2:01 pm EDT, February 25, 2018

‘The Traitor’s Game’ book review: An unforgettable heroine and world begin this trilogy

You won’t want to miss Jennifer A. Nielsen’s latest book, The Traitor’s Game. Check out our review before you buy it!

About ‘The Traitor’s Game’

The Traitor’s Game is the beginning of the latest trilogy (of the same name) by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen. Nielsen has also penned the acclaimed Ascendance trilogy and the Mark of the Thief trilogy among many other bestselling novels.

The Traitor’s Game follows Kestra Dallisor, who’s summoned back to her home by her power-hungry father after three years in exile. While Kestra has always craved her father’s affection, she questions his tactics and motives as he serves alongside the cruel ruler of Antora, Lord Endrick – a barely mortal, extremely powerful tyrant.

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, Kestra’s journey home is interrupted by an attack, and she finds herself in the hands of a rebel group who intend to use her to fulfill a prophecy which could lead to the defeat of Lord Endrick. It’s not a matter of if Kestra will play the traitor’s game, but if it’s possible to win. The plot grows ever thicker as Kestra’s feelings for her captor, a friend from her past, become more and more complicated.

the traitors game, jennifer a nielsen

Order your copy of ‘The Traitor’s Game’ using the links below. The book will be released on February 27, 2018.


‘The Traitor’s Game’ book review

By far the most impressive thing about The Traitor’s Game is the incredibly vast, unique, and endlessly fascinating world that Nielsen has created in Antora. With its rich history, mystical secrets and diverse landscape, it feels more lived in than almost any fictional world I’ve visited in the past.

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I was first struck by this within the first few pages, as the skeletons in Antora’s closet began to reveal themselves. The political unrest and the tension between groups intertwined beautifully with the legends of the past to create the perfect amount of mystery, going forward in the story.

My appreciation of the world grew exponentially when some of the more fantastical elements of Antora came to light. When Nielsen introduced giant bird-like creatures that can slay a horse in a single swoop and an enchanted forest that holds fallen spirits, I knew I was hooked.

Second only to the beauty of the world itself is the character of Kestra Dallisor. Nielsen has provided the story with a tenacious heroine who is far from an obvious protagonist. For most of The Traitor’s Game, Kestra herself doesn’t even seem to know which side of the conflict she falls on!

Strong-willed and competent, yet also ignorant, she’s an incredibly intricate character. As you learn of her compassion, you also witness her stubbornness. With her strength of will, comes her weakness at the hands of her father. Her desire to learn the truth is accompanied by her unwillingness to listen and trust.

the traitors game

As someone who’s grown up with the finest things that money can buy, while the rest of the country suffers at her family’s expense, she’s inherently flawed and ignorant to the realities that others face. As she discovers more about her family, Antora, and even herself, her choices become more informed, but infinitely more difficult. The Traitor’s Game allows you to take this intriguing journey right along with her.

Her judgement only becomes more clouded as her relationships with her captors, Simon and Trina, develop. Simon is both a friend and enemy from her past, who desires as much distance between himself and Kestra as possible at the beginning of The Traitor’s Game. However, when that distance is denied, both of their feelings threaten to derail their missions.

Trina and Kestra somehow start off on even worse terms than Kestra and Simon. In the early chapters of The Traitor’s Game, their every conversation ends with someone getting stabbed or severely injured. As the book progresses, though, they gain some mutual understanding and enjoy some of the book’s most poignant moments.

While the supporting characters don’t hold the same intrigue as the leading lady, they help to create the rich tapestry of The Traitor’s Game, and hold your attention during their pivotal moments. I am excited to see how they grow and come into their own throughout the rest of the trilogy. Simon co-narrates the story along with Kestra, which helps to fill in the other half of the blossoming love story.

The greatest strengths of The Traitor’s Game lie in its world building and mystery, and fans of the genre will appreciate Nielsen’s treatment of it. With the first installment in the trilogy, Nielsen has set up a story that will resonate with audiences and have them dying to continue.

Will you be checking out ‘The Traitor’s Game’ by Jennifer A. Nielsen?

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