The Traitor’s Game || Book Review

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen || 3/5

Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well – and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what – and who – it is they’re fighting for.

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  • Lots of exposition dumping at the beginning that distracts from the story.
  • The romance is VERY forced.
  • It says that Kestra has been training, is violent, and dangerous, but she never really does anything to prove these claims.
  • A Super Random Observation: There’s a character named Basil. In The False Prince, there’s a character named Sage. Is there a character named Sage. Is there a herb theme going on here?
  • The fight scenes aren’t done well. To support Kestra’s supposed combative prowess, it seems as though all her opponents are unskilled, despite being trained and experienced soldiers.
  • Kestra’s says that she cares a great deal about her servants, but there are almost no interactions between them. Their relationship isn’t fleshed out and Kestra’s situation, therefore, doesn’t seem as dire as it supposedly is.
  • Kestra and Simon’s relationship is forced and unrealistic. Despite thinking about each other all the time and being attracted to each other, they constantly fight when they’re together. They are risking far too much for each other than is practical or advisable. They are planning a hypothetical future for themselves (if only their love wasn’t forbidden. *Dramatic sigh*) after only having been reunited for three days. It’s honestly kind of ludicrous that they’d “fall in love” after days. Especially since they originally hated each other.
  • Overdramatic and not suspenseful.
  • I enjoyed the ending, though the twists were not particularly surprising.
  • The antagonist was undeveloped and we only saw them once. The antagonist was portrayed more as a looming evil force.

This book was rather disappointing, especially considering how much I adored The False Prince. I most likely will not read the sequel to this book, but I will try other books by Nielsen. Overall, this book was rather forgettable. Nothing stuck out. The worst part was the romance. I don’t mind a well-done romance that is integral to the plot, but this one didn’t add anything to the story and was highly impractical. And I know love is supposedly not about practicality but *shudders* feelings. But this was such a non-romance that I was gagging at not rooting for that the impracticality took the spotlight.

Read 8/15/2018 – 8/21/2018

Currently Reading Vengeful by V.E. Schwab.