“She was a pistol wrapped up in silk. She was a blade disguised as a girl.”
Amanda Foody, Ace of Shades
Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be one of the stops today on the Ace of Shades blog tour! This is going to be a spoiler-free review. Thanks to HQstories for sending me a copy of this one and organising the blog tour!
Check out the blurb:
Take a card. The price is your soul.
Welcome to the City of Sin, where secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne 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 unchanged.
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 con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling 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, cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless society. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her family, 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 the game.
Gah. This book was so freaking good! I love fantasies that feel like they’re set in more of a modern time, and this one with the Mole – the underground system – and hotels and casinos and cars and designers was just spot on! The world-building was brilliantly and effortlessly conjured an alternate world with its own currency, political climate, and spark of magical intrigue that drew me in immediately and was totally captivating.
Enne starts off as being very ladylike and more sensitive, which is something you don’t often see in YA fantasies, but I liked seeing that you could have adventures as a sensitive person, too, I think that’s an important message – not all heroines have to be tough and fearless to be brave and kickass. And Enne was kickass. Her character development throughout this novel was great and I can’t wait to see where it will lead in the next instalment of this trilogy.
Levi was a great character, too, and I loved the chemistry between him and Enne. There are sparks between them from the start (attraction, not instalove), and it’s a delightful slow burn with plenty of irresistible snark. Lola and Jac were secondary characters capable of stealing the show entirely and I loved the whole group of characters and their interactions – it’s definitely one to read if you enjoy books like Six of Crows or Heart of Iron.
The plot set out the start of this new trilogy brilliantly and I was hooked on it very early on. There were mysteries and twists as new information came to light, and lots of high stakes. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and loved being swept off my feet by a unique YA fantasy. I’m giving this one 5/5 stars and I definitely recommend it if you love YA fantasies, particularly ones with great ensembles of characters!
Thank you for reading everyone! And don’t forget to check out the other fabulous blogs on the tour:
Has anyone else read this one? What did you think of it?
Which YA fantasies with great character groups are your faves?