Review: Fragmented Fates

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February 09, 2024

Tags: Fantasy, Fantasy races, Fragmented Fates, Magic, Nancy Foster, Phantom Beasts, Review

The cover of "Fragmented Fates", by Nancy Foster. Consists of an illustration with two distinct halves. The top half shows a halfling (the appearance is that of a human, but with pointed ears), with dark skin, and dark brown hair in an elaborate style adorned with a golden ornament resembling a tiara. She also wears a golden, jeweled mask, and a white mantle. The left side shows a cloudless blue sky, while the right side shows shadows. The bottom half displays a city in a desert, with a single large palace with a domed roof, and domed buildings along the walls. Beyond the city lies the ocean. The title is in white, at the very bottom, its font resembling arabic letters. The author's name sits beneath the title, in a smaller, different font, also white.

Hey there, folks. Sorry to go so long without writing a review; I've been busy reading more books by Brazilian authors, and my reviews for those are written in, well, Brazilian. Anyways, the book I'm reviewing this time around is “Fragmented Fates”, a fantasy by Nancy Foster. It’s the first book in a duology, which should get a new installment soon.

The blurb goes:

  • The hero.
  • The seer.
  • The child.
  • The condemned.

After surviving two bloody purges that nearly exterminated both the Grey Clan and Orsenmuray City, the elf and harlequin survivors struggle to bring the tent city of Almjarhad to life. Surrounded by the ocean and desert, these inhospitable lands are slowly being developed with the aid of their magic.

As the culprit of their misfortune, the condemned elf Lord Jamarnid is forced to rely on his son Jarahad to rule the city due to ending up disabled before his frantic escape. Bitter about his situation because he wanted to be executed, Jamarnid distrusts the true intentions of the seer Talgel.

Unwanted by the Elf Kingdom and his harlequin great-grandfather Hurrujat, Jarahad struggles to accept his fate. As the interim ruler of Almjarhad, Jarahad wishes to complete his sword initiation to protect his people... and gain Talgel's unrequited love.

Talgel is a woman of perpetual mystery with dubious morals. Upon awakening magic that grants her the ability to predict the future with absolute certainty, Talgel lost her eyesight. She now wears a masquerade mask to hide her true feelings.

Embroiled in this story is a young hybrid elf named Tioja, who doesn't understand his role in the greater scheme of things.

Four characters are about to have their fates manipulated, and their willpower tested. All for the sake of a demon inhabiting Talgel's body that will use them for its own nefarious purposes.

My review:

This one has been a tough book to write about. On the one hand, I didn't really vibe with the style, and struggled in the first chapter. On the other hand, the book had enough positives that it still kept me reading, and even enough to warrant the four stars. So let's get to those.

First off, I liked the future sight mechanic in this one. I liked how the future can be seen without being set in stone, and how steps can be made to ensure a desirable future comes to pass. Talgel proved very good at this, and I particularly liked how ruthless she could be in her efforts. On top of that, the mechanics behind the phantom beasts were intriguing, and reminded me (in a good way) of other magic systems I enjoy.

I also liked most of the characters. Talgel herself was my favorite, and I had fun trying to figure out her motivations. I also really liked Tioja (though things don't look so good for him) and legitimately respected Jarahad. Even the characters that were obvious jerks (looking at you, Jamarnid) were mostly well-written, so that's a plus.

There isn't a lot of action in this one (if that's what you're looking for), but I can't in good conscience fault the book for it, since it doesn't promise a lot of action anyways. Just a warning. Likewise, if your brain works like mine you'll probably struggle a bit to figure out the plot.

Fragmented Fates doesn't strike me like a plot-driven book, or a character-driven book, which are the norm, but rather as... something more historical, I guess? It focuses a lot on the people as a whole, and how the setting develops, and once you figure that out it becomes more enjoyable.

At the end of the day, it's still a good book, and if you're into the things I mentioned, I can safely recommend it.

Final rating: Four stars.

You can find Nancy Foster on Twitter, and probably other platforms as well.


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