The Knave of Secrets by Alex Livingston- Book review/Blog tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for The Knave of secrets by Alex Livingston, fantasy with magic ,intrigue and card games.

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Received with thanks from Rebellion Publishing and The Write Reads tours

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


This was one of those books I couldn’t put down. The Knave of Secrets by Alex Livingston had it all- political intrigue, magic, twisty card games, action and a great cast of dodgy characters. If I could describe this book it would Hustle set in the world of Games of Thrones.

The story is told through the third person from a variety of characters point of view, but Valen Quinol is the main person in this case of morally ambiguous cast. What I particularly loved about Valen that he is a middle-aged character, and we don’t get a lot of older people taking the lead in fantasy. But Valen isn’t the older, wiser teacher but a person with flaws, uncertainty and angst which makes a refreshing change.

The women in this book are just as well written from Ten, Valen’s complicated friend to Ria, the ultimate politician- I could happy read any book with just with them in. Ten’s confusion and sense of not belonging as a refugee and migrant is well described and gave the book an underlying emotional heart.

The world-building is intricate especially the descriptions of the card games, gambling dens, casinos and of course the Forbearance Games where secrets are made, and men are destroyed. The magic compliments the card games, and the reveal of the underlying mystery is satisfyingly complex.

The overall plot and subplot is resolved and I’m not sure if this will be part of a series but I really hope there are more books featuring Valen and his crew.

I received this book for a free and unbiased opinion

Perfect for Fans

 The Mask of Mirrors ( review here) and the Six of Crows

5 thoughts on “The Knave of Secrets by Alex Livingston- Book review/Blog tour

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