Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.
Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.
He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.
It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.
Be cruel to yourself. Spare no pain. Do this again and again until one day you find yourself immune to it and the fear no longer controls you.
Firstly, huge thanks to K.J Sutton for reaching out to me to review this book! Paranormal Romance is a genre that I come back to time to time, I’m not a huge romance reader but when the surrounding world sounds interesting to me then I’ll take the plunge, this was definitely the case with Fortuna Sworn. I was immediately intrigued about Fortuna being the last of her kind. Nightmares are an entirely new paranormal entity to me and I loved learning about her and how her powers worked, the opening chapter telling you all you need to know about her in glorious detail, it definitely was a great and slightly terrifying opener. If Nightmare’s are new to you (they may be to everyone, as they could be a new construct by the author lol) they will certainly be one to look out for again!
Although the blurb suggests a more urban fantasy feel, this soon becomes full on fantasy which I love – I got strong ACOTAR vibes from it too. The world building is mainly confined to the unseelie court, everywhere feels very dark and earthy and a little bleak at times. Torch lit hallways, myriad tunnels and decadent communal areas which encapsulate all you would expect from a Fae realm. This darkness did help to really focus on the sharpness of the beautiful colours of the dreamscape and also Fortuna’s gorgeous gowns. I do like a dreamscape element and it brought a balance to the story in colour as well as tone, they are Fortuna’s safe space and hold one of the best plot twists. There is plenty of intrigue and hidden plots and never has the term “Never Trust a Fairy” felt so true! The trials and subsequent fallout represent my favourite parts of the story. There are some fantastic ideas which are executed really well, one being utterly heartbreaking. While the background of the trials has a familiarity these stand out well against others.
Character wise, there are certainly enough to please every reader. Fortuna is pretty fearless and a character that is easy to get along with, I found that she represented the “running into danger without considering anyone else” trope quite heavily though and that irked me a bit in the end. Collith, I just can’t peg at the moment and using the ACOTAR analogy again, i’m not sure if he’s a Rhysand or a Tamlin, I certainly think there is much more to him and I often found myself questioning just how much power his position affords him as he makes some questionable choices. There is also the mystery of Oliver, who’s been with Fortuna throughout her dreams. My personal favourite? Laurie! He felt like a sinister Cinna from The Huger Games! I loved how he always appeared at the opportune time, full of cryptic and borderline helpful comments and of course dressing Fortuna for all she undertakes. There is a delicious droplet of detail snuck into the book too which shows that he is one to watch. The only thing about the characters that worry’s me personally is that this has the potential to become a become a RH story, but I could be reading too much into that!
As readers we have our own set of likes and dislikes and one of my greatest pet peeves is forcing a reader to read in an accent, I’m fine with a little accent here and there as a sign post but all out phonectic layout is a big no for me. One particular character appeared to have a Northern Irish heritage, but having to read Loike and Noight instead of Like and Night just reminded me of the “ride sally ride” scene from The Commitments. But that’s my foible and others may be fine with it, but it utterly pulled me from the story sadly.
As a wrap up Fortuna Sworn is an enjoyable read with some really great elements and stand out moments, the pacing wasn’t quite there for me between those parts and it’s pretty trope-tastic, but that’s a personal taste thing anyway. There are a lot of plates left spinning and not much closure, but the building blocks have been firmly laid for what comes next and there is certainly the hint of amazing things to come. The characters are ones I would like to return to depending on how the romance plays out.