Foul Heart Huntsman (Foul Lady Fortune #2)
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published September 29, 2023
About Foul Heart Huntsman
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the second book in the captivating Foul Lady Fortune duology following an immortal assassin in 1930s Shanghai as she races to save her country and her love.
Winter is drawing thick in 1932 Shanghai, as is the ever-nearing threat of a Japanese invasion.
Rosalind Lang has suffered the worst possible fate for a national spy: she’s been exposed. With the media storm camped outside her apartment for the infamous Lady Fortune, she’s barely left her bedroom in weeks, plotting her next course of action after Orion was taken and his memories of Rosalind wiped. Though their marriage might have been a sham, his absence hurts her more than any physical wound. She won’t rest until she gets him back.
But with her identity in the open, the task is near impossible. The only way to leave the city and rescue Orion is under the guise of a national tour. It’s easy to convince her superiors that the countryside needs unity more than ever, and who better than an immortal girl to stir pride and strength into the people?
When the tour goes wrong, however, everything Rosalind once knew is thrown up in the air. Taking refuge outside Shanghai, old ghosts come into the open and adversaries turn to allies. To save Orion, they must find a cure to his mother’s traitorous invention and take this dangerous chemical weapon away from impending foreign invasion—but the clock is ticking, and if Rosalind fails, it’s not only Orion she loses, but her nation itself.
The first book in the duology ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Orion in danger, and Rosalind finally aware of her feelings for him, so I was really excited to get to read the rest of the story. Though my review of FOUL LADY FORTUNE won’t post for a while, (My calendar is so packed that I don’t have much room for backlist reviews.) I actually finished reading it a few days before beginning FOUL HEART HUNTSMAN, so the story is pretty fresh in my mind. Which is great because so much happens in that book!
First, if you haven’t read FOUL LADY FORTUNE, you’ll want to do that before starting this book. In fact, if you haven’t read THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS and want to read that duology without spoilers, you’ll want to do that before reading either of the books in this newer duology. You can definitely read FOUL LADY FORTUNE without reading THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS, as I did, but there will be some spoilers.
I think I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one, even though it doesn’t stand on its own. It was nice to pick up already knowing the characters and their relationships with one another and see those relationships play out. I also enjoyed the high-stakes, captive-swapping team efforts to save the day and all the ways they went sideways. Some moments were satisfying because I saw them coming. Others came as a complete shock.
All in all, I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I read it pretty quickly, despite it being over 500 pages. As with the first book in the duology, this is really adult fiction marketed as YA. My guess is that that’s because of the speculative elements.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Most characters are Chinese. Alisa and her brother are Russian. Orion has had romantic relationships with both boys and girls. Celia is transgender.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. References to a boy’s past romantic relationship with another boy.
One character repeats a spiritual mantra in an intense moment.
Situations of peril. Battle scenes show soldiers and other operatives attacking one another. References to torture.
A scientist uses chemical agents to manipulate and control prisoners.
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