Published by Grand Central Publishing on Jan 8, 2013
Genres: Adult, Historical fiction
Format: ARC from BEA 2012
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Set during a period of revolution and turmoil, Mistress of My Fate is the first book in a trilogy about Henrietta Lightfoot, a young woman who was abandoned as a baby and raised alongside her cousins, noble children of a lord and lady. At just sixteen years old, circumstance and a passionate love affair tear Henrietta away from everything she knows, leading to a new life fending for herself on the streets of 18th century London as a courtesan, gambler, and spirited intellect of the city.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Told in a diary-memoir style, this is the beginning of Henrietta’s tale of her rise from a poor orphan cousin living in a noble man’s house to a well-known London courtesan in the 1700s. This first book covers a large portion of time and moves fairly quickly, although there is significant detail provided.
I think this detail may have hindered my enjoyment of the book a little bit because there was just so much of it. This is a really long book, but a lot of detail could have been eliminated, without affecting the story at all.
I found that I both liked and disliked Henrietta. She had an almost naive attitude that seemed to last long after it should have faded. She definitely had a romantic air, and seemed to think only good things would happen every time she did something. This is obviously not what happened, and I found I started to get a touch impatient with her beliefs by the end of the story. I mean really, how long can you wear blinders and pine for something that isn’t there?
Overall though, I did find the story intriguing. The ending revealed a fun twist that is sure to lead Henrietta into more exciting adventures. It’s not often that historical fiction seems to focus on non-royalty, and I found this change interesting enough to want to learn more about Henrietta’s life. She may have started out as a nobody, but she’s obviously going places.