Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – REVIEW

Ace of ShadesEnne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unravelling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

Ace of Shades - Amanda Foody

“They say the city is a game, one only the reckless play.”

Thanks to the wonderful publishers HQ Young Adult, I actually read this a month ago after receiving an early finished copy. I’ve been struggling to catch up with all my reviews though which is why this one has taken so long to write. I found Daughter of the Burning City to be weirdly wonderful so I was eager to see how Amanda Foody’s writing style matured in Ace of Shades. It definitely didn’t disappoint as I enjoyed it even more. I was intrigued by the comparisons to Six of Crows and it certainly has some similarities. New Reynes was such a fun setting, filled with drugs, sex, bribery, corruption, gambling and magic. 

“Sometimes we’re not who we want to be because we’re supposed to be something else.”

Enne Salta is a seventeen-year-old lady who arrives in New Reynes looking for her mother. I found some of Enne’s character development to be a little unrealistic as she seemed to change drastically in a very short time and was often even more ruthless than the Iron Lord, Levi Glaisyer. I assumed Levi was going to be the character most like Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows but I now definitely think Enne has more in common with him. As gang leader, Levi sometimes seemed a little weak and I can see why other members of his gang were dissatisfied with his leadership. But I really liked him as a person as he was surprisingly sweet. It was also wonderful to see Levi’s bisexuality casually weaved into the story.

“She was a pistol wrapped up in silk. She was a blade disguised as a girl.”

The idea that everybody has two talents was a particularly interesting aspect of the plot, and I especially enjoyed Enne exploring her heritage and discovering her true talent. I assume the repercussions of these discoveries will be explored further in the next book. The Phoenix Club and the Shadow Game were brilliant creations and, together with the incredible setting, ensure Ace of Shades is certainly memorable. The plot was fast-paced, fun and full of mysteries, and I raced through this book due to its pure escapism. I can’t wait for the sequel, which is out next year, as I need to know what happens next with Enne and Levi. 

(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

About the Author

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books


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