Monday, April 22, 2019

Review: King of Fools by Amanda Foody

King of Fools (The Shadow Game, #2)
King of Fools by Amanda Foody (The Shadow Game #2)
Inkyard Press
Publication: April 30th, 2019
Hardcover. 608 pages.

About King of Fools:

"'Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all... 

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake. 

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth. 

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive... 

Or die as legends."

King of Fools is a remarkable follow-up to Amanda Foody's imaginative The Shadow Game series. I enjoyed the first book, Ace of Shades, and thought it had a lot of great potential for future books. I still wasn't entirely sure where Foody would take this trilogy, however, but the places she ended up going in this book were even better than I could have imagined and I'm thrilled to be able to say that the sequel is a huge improvement on the first book. It clocks in at 608 pages, but I promise they flew by far faster than I could have imagined. I was fully engrossed throughout the entire novel and fell even more in love with all of the characters, including all of the new additions. 

The most notable aspect of this book is how much growth and development each and every character has. Enne in particular continues to learn the ways of her new life in New Reynes in this book and I loved seeing her slowly adapt to her new way of life in ways that were surprising to both the reader and herself. Enne maintains her somewhat proper background, but she also realizes that she must succumb to new traits and lifestyles in order to survive, something that she doesn't find herself hating as much as she expected to. I was impressed with the ways in which Foody allowed Enne to evolve in this book and can't wait to see how things end up for her in the next book--this ending leaves a lot to be anticipated. 

Levi and Jac are the other two main characters from the first book that we follow, Jac's being a new POV addition, and I also enjoyed seeing their own growth throughout the story. Jac really took me by surprise in this book with his newfound independence and strength, and Levi had to battle a lot of his own demons at many points in this book that I thought Foody handled really well. I look forward to seeing what befalls them in the next book. In addition to the old characters are some new additions, such as Grace and Tock, as well as others, and I thought these new characters were fantastic. They added even more color and depth to the story and also brought in some new perspectives about life in New Reynes and in the current situations, which in turn made the entire story more vibrant.

The villains in this trilogy so far are also ones that I really appreciate for being multi-dimensional and not strictly the black and white Bad Guy. In this book, we get to see so many new sides to Vianca that reveal a lot about her personality, her motives, and her actions in both this book and the Ace of Shades. A lot of the 'villains' in this book are actually rather grey and can be both bad and, well, not as bad; they can help the main characters, but they can also wreak extreme havoc. And when the villains are bad, they're pretty evil.

In addition to the characters, the world-building also had a lot more development that allowed me to become more invested in the world and understand various events. The world was developed well in the first book, but things still felt somewhat fuzzy and not fully explained at times, so this book really did a great job of expanding and cementing various ideas and parts of the world. I also thought the way the magic system worked was delved into more, which I really appreciated, though there are still a few things that I find confusing about it. I would love if the final book fully explained things for me, but at this point I'm not sure if it will. Still, this never really detracted much from my enjoyment or overall understanding of the world itself and I still think Foody's magic system has a lot of creative elements that keep things interesting. 

King of Fools is dark, captivating, and impossible to put down. If you enjoyed Ace of Shades--or even if you were on the fence--I highly recommend you still give King of Fools a try, as I found it even better than the first book. There's no sophomore slump here! Overall, I've given King of Fools 4.5 stars!

*I received an ARC of King of Fools in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a solid sequel of a great series! I haven't read book 1 but it does sound really well written and imaginative! Great review! :)