After reading the Ace of Shades [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] I’m wary of playing any card games. This new adventure from Amanda Foody brings us to the City of Sin. Enne Salta, a proper young lady, arrives in the city to search for her mother who is missing. She’s proper, quite tight, and at times opinionated. However, as soon as she arrives in the city of sin, things start to change for her. New Reynes, the real name of the City of Sin, is a playground. Gangs run amok in the city, while casinos compete to have more players. There’re different districts: pleasure, gaming, and a residential area (with important proper people, or so it seems). There’s even a University in the proper part of the city. However, there’s much more than that: a Shadow Game where you bet your life.
When Enne arrives in the city, she quickly finds trouble. Even if she has the best guidebook she could find, it serves little to the intricacies of the city. There she meets with Levi Glaisyer, the gentleman her mother pointed to in case she had problems. But reality bites and Levi isn’t a gentleman but a street lord, the Lord of the Irons!
SPOILERS: this review contains heavy spoilers from the book. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend doing so. It’s highly entertaining, and you’ll want to know more about Enne and Levi.
The currency of the city is bolts, and the government had overthrown the nobles that ruled before, who were tyrannical. The problem is that when that happened, some twenty years ago, the ones who could use magic to create bolts almost disappeared. Levi is one of them, he could theoretically create bolts and get rid of his debt. However, he’s not good at it. Instead, he gambles and cons to get money. There’s a problem: even if he is the Lord of the Irons, he’s just a puppet to one of the casino families in tow, favoring the royals. The owner is an old despiteful lady, by the way. She uses some type of magic to control Levi.
When Levi meets Enne, they arrive at a deal. She’ll pay him to find her mother. And so, they start an adventure. But, since Enne needs a roof, Levi introduces her to the Casino freak, and she ends up in the same trap, something that Levi didn’t foresee. Trapped in the City of Sin, they try to unravel the mystery surrounding Enne’s adoptive mother. As the book progresses, you end up having more questions than answers. In the process, Enne becomes a Street Lord herself!
While they look for Enne’s mother, Levi gets cards inviting him to the Shadow Game. There’s a problem: you cannot refuse, and the house always wins. The price you bet is your life. Even if he tries desperately to avoid it, he and Enne end up in the game together! What’s more, Enne seems to be related to the royals, and thus, capable of some amazing feats. However, if they awaken, her eye-color will change. This ends happening. Fortunately, Levi has some colored lens that help her hide. But, for how long?
Both Levi and Enne have an attraction for each other. However, Enne struggles with it since she was raised to be a lady. Levi swings both ways and is very popular with men and women. It’s funny to read about his wardrobe full of all types of clothing. His conquests always leave some token behind. Despite all his romantic might, Enne still resists him. He ends up thinking that she’s not interested, but by the end of the book, he’s aware of sharing something with her.
The Irons, Levi’s gang, is mostly composed of young kids. Some are more daring than others. He’s fond of two; however, one of them ends up challenging him. At a certain point, he has to use his fire magic (theoretically that’s for creating bolts) on him to save his life and his reputation.
This book will thrill you and make you want to slap Enne hard. Levi might be a street lord, but he’s obviously madly in love with her. She’s too tight. He’s a fascinating and alluring character, so be prepared to root for him. Enne is quite annoying, but her character development makes her less annoying and more potent as her stereotypes on who is kind, proper, or evil change.
I can’t wait for spring and start reading the second book! I couldn’t get enough of it, and now it’s painful to wait for what’s going to happen in the shadow game. Ace of Shades [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] is good, you can bet on it.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. I only share things that I love.
Copyright: Images on this post (C) Amanda Foody (C) Ace of Shades.