Dashing soldier of fortune Major Valentine Strange, late of the Emperor of Alba’s 21st Regiment of Benhali Lancers, is hired by Brahman Ehimay Warrick to find a legendary diadem reputedly hidden in a lost monastery somewhere deep in the distant, snowy mountains of Hidush. To ensure Strange’s success in this quest vital to the future of the politically unstable Hidush, the powerful Holy Orders designate Master Aleister Grimshaw, a powerful young witch with his own history of instability -- political and other -- to accompany the dashing major. But long before Strange and the unwilling Grimshaw reach the tea bushes of the foothills and the lost city of Nagara, they realize there are forces both natural and unnatural at work to stop them from ever achieving their objective. Their only chance for success relies on each other and their tentative friendship -- as does their only hope for survival.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Mystery author Lanyon (the Adrien English series) makes his first foray into fantasy with a taut, energetic and romantic tale. In Hidush, an analogue for India in its final days as a British colony, a colonial religious group sends bisexual adventurer Maj. Valentine Strange and troubled witch Aleister Grimshaw to retrieve a goddess's lost diadem from a mountain monastery. As the two men are beset by traitors, wild animals, monks with political agendas and a spiritual force that threatens all of Hidush, their mutual attraction unfolds beautifully and dramatically.
A lush novel that is difficult to summarize in a few words. The characters are as complex as you can hope for and the world and culture they live in are painted with great credibility. The taleís greatest strength is in the slow, organic evolution of the characters throughout the story and events. We can only wish for a sequel to the two menís adventures. Excellent!
Strange Fortune is a tour de force that demonstrates this authorís superb writing skills and imagination in a story that is so engrossing and layered that it reminds me of such fantasy classics as Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
Reviews by Jessewave
Strange Fortune is a rollicking good read: interesting characters, fast paced, rich descriptions, and action that kept me turning pages. Itís a fun read. Adventurous and romantic. Lanyon has created a wonderful world of magic and spirits and spells and romance. It is a winner.
Alan Chin, SF GLBT Literary Examiner
If you read this blog regularly, it comes as no surprise when I say I am a big Josh Lanyon fan. He is known for clever, witty mystery male/male romance books. Strange Fortune is his first foray into fantasy, and it is an amazing one at that. While this book took a chapter or two to really get into, I ended up with a love of the two main characters and picture of the world stamped in my mind.
Mandi, Smexy Books blog
World building aside, it was the adventure plot which I enjoyed the most out of the book. There were several breathtaking action sequences involving shoot outs, where the steady hand and calm manner of Valentine, coupled with the plucky Grimshaw outmanoeuvered even the most dedicated and skilled fighter. This was interspersed with quieter scenes where we find out more about Grimshaw and his magic, plus are told stories of Hindush's past which built upon the already complex worldbuilding. It all combines to give the reader a rollicking ride, whilst maintaining the depth of setting necessary for a fantasy story. Wonderful.
Jenre, Well Read Reviews
This new take on British India in the post-Mutiny days was fresh, intriguing, nothing short of brilliant. Handsome heroes, excellent villainy, a good measure of travel, action, occult powers, and a real fantasy finale make for an engrossing read -- and a rewarding one. If Talbot Mundy had written a King of the Khyber Rifles-type adventure for John Barrowman, this would be it.
Mel Keegan, GLBT Bookshelf
Josh Lanyon writes some of the most engaging fantasy romances Iíve had the good fortune to read. Strange Fortune swept me away to the world of Hidush, where the action was non-stop and I never knew what would happen next. It'd be criminal of me to reveal too much of what happens in Strange Fortune, for anticipation and discovery were part of the joy in my reading experience. I reveled in Strange and Aleisterís adventure, but more so I was entranced by the men themselves, not to mention their love story. Both Aleister and Strange are gorgeously drawn, three-dimensional heroes that I can hardly do them justice here. When it comes to their romance, Mr. Lanyon beautifully weaves desire, care, and love into Strange Fortune, which made the book impossible for me to put down.
Shayna for Joyfully Reviewed
Download "Sketches of Hidush," a free pdf booklet containing concept illustations and production sketches from the Blind Eye edition of this book.
December 2009, Blind Eye Books
May 2013, Audible.com
Narrator: David Lazurus
July 2010, Samhain
No longer available
Best Fantasy Book 2009