King of Fools by Amanda Foody – REVIEW
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.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from HQ.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“The hero of any story is the villain of someone else’s. It’s all just a matter of who wins.”
I enjoyed Ace of Shades so much that I was eager to take part in the blog tour for the sequel, King of Fools. This is the second book in the Shadow Game trilogy but it definitely didn’t suffer from second book syndrome at all; the stakes were higher, relationships began to unravel, and no-one could be trusted. The action begins almost immediately after Levi and Enne escape the Shadow Game and the fast-paced plot never lets up. Political turmoil underlies a lot of the storyline, both within the gangs and in the wider context of New Reynes. The whole book is like a game of chess with players keeping their strategies secret and plans not being revealed until near the very end.
“It didn’t matter whether she decked herself in knives or pearls. The world would always demand that a girl apologize for herself, but she would apologize for nothing.”
The gangs remain my favourite part of this world and I loved seeing Enne’s role as a street lord expand as she establishes a fantastic girl squad, proving that femininity can be a powerful weapon. Their group dynamic and supportive friendship were incredible and the new addition of Grace completed a wonderful trio comprised of her, Enne and Lola. Levi is still a character that I don’t quite believe could be a successful street lord though. Where Enne is a ruthlessly manipulative problem-solver, Levi is more like a little boy dreaming of glory and admiration instead of actually proving himself, often leading to selfish behaviour at the expense of the Irons. However, I was pleased to see his character growing throughout this story and, hopefully, his character will finally click for me in the final book.
“My mother always told me to stay away from gangsters…Because first they break the rules, then they break your bones…and then they break your heart.”
As the stakes increase, cracks begin forming in relationships, fueled by resentment, frustration, and jealousy. I particularly enjoyed the changing friendship between Levi and Jac as they tried to navigate new circumstances and shifting priorities. The slow-burn romance between Levi and Enne also risked disintegrating due to their many secrets and is now in more jeopardy than ever after a heartbreaking tragedy. After that ending, I’m hoping the final book explores Enne’s Mizer heritage further and that a certain character is somehow miraculously resurrected. King of Fools draws the reader into the action quickly and keeps them engaged page after page with conflicts, betrayals, romance and heartbreak. Now I just need to somehow wait another year for the conclusion.