The Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game #1)
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.

The Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game #1) Details

TitleThe Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherScholastic
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

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The Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game #1) Review

  • Jennifer Nielsen
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, I'm biased, but I hope readers will love this book as much as I do. I adore Kestra's fire, intelligence, and desire to do the right thing - something that isn't always clear to her. I love Simon's dedication, courage, and devotion to the causes he cares about. And I'm fascinated by these two characters who are working their way toward the truth, but coming to it from completely different angles.If you read this and like it, then I also hope you'll follow this story through the sequels. I'm Yes, I'm biased, but I hope readers will love this book as much as I do. I adore Kestra's fire, intelligence, and desire to do the right thing - something that isn't always clear to her. I love Simon's dedication, courage, and devotion to the causes he cares about. And I'm fascinated by these two characters who are working their way toward the truth, but coming to it from completely different angles.If you read this and like it, then I also hope you'll follow this story through the sequels. I'm writing Book 2 right now, with more trouble for your favorite characters and some new characters that continue to build this world!
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    2018 is the year of gorgeous book covers ayeee
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Counting down the days until this is out, man I hope it is good. ----This cover! Honestly, I'm so down for this lol
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Stopped at 50 percent. I haven't read the very popular The False Prince series by this author, but my expectations were high because of the attention surrounding the other books.I have to say: I'm pretty disappointed. The premise of the book - a princess who must turn spy and traitor against her father - is a story I've read a ton of times already. The characterization was also pretty basic (tough heroine can take care of herself!) and a some big emotional strife is quickly demolished because HE Stopped at 50 percent. I haven't read the very popular The False Prince series by this author, but my expectations were high because of the attention surrounding the other books.I have to say: I'm pretty disappointed. The premise of the book - a princess who must turn spy and traitor against her father - is a story I've read a ton of times already. The characterization was also pretty basic (tough heroine can take care of herself!) and a some big emotional strife is quickly demolished because HELLO lust/attraction!If you're looking for high action/big stakes YA fantasy, then pick up Truthwitch by Susan Dennard or Ruined by Amy Tintera instead.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    This book sounds so interesting! It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy, and now that it’s winter, I feel like getting back into the genre. I am intrigued by the main character’s father being on the evil side and the rebels searching for the only weapon that can kill the king. I can’t wait to see how Kestra’s alliances change, and I am hoping for plenty of suspense. I am eagerly awaiting the release of The Traitor’s Game this February!
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    3.5stars i thinkI will want to read the sequel for sure- really like where the story is going. Some of the pacing was uneven and my biggest issue was that this has two POVs and I couldn’t really tell them a part in places.
  • LeilaniV
    January 1, 1970
    This book was AMAZING! I really thought of Kestra, as Wonder Woman figure. She's brave, fearless and can kill thousands of men in mere minutes. Everyone think she's the daughter of a Dallisor, but what they don't know is the history of her real mother and the Olden Blade. There's a little romance, but I'd recommend this book to almost everyone. Especially, people who love drama and excitement.
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    SO good
  • Cori Ilardi
    January 1, 1970
    GIVE IT TO ME, JENNIFER. GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW.
  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    Fantasy, adventure, YA, friendshipNielsen's first YA novel kept me reading all day on Thanksgiving. I am glad that she finally chose a female lead character who kicks butt. There were many twists and turns along with a little romance. The back and forth chapters from Simon and Kestra gave different perspectives. I currently am wearing something like a "grip glove" to move my fractured fingers so I thought that was an interesting torturing device....every time I wear it I feel like I am in tracti Fantasy, adventure, YA, friendshipNielsen's first YA novel kept me reading all day on Thanksgiving. I am glad that she finally chose a female lead character who kicks butt. There were many twists and turns along with a little romance. The back and forth chapters from Simon and Kestra gave different perspectives. I currently am wearing something like a "grip glove" to move my fractured fingers so I thought that was an interesting torturing device....every time I wear it I feel like I am in traction and being tortured. Awesome book and am sad I have to wait a year for the next installment.
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  • Orianna
    January 1, 1970
    Received an ARC version of The Traitor's Game.As other readers have mentioned, the plot of this novel was a little cliche, but Nielsen's execution of it was absolutely dynamic. The compelling narration convinced me to finish the book in one sitting. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an action-packed read.
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  • The Ascendant Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Oh boy, are you in for the ride of your life. Similar to Sage from the Ascendance Trilogy, our heroine Kestra is rather stubborn and strong-willed. She has been captured in order to betray her father and king, however, she won't easily tailor to her kidnappers' demands. One of her kidnappers, Simon, has the burdensome task of keeping the feisty Kestra from wrecking their plans by any means necessary. As the two travel on a treacherous journey, dark secrets are awaiting them- and sometimes the Oh boy, are you in for the ride of your life. Similar to Sage from the Ascendance Trilogy, our heroine Kestra is rather stubborn and strong-willed. She has been captured in order to betray her father and king, however, she won't easily tailor to her kidnappers' demands. One of her kidnappers, Simon, has the burdensome task of keeping the feisty Kestra from wrecking their plans by any means necessary. As the two travel on a treacherous journey, dark secrets are awaiting them- and sometimes the truth brings more suffering than relief. Can they win the traitor's game? This book was absolutely breathtaking and stunning in every way imaginable! I have read the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer (which I highly recommend) and anticipated great things, however, she just blew me away with this book! I held on to each page like it was my last breath and skipped sleep in order to finish. Until 5 AM I cried, laughed, screamed, and danced so much that I thought my heart would burst from all the emotions I felt. Jennifer has such an eloquent and enchanting way of writing that held my grip throughout the bumpy ride, and made me love each of the characters so dearly- especially Simon . Every aspect of this book was appealing to me. The conflict and romance were perfectly blended so that one did not overpower the other, yet still had me aching for more of both. Unlike past books I read by her, this book is a romance novel, and it was absolutely swoonworthy- especially Simon . The Traitor's Game had my heart and mind racing to keep up with this captivating ballad of action, amour, and allure. I couldn't put it down because there was not a single moment where I lost interest.Furthermore, I developed profound relationships with nearly every character introduced. In contrast to many of the YA I have read, the protagonists were not the only characters who captivated me in this book. I found my heart captured by many of the characters deemed as "secondary", each compelling in their own way. Scarcely am I able to become attached to characters in certain novels, much less those who are background characters, so I was genuinely impressed and content to find that so much thought went into each persona- especially Simon (yes, I mentioned him three times already, but I love him so I can't help it!). In short, The Traitor's Game is undoubtedly a magnificent and addicting read. I implore you to read this sensational novel- you will not regret it! Let the games begin.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    As is the case with all the books written by this author, the action starts at the beginning with a kidnapping, and doesn't let up from there. Although many elements of the story are familiar from her other stories and from those of others, I still kept reading because I liked the protagonist, Kestra Dallisor, and her determination to fend for herself against overwhelming odds. Although I liked Simon, her unlikely love interest since they are on opposite sides of the conflict raging in her land, As is the case with all the books written by this author, the action starts at the beginning with a kidnapping, and doesn't let up from there. Although many elements of the story are familiar from her other stories and from those of others, I still kept reading because I liked the protagonist, Kestra Dallisor, and her determination to fend for herself against overwhelming odds. Although I liked Simon, her unlikely love interest since they are on opposite sides of the conflict raging in her land, I wasn't really surprised by their mutual attraction. As Kestra finds herself the pawn in a complicated game in which she is expected to betray her family and kingdom, she realizes that many of the things she thought were true have turned out to be false, and she has no idea whom she can trust. It is up to her, though, to find the Olden Blade, a weapon that could be used to kill the evil Lord Endrick. I always like to find books with strong female characters who take steps to rescue themselves rather than depending on others to save them, but sometimes Kestra's impulsive nature leads her to make mistakes for which others pay dearly. What makes this one worth reading, of course, is the complicated levels of deception that lie at its heart. Since this is the first in a promised trilogy, readers will be anxious to see what happens next in Antora and to Kestra and whether she finally finds acceptance and a home. I felt sorry for her at various points since she seemed to belong nowhere and to be unable to trust anyone completely. Having the story told from the points of view of both Kestra and Simon adds intrigue and insight to the story.
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  • Megan Lyons
    January 1, 1970
    I have not read any of the author’s 9-12 stuff, though I have seen it around and have been curious. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out her work. The premise appealed to me, as I tend to enjoy books with characters who are kidnapped, and then fall for a kidnapper, such as Maria V Snyder’s Touch of Power or Juliet Marillier’s “Son of the Shadows”. (I’m not sure what this says about me as a person- Stockholm syndrome should not be appealing, but it is what it is). However, “The Tra I have not read any of the author’s 9-12 stuff, though I have seen it around and have been curious. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out her work. The premise appealed to me, as I tend to enjoy books with characters who are kidnapped, and then fall for a kidnapper, such as Maria V Snyder’s Touch of Power or Juliet Marillier’s “Son of the Shadows”. (I’m not sure what this says about me as a person- Stockholm syndrome should not be appealing, but it is what it is). However, “The Traitor’s Blade” was a disappointment. I feel like I have read this story before multiple times. What’s worse, it had one of the worst cases of instalove that I have ever read. All the language around the romance was just cheesy bad. I read a lot of YA, and full on romance novels, and many of the paragraphs literally made me cringe. I’m not sure if this was the author’s first time trying to include romance, but it really didn’t work. The 2 characters only knew each other for 4 days, and went from hating each other to considering ultimate betrayal. It also included a dark, seemingly invincible villain, and all sorts of secrets and prophecy. It was all so expected, and not that well done. There are so many YA fantasy books out there; this just wont stand out. There are a lot better choices, in my opinion, though depending on the author’s YA following, it might find an audience.
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  • Lila Kims
    January 1, 1970
    Review based on Advanced Reader's CopyJennifer A. Nielsen has done it again! I was looking more at a 3.5 stars during the first hundred pages or so, but then something clicked and I fell. in. love. This book is amazing, guys. Simply amazing.There's not a lot of action, especially in the middle, but the character development is just AWESOME, okay?? At first, I didn't like tough girl Kestra, but as I got to know her and realized how complex a character she was, I became really attached to her. Sim Review based on Advanced Reader's CopyJennifer A. Nielsen has done it again! I was looking more at a 3.5 stars during the first hundred pages or so, but then something clicked and I fell. in. love. This book is amazing, guys. Simply amazing.There's not a lot of action, especially in the middle, but the character development is just AWESOME, okay?? At first, I didn't like tough girl Kestra, but as I got to know her and realized how complex a character she was, I became really attached to her. Simon is a dangerous lil ball of cuteness. Just my type. <3 <3 And even if she was a brat at first, Trina proved to be a complex character also. I mean, the highlight of this book is the CHARACTERS. Waiting for book 2 is going to be torture.Other things I loved: The magic. It was so creative. And the weapons too. Me likey. <3The romance. Dude, the romance was so clean and beautiful. Like, let me go sob in a corner because it was just perfect, how slow-burning it was, and how important to the plot. Just... yes.A bunch of other things. Basically everything.*shakes head in awe* Jennifer A. Nielsen has done it again.
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  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    January 1, 1970
    Nielsen, Jennifer A. The Traitor’s Game, 400 pages. Scholastic Press, MARCH 2018. $18. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.For three years Kestra has been in exile, living in the Lava Fields with just a few servants. Supposedly it has been for her protection, since she was kidnapped and terrorized by one of her country’s rebel groups. When her father calls her home, she is again kidnapped. And if she doesn’t cooperate, then her Guard and her maid will be killed. The resistance wants her Nielsen, Jennifer A. The Traitor’s Game, 400 pages. Scholastic Press, MARCH 2018. $18. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.For three years Kestra has been in exile, living in the Lava Fields with just a few servants. Supposedly it has been for her protection, since she was kidnapped and terrorized by one of her country’s rebel groups. When her father calls her home, she is again kidnapped. And if she doesn’t cooperate, then her Guard and her maid will be killed. The resistance wants her help searching for the Olden Blade, the only weapon that will give them a chance to defeat Lord Endrick. But the rebels seem just as happy to have Kestra dead as have her help.Hopefully the obvious romantic will remain a subplot to Kestra’s destiny, otherwise this could devolve into another sappy romance very quickly. This is on par with the rest of Nielsen’s writing.MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacherhttp://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2017/...
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  • Stephanie Moore
    January 1, 1970
    ***ARC Received From YallFest***This story was not terrible, but it barely landed in the "ok" category as well.There were just too many cliches and elements that I didn't really find myself enjoying, such as: bull headed main character who always had to have her way (and caused more problems because of it), insta-love that made Zero sense (Simon falling in love with Kestra despite her being such a bitch to him for almost their entire time of knowing each other), and an even more bull headed side ***ARC Received From YallFest***This story was not terrible, but it barely landed in the "ok" category as well.There were just too many cliches and elements that I didn't really find myself enjoying, such as: bull headed main character who always had to have her way (and caused more problems because of it), insta-love that made Zero sense (Simon falling in love with Kestra despite her being such a bitch to him for almost their entire time of knowing each other), and an even more bull headed side character who seems to exist solely to be a bitch and instigate problems.Adding on to that: the story itself also was something that I had read a thousand times before. Girl doesn't know her past, discovers she's the chosen one through a diary/prophecy, sets out on quest to fulfill said prophecy (but without proper support of course). I will not be continuing, but I will probably just look up how it ends when the next book comes out.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Kestra is a noble's daughter raised to be loyal to the invincible tyrant king, Lord Endrick, and ruthless to everyone below them. However, on her way back home one day, her carriage is intercepted by members of the rebellion, and she is forced into a subversive plan to find a magic blade with the supposed ability to kill Endrick. The book tells the events of a 4-day period, in which Kestra's life is completely changed.An overall great story, despite my original impression of it being too similar Kestra is a noble's daughter raised to be loyal to the invincible tyrant king, Lord Endrick, and ruthless to everyone below them. However, on her way back home one day, her carriage is intercepted by members of the rebellion, and she is forced into a subversive plan to find a magic blade with the supposed ability to kill Endrick. The book tells the events of a 4-day period, in which Kestra's life is completely changed.An overall great story, despite my original impression of it being too similar to other books like Red Queen. The 'princess', overpowering leader, and rising rebellion aspects led me to think it was just another one of those stories that had been told many times before. Not to mention, when I first started reading, I found Kestra to be a very dislikable protagonist, and that put me off right away. However, as the story progressed, Kestra changed, and with that, my opinion of the book changed as well. I was able to tolerate Kestra, and by the end, the interconnecting plotlines were way more complex and unexpected than I ever could have imagined when I first picked up the book. So, to other readers of The Traitor's Game, don't give up after the first chapter! Keep reading, and by the end of the book, you will grow to appreciate Jennifer Nielsen's compelling storytelling and layered characters, despite a somewhat cliche plot.
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  • Blake Norby
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book, and this is totally not my genre wheelhouse. This is one of those fantasy books that also has that old time feel with the castles, rulers, and gowns. Kestra's dad is the right-hand man of the evil magician who has taken over the rule of their country through dark magic. There's of course a rebel group who are wanting to fight the ruling power, and Kestra gets kidnapped by them. Of course there's a boy, and through the alternating points of view, you get the layout of th I really liked this book, and this is totally not my genre wheelhouse. This is one of those fantasy books that also has that old time feel with the castles, rulers, and gowns. Kestra's dad is the right-hand man of the evil magician who has taken over the rule of their country through dark magic. There's of course a rebel group who are wanting to fight the ruling power, and Kestra gets kidnapped by them. Of course there's a boy, and through the alternating points of view, you get the layout of the world and rule. What is absolutely fantastic about this book is you have no idea who the good guy is, who's right, what the right thing to do is, or even if you want the 2 characters to hook up. It's twisty and turny but with purpose every time. I can't wait for the sequel so I can figure out what I even want to happen!
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  • Ash
    January 1, 1970
    An avid fantasy adventure reader won’t have a hard time guessing the outcome of this book, but tried and true isn’t always a bad thing, especially with Nielsen’s added twists. The story unfolds with exemplary pacing and an intriguing cast of characters— Nielsen has written an especially clever and captivating character in Kestra, who I immediately connected with and couldn’t get enough of. I latched on to Kestra and stayed for her story, but can’t wait to see what’s in store for Simon in book 2 An avid fantasy adventure reader won’t have a hard time guessing the outcome of this book, but tried and true isn’t always a bad thing, especially with Nielsen’s added twists. The story unfolds with exemplary pacing and an intriguing cast of characters— Nielsen has written an especially clever and captivating character in Kestra, who I immediately connected with and couldn’t get enough of. I latched on to Kestra and stayed for her story, but can’t wait to see what’s in store for Simon in book 2.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Filled with intrigue, adventure, and a touch of romance, Nielsen is at the top of her game with this one. I was lucky enough to hear Nielsen perform a reading of the first chapter or so of this novel at a Scholastic breakfast at NCTE in St. Louis. As a result, I heard her voice resonate in Kestra throughout the whole book making it an even bigger treat.I will eagerly be anticipating the sequel and this novel hasn't officially been published yet.Thank you to Scholastic for the ARC. I have a waiti Filled with intrigue, adventure, and a touch of romance, Nielsen is at the top of her game with this one. I was lucky enough to hear Nielsen perform a reading of the first chapter or so of this novel at a Scholastic breakfast at NCTE in St. Louis. As a result, I heard her voice resonate in Kestra throughout the whole book making it an even bigger treat.I will eagerly be anticipating the sequel and this novel hasn't officially been published yet.Thank you to Scholastic for the ARC. I have a waiting list of students ready to read it now that I have finished!
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  • Gretchen
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from the 2017 YALSA Symposium.This book was a bit all over the place. The story happened very quickly and included a lot of details and backstory that seemed a bit contradictory in places. I'm not sure that I will be reading the next book in this series.
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  • Brian Hoffmeister
    January 1, 1970
    Did a review for this on School Library Journal. Grades 6-8I thought this was a very competent other worlds story, in the vein of Hunger Games, but with a distinctly fantasy feel. Middle schoolers will definitely like it.
  • Lilla
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book. It will make a great addition to middle grade fantasy series.
  • Spencer
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome story! It has great dynamic characters with interesting plot twists. I will definitely read the series.
  • Molly French
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an advanced readers copy of this book, and finished it in no more than 3 or 4 days. Such an amazing storyline, and I cannot wait until the sequel comes out. Amazing book.
  • Sharie
    January 1, 1970
    Outstanding new novel!Got the feeling it would Hunger Games reworked when I started - So wrong! It's all on it's own. I can't wait for the next one.
  • Tina Panik
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of a slow start in order to set everything up, but then the characters and conflict intersect nicely. There’s plenty of material here for future volumes!This was an ARC.
  • Celine
    January 1, 1970
    When I heard this story described as The False Prince meets Game of Thrones, I was super stoked. Sometimes, picturing this story in a GOT setting helped to appreciate what was happening a little more, because on its own, I wasn't always buying it.I liked the world building; at the outset, I was a little nervous because there were several things that clearly made this novel a fantasy novel set in a new world, and I worried that all sorts of new creatures and important world details would be prese When I heard this story described as The False Prince meets Game of Thrones, I was super stoked. Sometimes, picturing this story in a GOT setting helped to appreciate what was happening a little more, because on its own, I wasn't always buying it.I liked the world building; at the outset, I was a little nervous because there were several things that clearly made this novel a fantasy novel set in a new world, and I worried that all sorts of new creatures and important world details would be presented to the readers, but after the first few chapters, these details take a backseat as readers are returned to a more familiar world, and when these details become important again, it's a more gradual and natural implementation.The story itself was intriguing, with twists and turns, but sometimes those twists, while I didn't see them coming, didn't exactly surprise me either. Furthermore, its execution had me scratching my head, muddling what I was supposed to know versus what was new information. Still, there were several times when I didn't want to close the book, despite the time on my clock, and just had to turn the page to start the next chapter.The characters were also fun to spend time with, especially Kestra, but relationships between characters often seemed underdeveloped, be it friendship or enmity. Such as the enmity between Trina and Kestra; while they're on opposite sides, they both seemed to have a personal grudge against each other, even though they'd only just met. I wish we'd had a little more time with Kestra before the start of the book, to understand her situation and character better and thus better appreciate the stark changes that she's faced with in the opening chapter.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    at risk of sounding petty, if this isn't good I'm suing