A disgraced, immortal assassin reluctantly partners with a high-profile playboy while investigating a slew of brutal murders in Gong’s (Our Violent Ends) enticing duology opener, a take on William Shakespeare’s As You Like It set in 1931 Shanghai. After betraying her family and nearly succumbing to fever, 19-year-old Rosalind Lang was administered a mysterious serum that granted her healing abilities and stopped her from aging. Now, four years later, she is employed by nationalists under the code name Fortune to hunt reprobate Communist White Flowers. When a series of murders causes unrest in Shanghai, and members of the invading Japanese empire come under suspicion, Rosalind’s new orders involve posing as a married couple with nationalist spy Orion Hong and, together, infiltrating a local Japanese paper to uncover the perpetrator. Cavalier and flippant as he may seem, Orion hides dark secrets of his own that could endanger their mission and even Rosalind’s immortal life. While the duo’s repartee is sizzling on its own, their relationships with secondary characters—including Rosalind’s transgender sister Celia and Orion’s brother Oliver, both Communist Party members—add tension that further complicates Gong’s pulse-pounding caper. An author’s note provides historical context. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Crockett, Triada US. (Sept.)
Foul Lady Fortune had my heart pounding from the first chapter. With brilliant pacing and utterly dynamic characters, Gong transports us to 1930s Shanghai—into a high stakes game of war, love, and espionage—and conquers every page with cinematic precision.
"A glamorous spy thriller that will leave you breathless. Chloe Gong masterfully blends romance, political drama, and Black Widow-esque action sequences into a familiar world with new characters you’ll fall completely in love with."
"This book is a dark delight. I found myself transported to a different place and time, which is exactly what I look for in my favorite books. Gong's writing is evocative, and her dialogue crackles. Mesmerizing and mysterious in equal turns, Foul Lady Fortune is a captivating read, and I look forward to the next installment in the series."
"When I think Republican era spy story, I think thrills, triple agents, and twists. Foul Lady Fortune delivers on all these fronts and more. The chemistry was crackling, the revelations hair-raising, and I was so taken by the world that I did not see the reveals coming, in the best way possible. Chloe Gong has outdone herself, without a doubt."
"Equal parts intoxicating and dazzling, Gong's newest duology is enchanting and unmissable. Each page is a finely honed blade that goes straight to the heart."
"With tense, lush storytelling, a complicated heroine and her swoon worthy foil, Foul Lady Fortune invites you into a dark chapter of twentieth century China where intrigue lies behind every corner. Intoxicating!"
"Chloe Gong's Foul Lady Fortune is an electric, action-packed jewel of a story, brimming with vivid prose, exhilarating twists and turns, and incredible characters who will steal your heart. This book dazzles."
Xiran Jay Zhao
Amazing, show-stopping, spectacular. Chloe Gong does it again with her fantastical take on the classic Chinese genre of Minguo-era spy thrillers, where no loyalties are certain and no one can be trusted in the shadowy political battle between the Nationalists, communists, and imperialists. A enthralling mystery that is sure to stun as it unravels."
"An electrifying, swashbuckling tale of intrigue and assassins, romance and betrayal."
"Foul Lady Fortune is a thrilling historical fantasy packed with action, intrigue, and swoon-worthy romance. I will read anything Chloe Gong writes."
Her code name: Fortune. Her purpose: atonement.
Four years ago, in 1927, Rosalind Lang betrayed her gang. Her actions nearly led to Shanghai’s destruction. When scarlet fever swept through the city soon after, Rosalind was saved by a mysterious serum that left her with a nearly indestructible body trapped at age 19. Now, as penance, she hunts rogue White Flowers for the Nationalists who are embroiled in a civil war with the Communists and face a potential invasion by the Imperial Japanese Army. When the Nationalists connect a string of murders in Shanghai to a local newspaper published by the Japanese government–funded Seagreen Press, Rosalind is given a new mission and a partner: Orion Hong, the younger son of a Nationalist general. Posing as newlyweds, they infiltrate Seagreen and discover a web of false identities, undercover agents, and national traitors. Heart-pounding action and intrigue fill the pages of this thriller, set in a time when people’s allegiances are questioned at every turn and families are divided along stark political lines; Orion’s brother and Rosalind’s trans sister both serve the Communist cause. Friction between the grimly determined Rosalind and carefree Orion shifts into mutual understanding and then something more as demisexual Rosalind allows herself to see past Orion’s facade. An enjoyable cast of supporting characters adds levity and surprising twists. This series opener set in the world of Gong’s These Violent Delights duology is accessible to new readers.
Thrilling from start to finish. (Historical fantasy. 13-18)