Sunday, May 15, 2022

Blog Tour | THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston

THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston
Publication: 7th June 2022 (US);
9th June 2022 (UK)
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

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…

Gambling is widely accepted in this book culture. With a mix of magic, sleight of hand, and cunning -the story focuses on a group of gambling hustlers caught up in a power struggle between two nations.

Hello. This is my stop for THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston Blog Tour.  hosted by  @TheWriteReads.

I think Livingstone did a good job researching about gambling and how to cheat. It’s very believable and educational for me. However, it was a challenge to put two and two together, at times, in this complicated plot. My main motivation is why and how could people put the fate of an independent nation on gambling. Gambling on secrets, to be exact. The main characters have the “Robin Hood and his Merrie Men” vibe, except they don’t give their winnings away (ha ha). The wordbuilding is intriguing, especially where people with money and influence can gain actual government power by funding public works and projects. It seems almost every major plot points here are morally flawed in the real world. In a way, it challenges the readers to withhold their ideals. Magic (not the wand-swishing kind) plays an important role in this multi-cultural world, and a seminary of magicians are highly revered. I’m sure fantasy readers who navigates towards con-artists and political affairs will enjoy this.


About the Author

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.

*Thanks to Rebellion Publishing and @TheWriteReads for the digital copy in exchange for this unbiased review.


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