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—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of the Night Angel trilogy
“As fun as Mistborn. The writing is effortless, the pacing quick, and the characters delightful. I'm annoyed that Birch took to heart the adage, ‘Always leave them wanting more.’ Because I want.”
—Stephen S. Power, author of The Dragon Round
“Birch's debut novel is an exciting adventure tale of likable rogues and evil noblemen.”
About the Author
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster/ Simon451 (November 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1501147757
- ISBN-13 : 978-1501147753
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.38 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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1) Good prose and writing style. This is make or break for me when it comes to books. If the writing isn't tip top, I'm putting it down no matter how good the story might be. The Facefaker's Game is written beautifully, not too much or too little detail, no annoying word repetitions or phrases.
2) Characters that are both believable and real yet larger than life. The characters in this book are smartly written, colorful, and have huge depth. The protagonist, Ashes, is not your average angsty main character. He's flawed yet extremely competent and heroic, while not being whiny or idiotic. So refreshing to read a story where the main character isn't acting like a complete moron.
3) Solid world building. The world in this story is fleshed out beautifully. Enough details are given to bring the world to life, yet some aspects remain a mystery. I badly need there to be a sequel to this book so I can get answers to the many questions I have.
4) Steady plot progression. The plot in this book moves along at a great pace, never any awkward lulls in the action.
In conclusion, this book is easily one of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time. Can't wait to see what the author has in store for the future.
I don't typically draw such blatant comparisons in reviews but in this case it feels warranted. Lynch didn't originate the thieving brotherhood story but it does feel like he took it to another level and in this case the similarities do actually feel like a compliment to Scott Lynch and not derivative. I think Lynch does dialogue a bit better and the plans within plans are more complicated in his books but Facefaker's feels a bit more alive in the world building in this first book while some of the story elements feel a bit obvious (the two sons) there are just enough mysteries and questions to leave a reader wondering where the story will go from here.
All in all I enjoyed it. The setting is dark, the villains are vicious and the heroes are clever.
I have only one complaint. The author falls prey to the A-Team version of combat. The good guys never kill anyone and they leave them trussed up for the police. This ignores reality. Sometimes bad guys need killing. And you can't get around that by having your character hitting men over the head with a pistol without a real chance of death. A pistol is nothing more than a couple of pounds of metal, no different really than a medieval mace. Going around and braining people is a good way of killing them.
Small complaint, however. This is an excellent story. Highly recommended.
His whole world changes when Candlestick Jack, the leader of a thieving crew of Artificers, recruits Ashes and introduces him to one more truth about himself—Ashes has magic in him. As Jack trains him, Ashes does what any mischief maker with a big heart and magical abilities would do—he becomes a vigilante whose personal mission is to take down the evil governor oppressing his city.
Chandler J. Birch’s debut novel is rich with artful wordsmithing, original world-building, and engaging characters. Ashes himself is a vibrant protagonist—a street-savvy young man who can slip on a new accent as easily as an Artificer slips on a new face or who can cheat a cheater out of his money without him being the wiser. And though he does not trust easily, Ashes is a good Samaritan who will sacrifice generously on behalf of those few who are worse off than he is.
Ashes lives in Burroughside, the dark slums governed by a sadist with secrets, and a place prowling with gangs by day and with monstrous Ravagers by night. The Facefaker’s Game does not hide from the gritty realities of darkness, but neither does it revel in them. While the world is dark, its magic system revolves around light and people who can weave it as artfully as Chandler writes his story.
Author Brent Weeks describes Chandler’s style as a blend of “Sanderson, Dickens, and Lynch” with his own unique twists. It’s so true both in the story and in the telling. Before I could guess at how the plot would unfold, I was hooked on his writing. Chandler J. Birch can turn a phrase! As soon as I finished the prologue, I stopped to read it again aloud to myself, because it was just so beautiful. Throughout reading the book, I would literally race to my brother to read him Chandler’s latest wry bit of dialogue or eccentric description.
And, when I reached the end of the book, I was delighted to find it will not stand alone for long! There will be a sequel, so go read The Facefaker’s Game right now and be enthralled by the magic of Chandler J. Birch.