Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and 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 uncorrupted.
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 a 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, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, 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…
Spoiler Free Section
I am calling it now this book is going to be my all time favourite read for the year! I received this book for review from Netgalley and I am so happy that I picked it up, I ended up giving it five stars.
The writing style in this book was fantastic it really fit with the time period and setting that it was trying to portray and gave it such an authentic feel. The setting was amazing, I love the way that this book really transports you to another time and place in such a realistic way. The ambience of this story really is one of the best aspects of the novel and it keeps you so engaged and enthralled with this world and everyone in it.
The magic system within this book is one of the best that I have read. I loved the idea of everyone have ‘talents’ that they inherited from their parents and that some of these can be quite normal such as dancing all the way up to the really exciting and dangerous ones of being able to control fire etc. I also really enjoyed the idea of the gangs oaths and that by swearing to one lord you must follow their directions, but that to keep that loyalty there are conditions.
The plot of this book was amazing, I loved all of the mystery aspects surrounding Lourdes’ disappearance and just surrounding Lourdes herself. From the beginning of this novel we realise that Enne really doesn’t know what her adoptive mother does when she is in New Reynes and that she has been living a double life that Enne had always been to scared to ask her about. We then follow Enne as she discovers more and more about Lourdes’ life and the revelations really don’t stop throughout the entire novel.
The politics of this story is really interesting and I really would have loved to have seen more from it. We learn about the Mizers, monarch sympathisers and the gangs but I really would have loved to have heard more about what the world was like when the Mizers still ruled. I am hoping that we get to delve into more of the politics in the next book.
The characters all had an incredible amount of depth to them, they were all extremely well done. Enne and Levi were definitely my favourites, their interactions with each other were so funny to watch and we really saw them change through out the novel in one way of another. I love how Enne has so much strength of will but she also has a vulnerability that really shows through when she is out of her element, which is most of the time in New Reynes, most of the time we get these really strong female characters who through their strength lose some of their compassion and vulnerability but with Enne it is always there which I think is a welcome change since really we all have times when things are just too much for us.
Enne had an incredible amount of character growth and development. I loved watching her really come into herself and find out who she really was. At the beginning of the novel she saw her time in New Reynes as a corrupting force but by the end we really see how it just brought out who she was really meant to be and how she finally wasn’t living in the background but becoming a formidable force.
I love how the plot of this book just grew from being a search for Lourdes to becoming Enne finding out that she had been lied to her entire life and that she was actually a Mizer and should not have been alive. Some of the aspects were predictable but that really didn’t bother me since the characters had also really seen these things coming too which is something different that I haven’t seen in many books but really enjoyed. I loved how much the talents impact this story, how Enne finds out who she really is and who her parents are because of the talents that she possesses. The magic that surrounds each of these talents is also really exciting, I love how some of these people have the ability to control others as well as set up locations like the Shadow Game. In this novel we don’t really get to know much about Enne’s Mizer abilities since they didn’t really find out who her father was but we definitely see how it is more than just making volts, I cannot wait to see what her powers are and how she can use them.
I really enjoyed all of the flash backs that we get through the shadow cards, it really adds so much to the story by being able to give the character’s backstory in a way that really flows with the novel instead of just having the character thinking back on the memories, I thought that this was incredibly inventive.
Enne and Levi’s relationship was so enjoyable to watch grow. From the beginning they really did not like each other and saw their short partnership as an inconvenience more than anything else, but then they really grow and start to understand each other and find that they may be much more similar than they once thought. The anticipation of waiting for them to finally admit their feelings for one another was overwhelming and I had really just wanted them to be together but the way that the book left off was the most perfect way to go, I can definitely see how they both picture each other as a threat and that they would be better off alone but also how they are protecting each other by staying separated as well. I cannot wait to see how their relationship advances in the next book as I am sure it will, they are so drawn to each other that I am sure it can go no other way.
The book honestly was incredible and I will 100% recommend it to anyone. If you have a love of fantasy, amazingly gripping worlds, characters who you will come to love and magic then you should definitely pick up this book 😀
If you are interested in buying this book I will leave a link here to the HarperCollins website for you to pick up your own copy 😀
Thank you for reading!