Thank you to The Write Reads and Rebellion Publishing for having me on the blog tour for The Knave of Secrets by Alex Livingston. I will be sharing my thoughts on the first few chapters of this book , and I can safely say that I am loving it so far.
Alex Livingston grew up in various quiet New England towns before moving to Buffalo, NY to study English at Canisius College. He writes SFF prose and interactive fiction. Alex is married and lives in an old house with his brilliant wife and a pile of aged videogame systems.
Length: 400 Pages
Publishing: 7th June 2022 (US); 9th June 2022 (UK)
A twisty tale of magicians, con artists and card games, where secrets are traded and gambled like coin, for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Mask of Mirrors.
Never stake more than you can afford to lose.
When failed magician turned cardsharp Valen Quinol is given the chance to play in the Forbearance Game—the invitation-only tournament where players gamble with secrets—he can’t resist. Or refuse, for that matter, according to the petty gangster sponsoring his seat at the table. Valen beats the man he was sent to play, and wins the most valuable secret ever staked in the history of the tournament. Now Valen and his motley crew are being hunted by thieves, gangsters, spies and wizards, all with their own reasons for wanting what’s in that envelope. It’s a game of nations where Valen doesn’t know all the rules or who all the players are, and can’t see all the moves. But he does know if the secret falls into the wrong hands, it could plunge the whole world into war…
The Knave of Secrets is a book that takes off from the first page. We get thrown into the world of magic and card games and Livingston uses his characters and story to give us a deep dive into the world, it’s politics and the magic system whilst still managing to keep us intrigued. I will admit it took me a little while to get my bearing, but once I did I easily found myself engrossed in the story.
I think it’s safe to say that I’m a huge lover of a well written character, and this book has them in spades. Told from multiple different POV’s ranging from the elite, to the members of Valen’s crew the make the story entertaining, as well as ensuring we get invested in the story through them. My favourite of the crew, so far, is Tam, the planner of the crew. She is witty and ahead of her time and I just love how she takes no nonsense from Valen.
It’s safe to say I will definitely be carrying on with this book, and can’t wait to see where the story goes. I will say that I feel, knowing Valen wins in the tournament (we’re told this in the blurb) takes a bit of tension out of the start of the story, as there is a lot of lead up to the event, but I’ve been told there’s plenty more plot twists to keep me entertaining and I can’t wait to carry on.