Book Review: The Game of Triumphs

Book Review: The Game of TriumphsThe Game of Triumphs by Laura Powell
Series: The Game of Triumphs #1
Published by Knopf Books on August 9th 2011
Pages: 288

At an exclusive Soho party one rainy night, Cat stumbles into an ancient and dangerous game of fortune. A mysterious quartet of game masters deal out challenges—moves that unfold in the Arcanum, a dream-scape version of our world. Success can earn players fame, fortune, inspiration. Failure can be deadly.

At first Cat is skeptical, but undeniably curious. And when a journey into the Arcanum reveals a shocking glimpse of her family's past, Cat begins to understand what drives people to play. Sometimes it's greed or longing—other times desperation. She must know more.

Right now, the game masters hold all the cards. But Cat finds others like herself on the fringes of the game. And together an unlikely group of chancers hope to change the rules in their favor.

In the Game of Triumphs, the risks are high, but the rewards may just be worth dying for. . . .

I am not really a card person. But something about this summary drew me in. Maybe the mix of Tarot. Maybe the thought of this card game had a lot more depth below the surface. Whatever it was, the premise of The Game of Triumphs excited me.
The Game of Triumphs takes card games to a whole new level.
In the dark and often dreary streets of London, a new card game has emerged, The Game of Triumphs. Here players complete with Tarot cards for the ultimate prize. Fame, fortune, your heart's deepest desire. Whatever it is, players come willingly to put it all on the line.
Having never really been a fan of card games, I was definitely hesitant about this book. Would the play translate in the pages? Would I be able to follow easily? These questions instantly came to mind. Sure, I played cards when I was younger, and figured it wouldn't be too hard a stretch to see it in book form. But those questions and more were just lurking under the surface.
Powell pretty quickly put most of my fears to rest. The Game was exciting. Filled with mystery and a hint of danger. Powell takes her time crafting the book. Plenty of setup. Making sure readers understand the ins and out. What is at stake. While all the setup was a little dry, I was fascinated with the world. Although, I was a little put off that there was not too much of the London flavor. Very few instances where the MC's vocabulary gave away that she was British. This can be said of most of the supporting characters as well.
For all the build up, The Game of Triumphs ends almost abruptly. One moment, we are still in set up mode, the next it seems like everything is trying to find a resolution. I would have liked it a little more evenly paced compared to slow then super speed.
Final Verdict:
The Game of Triumphs is something completely different. And I loved it for that. But it is not without its flaws. But even the flaws were pretty easily overlooked. Looking forward to more.
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2 responses to “Book Review: The Game of Triumphs

  1. First off, that cover is gorgeous!

    I’m on the fence about the plot though. I’m a big tarot fan, but the whole games aspect frightens me a bit since tarot cards really aren’t things to play around with unless you know what you’re doing. So I think this one is a maybe for me.

    Thanks for the honest review!


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