Book Review #14: The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

     The blurb of this book didn’t seem like anything special, but I like the idea of the main character being basically an uncooperative bargaining chip. However, I did come in with reservations given that the end of the blurb sounded very generic.


Kestra Dallisor is the daughter of the immortal’s king’s second-in-command. Returning from a three-year exile in the Lava Fields, Kestra finds herself ambushed by the Corack rebellion and a servant who used to serve her, Simon. With both of her servants held hostage, Kestra has no choice but to agree to their terms. Simon and another Corack, Trina, join Kestra in her return to her home. However, there are hidden plots at every corner, and Kestra has to be careful with who she trusts. She may just get betrayed.


     Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora.

Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well – and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.

The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what – and who – it is they’re fighting for.


This started out as a fairly good book, but towards the end everything happened for the sake of plot. The plot line became very predictable which is fairly disappointing.

To start off, this is a very character-driven story. Kestra and Simon are the main focus and the idea is that they’re supposed to have some complicated backstory. However, I don’t really see the importance of including it. My problem is that Simon is supposed to hate Kestra for betraying him, but he seems to fall in love with her pretty quickly. It just doesn’t seem very believable in my opinion. That being said, the characters by themselves are enjoyable. I like Kestra’s personality with how she’s determined to not play by the rules set by the Coracks. She’s not the brightest mind, but she’s definitely crafty and knows how to play by her own rules. Of course, Kestra eventually falls into a very tragic pitfall. She becomes a chosen one.

I liked how the story was going before she became the Chosen One because before that, she was pretty much the Hated One. In my opinion, it would have been amazing if she was a person destined to be the ruin of the kingdom only to overcome her fate kind of events. Of course, that’s quickly negated in order to speed up the process which is again, disappointing.

I really tried to like this story, but everything felt very predictable. Overall, I would recommend this story if you like Chosen One books.



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Jennifer A. Nielsen

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