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Description de l’éditeur
Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets . . .
It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost though chess, backgammon - every game under the sun.
But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . where the games played are of politics and nations, of economics and kings. It is a contest where Capture the Castle involves real castles and where hide and seek takes place on the scale of a continent.
Among those worthy of competing in the higher league, three unusually talented contestants play for the highest stakes of all . . .
From Claire North, author of word-of-mouth bestseller The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and one of the most original new voices in modern fiction, comes the mesmerising tale of the Gameshouse, where games of chance and skill control the fate of empires.
*Originally published as three digital-only instalments: The Serpent, The Thief and The Master.*
Praise for Claire North:
'One of the fiction highlights of the decade' Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Book Club
'North's talent shines out' Sunday Times
'Little short of a masterpiece' Independent
'Poignant and intensely gripping' Guardian
'Terrific, smart and entertaining' Patrick Ness
Luck and skill clash in this morally nuanced novel of gamesmanship and civilization. Joining up three novellas originally published in 2015, it traces the arcs of people who find the interdimensional Gameshouse and progress from piece to player to Gamesmaster. In "The Serpent," 16th-century Jewish heiress Thene escapes her brutish, gambling-addicted husband by orchestrating the election of a Venetian Supreme Tribune. In "The Thief," a veteran player unwisely falls into a game of hide-and-seek in Thailand with an ambitious upstart who wants the veteran's memories as a prize. In "The Master," a challenge comes to the Gameshouse itself, issued by Silver, a longtime player who wants to recruit others into his own Great Game. World Fantasy Award winner North (The Sudden Appearance of Hope) melds her separate tales into an intricate critique of world history as a game board controlled by competitive and coolly disinterested gamers who are willing to sacrifice their pawns without regret or remorse. The true threat to the Gameshouse is not winning, but altering the perception of the "pieces" and restoring their humanity. Only a muddled, tension-leaking ending mars this philosophical exploration of global intrigue.