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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller The Traitor's Game, Kestra Dallisor has finally gained possession of the Olden Blade. With the dagger in her control, she attempts to destroy the tyrannical Lord Endrick. But when Kestra fails, the king strips her of her memory, and leaves her weak and uncertain, bound to obey him. Heartbroken, Simon is desperate to return Kestra to the rebel she was, but refuses to use magic to heal her. With untrusting Coracks and Halderians threatening to capture and kill her, and war looming on the horizon, Kestra and Simon will have to learn to trust each other again if they have any hope of surviving. But can a heart once broken ever be healed? The Deceiver's Heart marks a stunning return to Jennifer A. Nielsen's gorgeously rendered world of Antora and all its treachery and magic.…

Overall Book Review:

The Deceiver’s Heart by Jennifer Nielsen is a wonderful sequel to The Traitor’s Game, the first book in this series.

Picking up directly where The Traitor’s Game left off, this book opens with Kestra endeavoring to fulfil her role as the Infidante, and kill the tyrannical Lord Endrick. But the mission goes horribly awry, leaving her struggling with warped memories of her past.

Kestra is a good female character. She’s spunky and sassy, with a quick tongue and a steely will to survive. Simon, the boy with whom she has a complicated history, is a wonderful foil. Simon is a little more soft-hearted, a little more hotheaded and apt to rush into things, and a little more naive then Kestra. Both characters face tough decisions in this book, and both must choose to make sacrifices that will ultimately benefit everyone but themselves, if they want to bring down Lord Endrick.

All in all, this is a really wonderful book, and I loved returning to the author’s world of Antora. I hope to visit it again soon.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic Press (A Scholastic Imprint)

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Many instances of violence and gore, including but not limited to: Several instances of a report about a man’s murderous history; a girl tries and fails to kill someone; a character takes a bad fall; a character is captured and tortured; characters occasionally discuss assasination plots; a character almost drowns; a character is kidnapped; report of an accident; implications and discussions of war; characters are under attack; a boy steals a knife and threatens another boy; a character tries to escape and cuts someone with a rock; a boy accuses a girl of things she can’t remember; a character treats a canteen of water with a leaf said to cause acute discomfort; a character is trapped by floodwater and in danger of drowning; a character is accidentally poisoned and almost dies; characters are caught trying to escape; a girl suffers nightmares; a character runs away; a character suffers horrific torment by defying an order from a person in power; characters hear someone die; a character is beaten and threatened by soldiers; a character faces a fate worse than death; characters discover toxins and explosives; characters are frequently threatened and injured; a character feels like she is dying; a character transfers life-force to save another character; a boy is struck with a knife and is knocked into deep water; an explosion kills people; characters often fight and argue. 

Sex/Nudity:  Numerous instances of mild sex/nudity including; several mentions of a girl’s impending marriage; boy and girl often kiss; a girl lifts her skirts to prove she has no weapon strapped to her thigh; a boy often remembers the love he had for a girl; a girl changes behind a screen; a girl has feelings for a boy; male and female occasionally touch and caress each other; a boy runs his hands up and down a girl’s arms; characters intimately kiss; characters sometimes talk/remember feelings for each other; mention of politically arranged marriages; a boy and girl share an intimate moment, with kissing and caressing.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, torture, death of family members, death of friends, emotional child abuse, murder.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

None noted.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Fantasy is my bread and butter. I read and write it. I’m obsessed with world-building and fascinated with lyrical prose. I love that I can contribute to the writing community by recommending good books that can actually make a difference in a person’s life.