Book Review: The Game of Love and Death

Book Review: The Game of Love and DeathThe Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on April 28th 2015
Pages: 329

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.
Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.


The Game of Love and Death is a story that is a story within a story. Our first two characters are Love and Death, who set up a game, something they have done for centuries. I thought it was interesting that instead of Life and Death, it was Love that faced the opposite. Their players were picked well, as set in the 1930s, they chose a mixed race. A more privileged white young man and a black young woman, who weren’t meant to fall in love since children, but the world around them is against the match.

What I love is the part that Love and Death take in the competition. They each play a character that involved themselves in the lives of Henry and Flora, one to aide and the other to hinder. Death adds a distraction to Henry’s life, while Love tries to take away another love interest that might interfere. I love how Henry’s best friend is really in love with him, that twist definitely was one that took me by surprise. I love that Flora was such a powerful character. She was a pilot, a owner of a nightclub, and also a wonderful singer. Henry is brilliant as well, being well written and read with the work he does for the Inquirer and also is a marvelous musician as well.

I really loved this book overall. It tugged right at your heart strings, added a bit of a paranormal element along with the historical setting. This book truly had a bit of everything I love all wrapped into one.


An astounding love story that will have you rooting for the pair til the very last page.

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