- File Size: 782 KB
- Print Length: 354 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (August 31, 2010)
- Publication Date: August 31, 2010
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003F3PM6G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Game of Cages: A Twenty Palaces Novel Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the mass_market edition.
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The protagonist is Ray Lilly, an agent for the mysterious Twenty Palaces Society. The Society is a group of sorcerors who seek to protect the Earth from greedy and power-hungry individuals who would summon Predators (essentially demons from a parallel universe) through magical means. This is a dark, grim series in which bad things happen to a lot of people.
In this book, someone has acquired one of the Predators and offered it for sale at a secret auction. Naturally, things get out of hand. Ray, who is still largely clueless about what is going on with his own society, finds himself forced to deal with a problem for which he is clearly out of his depth. This is a tense story.
This is a different sort of series. A lot of people had trouble connecting with it for a variety of reasons. That's a shame, because it was brilliant.
Ultimately it still turned into an excellent read, and I did get into it. If you liked Child of Fire, this is definitely worth a read, and your experience with it may be better than mine, which was good-but-not-great. Regardless, it's a necessary read to get the most out of both Circle of Enemies and The Twisted Path, two later books in the series, and that makes it worth it even if it were a 3 star book. Which it isn't. It's still 4 stars.
Game of Cages picks up awhile after Child of Fire, the first book, ends. We see Ray limping through a mundane life between missions for the Twenty Palaces Society. He's clearly scarred by the events of the first book, which I loved. This is a series where the characters make hard choices and then suffer for them. There are no easy outs or deus ex machina to save the day.
The book begins with another representative of the Twenty Palaces besides Annalise. She's an investigator, not a Peer like Annalise, and she doesn't use magic. She also is aloof to Ray, though for different reasons. Like the first book, information is revealed slowly and naturally. We do get a different view of the Predators and the supernatural world from her than we did from Annalise, which is nice. Further, we meet sorcerers from outside of the Twenty Palaces. Some are fairly clueless neonates in over their heads. Others are ancient and powerful and scary -- and not all that different from the Society Peers in many ways.
The book starts with an auction where a predator (think Lovecraftian alien horror) is being sold to the highest bidder. The predator is in many ways scarier and certainly more intimate in this book. I don't want to give too much away, but it's impact on an entire small town and what Ray has to do to deal with it are painful.
Like Child of Fire, this is a dark book. It spirals towards tragedy and no greater power or lucky break steps in to make things alright. The climax was almost hard to read. Mind you, I absolutely loved it. In fact, I liked this book more than the first and after finishing it I was a die-hard fan forever. However, be warned that it isn't a happy ending. The predator is dealt with and the day is saved, but the collateral damage is sobering.
I highly recommend this book (and the entire series) to anyone who likes horror or dark urban fantasy.
Magic and predators continue to be spooky/scary as hell, and Ray gets to show off more of his skills and determination without the constant presence of Annalise. The internal narration is very human.
Recommended, and it's too bad we won't see the third. I look forward to Connolly's Kickstarted trilogy.
EDIT: Circle of Enemies, the third, is out, per the author below. Excellent!
Top international reviews
Raymond is yanked from his mall job by Catherine an investigator for the 20 Palaces society. A dangerous predator is being auctioned off to the highest bidder and ray is the closest asset the society has. Together they race to investigate to find the auction has gone terribly wrong and the creature is loose. Ray and Catherine are on their own against a dangerous predator and all those interested in procuring it. Without rays's boss Alanise its a stretch for ray to deal with either threat.
It is essentially another monster hunt like the first book, but the nature of the creature is revealled quite early and the majority of the story is a search and destroy scenario with Raymond racing against time to deal with the predator before others can capture it. There is much more violence and gore with less suspense as the reveal is quite early on. As such the action quotient is higher and the horror aspect has less impact. There is however a great deal of magical activity and firepower used compared to the first book - as the ante has been well and truly upped.
The body count is extreme and unrelenting leaving the reader somewhat stunned and desensitised by the end of the book. The author does a pretty good job of reminding us that its people dying using various devices to remind us those being killed are victims not monsters. However the majority of the dead remain nameless despite the impact of the few named victims. The tendency to give bad guys appellations like stork-neck is initially helpful but later can become a distraction.
The predator in this case is no doubt extremely dangerous - as evidinced by the impressive body count but without feeling terribly threatening. This is partly due to the aspect the creature has :- partly down to the monster being only half the story as raymond faces off against against magically adept humans.
The book reveals a little more about the nature of spells/magic but little about the 20 palaces. No doubt to keep us dangling for morsels dealt out in future books. My major criticism is that the Ray/Catherine dynamic is nowhere near as compelling as the Anallise/Ray team from the first book. This is clearly down to the plot as it would be an untenable story if Annalise was there from the beginning.
Its a very good read, though differently paced from the first book. I will be immediately reading the third book in the series.
Ray Lilly is a "Wooden Man", basically an expendable foot soldier working for the mysterious Twenty Palaces, an brutal organisation looking to contain the use of magic and those who abuse and dabble in it.
Here we have Ray joining with a Twenty Palace investigator to track the sale of a lethal predator. On arrival they discover that things have already gone horrible wrong and the body count is starting to pile up. Set in a very limited geography, a large house and then the nearby town, Ray and Catherine try to contain things until a Palaces "Peer" can get there to resolve things. Annalise (Peer from the previous novel does also make an appearance, but not until quite late) but as you might expect, Ray ends up being the main focus.
Enjoyable, but in my opinion not quite up to the standards of the firs tone. Partly because the author almost over eggs the pudding, there is so much going on that it gets confusing at times, partly because the author repeats much of the first book in his approach but fails to answer key questions or explaining much more about the Twenty Palaces. Harry Connolly can't keep on teasing us and needs to share a little! It's about time we learn more about the Twenty Palaces and Ray has a surprisingly deep affection for both Annalise and seems invigorated by work for the Palaces, neither of which is really explained.
I shall obviously buy the next one but am looking for the author to actually hoof this series forward and not give us the third version of the same thing. He has painted a very interesting world for us and he needs to let us play in it a little bit.
Of course, that's not what happens. With Ray's usual run of luck, they find themselves trying to track it down in a sleepy town without getting all the locals killed or driven crazy. Or themselves.
Like <em>Child of Fire</em>, it's got great pace and I quickly wanted to know what happens to these two. The twists are pretty good and the little details are very convincing. I particularly like Ray's "ghost" knife (wishing I had one!).
By all means go, read some sample chapters and you'll be hooked, too.
A superb urban magic novel with brilliant believable characters, fascinating magic system and enough adventures to keep you completely entertained through the whole book.
Give them a try - they're brilliant!
Harry Connolly manages to write a fast paced and thouroughly entertaining story. I read it cover to cover in one sitting (yes that was a late night) and I can't wait to pick up the next one.
For all you Jim Butcher fans this is definately a series to read.
GAME OF CAGES ist der zweite Band der TWENTY PALACES-Reihe, er kann jedoch auch ohne Vorwissen gelesen werden, da die Ereignisse aus CHILD OF FIRE eher eine geringe Rolle für den Roman spielen.
Die Handlung in GAME OF CAGES schreitet geradlinig und recht temporeich voran. Ray findet sich schnell mitten im Geschehen wieder und stolpert von einer Konfrontation mit seinen Widersachern zur nächsten. Wie schon in Band eins verfügt er über kein magisches Arsenal sondern muss sich auf seine Fäuste und seinen Verstand verlassen, und wie schon im ersten Band ist der Ton rau, die Stimmung düster und Happy Ends sind nur schwer zu erringen. Der Plot gefällt mir recht gut und es gibt auch zahlreiche Wendungen, die die Spannung hoch halten, insgesamt gesehen finde ich aber, dass GAME OF CAGES das schwächere Buch als CHILD OF FIRE ist. Obwohl die Handlung spannend ist, bietet sie doch wenig Neues. Man bekommt zwar tiefere Einblicke in die Welt der Magie und in die Twenty Palace Society, alles in allem sind die Infos aber recht mager gesät. Ich finde auch, dass sich Ray in GAME OF CAGES kaum weiterentwickelt. Es bleibt aufgrund der vielen Action nicht besonders viel Zeit für Charakterentwicklung, aber ein bisschen mehr wäre hier schön gewesen. Nichtsdestotrotz ist Ray eine sympathische Hauptfigur. Die Nebenfiguren in GAME OF CAGES waren zwar alle recht ordentlich gezeichnet, aber so wirklich in Erinnerung wird mir wohl nur die Ermittlerin der Twenty Palace Society bleiben.
Trotz leichter Schwächen hat mir GAME OF CAGES gut gefallen und ich werde mir auf jeden Fall die Nachfolgebände ansehen. Für Freunde von actionreicher und düsterer Urban Fantasy auf jeden Fall zu empfehlen.