Friday, May 21, 2021

Book Review: "King of Fools" by Amanda Foody

Title: King of Fools
Author: Amanda Foody
Series: "The Shadow Game" #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 602 pages
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Rating: 4.5 //5 stars

*Content Warnings for this series: violence, death/murder, addiction and drug use, torture, gambling, pedophilia (it is completely condemned in the novel but there are mentions of it occurring off-page)*

It's been a while since I finished King of Fools so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on my feelings surrounding this book. I alternated listening to the audiobook and reading the physical copy and I'm 100% happy that I did it that way. If I'd had the time I would have loved to listen to the entire novel in audiobook, if I'm being honest, because I felt like I got such a better understanding of the characters and connected with them so well. 

King of Fools, the sequel to Ace of Shades, takes everything from the first book and multiplies it by ten. Ace of Shades was a wild ride on its own, but King of Fools was something else. It was darker, the stakes were higher, and I was terrified the whole time. 

We get a ton of character development in this book. It was actually amazing seeing how much these characters grew in this book from the start of the first. Hats off to Amanda Foody because the range and growth has been amazing and so interesting to read. These characters also aren't perfect and they're very morally gray. They make a lot of mistakes, both in terms of personal relationships and when it comes to the overall plot, and they're literal gangsters. I just love them all so much.

I will say, a big part of why I loved the first book was the character interactions between our main leads. While we got a bunch of exciting new side characters in this one, I wish we'd gotten just a bit more interaction between our main characters (if only because the angst would have been supreme). 

I did get a massive spoiler for this book before I went into it. I will say that probably made me disconnect a little bit because my subconscious was like "don't get attached when you know what happens at the end." However, even if in the moment I wasn't devastated, when I looked back on the book as a whole, I cried a lot over that ending. 

The plot itself was also really interesting. There was a lot more politics in this book than the first one and it helped open up New Reynes and the world a lot. I will say there were times I was a bit confused, but that could be because I'm not great at remembering names of people or groups. But overall I thought the addition of politics (both governmental and in the street gangs) was great to dive into. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this second book. It was a lot grittier than the first one but there were still some moments of humor in them. The ending devastated me and I'm so scared for the final book but also hopeful for how it will turn out. 

Thanks for reading!

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