look forward to seeing this relationship develop.

Mabel- the ships engineer.

Nova- systems analyst- She is from The Unity of the Cosmos station, a group that has “abandoned the terrestrial to live in harmony with the stars and search for the larger oneness that connects all things.”

Characters Score: 5/5

World Building

“There are four space-facing races in the known galaxy: humans, aeons, lelgis, and xith’cal”

The humans are in two groups, Paradoxians, and Terrans.

The technology was a great compliment- it enhanced skills, but did not solve every problem.  Devi’s high quality armor, gave her a definite advantage, but did not save her in every situation.

World Building Score: 4/5


I love the character building, so many gray lines, but each person has a fully formed- memorable character.  The authors afterward talked about the initial writing the story was in third person, but Devi’s character demanded it be in first person- and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Style Score : 4/5

Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)


Life Lessons Score:  0/5 

Final Thoughts?

– Will Devi remember that she loves Rupert?

-What cool new powers does she have?

-Will there be a love triangle in the next book between Devi and Cotters replacement?  How will Rupert handle the jealousy?

-What is the captain hiding?  Why does he have a Royal Warrant?

-There are so many places this story could go…

Total Score and Recommendation

16/25- This is a promising start to a new series.

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