“Ace of Shades has it all …an utter delight.”—Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn
“A rich, satisfying, complicated story. One of the best fantasy series I’ve read in years.”—Christine Lynn Herman, author of The Devouring Gray
A 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
A 2019 YALSA Teen Top Ten Fiction Nominee
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow.
New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin, is no place for a properly raised young lady. But when her mother goes missing, Enne Salta must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail in the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, Enne’s only clue leads her to Levi Glaiyser—a street lord and a con man in desperate need of the compensation Enne offers. Their search sends this unlikely duo through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets, and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. But as Levi’s enemies close in on them, a deadly secret from Enne’s past comes to light and she must surrender herself to the City of Sin — to a vicious game of execution…
Where the players never win.
This uneven trilogy opener from Foody (Daughter of the Burning City) follows 17-year-old Erienne "Enne" Salta on a quest to find her adopted mother, journalist Lourdes Alfero. When Lourdes set sail for New Reynes, the "City of Sin," she promised Enne that she'd be home in two months. Four months later, Enne leaves finishing school to find her, arriving in New Reynes to discover that the city is even more debauched than its nickname suggests. Gangs rule the streets, crime families own the cops, and Lourdes's emergency contact, Levi Glaisyer, is a 17-year-old con man whom Enne must pay to help her. The duo's investigation takes them to the darkest corners of the city, uncovering dangerous secrets and ensnaring them in a mystical game that requires players to gamble their lives. At its best, Foody's novel is a magical tale of introspection, romance, and self-determination. Complicated worldbuilding confuses the plot, however, and an extended setup delays the establishment of stakes, eroding tension and hindering readers' ability to invest in the characters' fates. Ages 14 up.