Foul Lady Fortune By Chloe Gong Book Review

Foul Lady Fortune Book Review

Foul Lady Fortune is a genre bending tale of 1930s Shanghai. The major backbone is YA, but there’s thriller, romace, historical fiction and some sci-fi elements for good measure. What it also mixes are western and oriental values and cultures, which is the complicated history of Shanghai.

Chole Gong’s novel is set in the turbulent history of the impending Japanese invasion of China. Shanghai is a city subjugated by imperialism from Europe. The Chinese inhabitants are torn in two just like the city.

Foul Lady Fortune Plot

It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue. Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country. Code name: Fortune. But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed. To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.

Foul Lady Fortune Review

Foul Lady Fortune is an interesting mix of genres. The reality of history is a backdrop for the fantastical chemical warfare and death defying Rosalind.

Rosalind is a character searching for redemption. She is from Gong’s Violent Delights series and is trying to atone for what she did by saving Shanghai from its enemies. I found Rosalind to be an interesting but confusing character. Her voice is very western, which fits her upbringing in Paris. However she professes to love Shanghai, and has strong nationalist tendencies. I guess I wanted to see more of her connection with her Chinese heritage, or her attempts to reconnect with her Chinese heritage.

The interactions and growing relationship between Rosalind and Orian were my favourite parts. They are opposites: Rosalind is serious and driven and Orian is after a good time. Personally I think they go from like to love too quickly, but this is only a half hearted complaint. More smouldering and slow burn could have amped it all up a notch.

I could see that Gong was trying to incorporate Shanghai into the story as another lover for Rosalind. There were some nice descriptions, but it lacked the depth of a full picture.

The mystery and investigation side of Foul Lady Fortune was interesting to follow through the two leads. It also had a huge plot twist that I actually didn’t see coming. Will definitely make the second book interesting.


Overall I enjoyed Foul Lady Fortune. It’s fun and the relationships keep you interested. Everything could have been expanded with more descriptions and more slow burn, but I still enjoyed it.

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