Yannis Karatsioris, Greek born and raised, is 30 years old and lives in Athens, Greece. He has already staged a play, published a fantasy novel in Greek and, after winning with The Book of the Forsaken the gold medal on HarperCollins' competition on authonomy.com, is now making his first steps in the publishing world out of Greece. His tastes, dark and sarcastic, guide him to a style reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Jonathon Stroud and Mikhail Bulghakoff.
The Ringmaster's Gambit (The Game, #2)by Yannis Karatsioris
"Jaelle the Fortuneteller and Emilian the Ringmaster are the ones guarding the circus from anyone who's not being nice. The Bringers of Death want to kill. The Magi want to know. The Upyri want to kill and then know. They all suspect I'm in there, hiding, scheming, mocking them. They are coming for the book, for the ones who sleep; they are coming for me. Let's see
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"Jaelle the Fortuneteller and Emilian the Ringmaster are the ones guarding the circus from anyone who's not being nice. The Bringers of Death want to kill. The Magi want to know. The Upyri want to kill and then know. They all suspect I'm in there, hiding, scheming, mocking them. They are coming for the book, for the ones who sleep; they are coming for me. Let's see what happens."
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So Mr. Karatsioris did manage to create an even greater book than The Book of the Forsaken (TBotF)! The Ringmaster's Gambit is Book 2 in The Game Series, and it's a really well-written book. I really enjoy Yannis' manner of writing. The author is great at creating original, memorable characters. I was hoping to see more of the characters from TBotF, after I've built a connection with Daniel, Cassidy and Igor, but in TRG Yannis decided to focus his attention on the Game and introduced a new cast of bright characters. The ceremonies before for the Game and the performances were really entertaining to read (well, here I feel Bulgakov's influence the most, but I also see it in Mr. Karatsioris' characters, which is really cool IMHO). I was really intrigued by the Moon's Favorite and wished to know who it would be. I'm not going to spoil the fun revealing his (or her) identity as that would be unfair to the future readers of this book. What I loved more about The Ringmaster's Gambit than about TBotF is the sarcastic storyteller's voice (I mean, I loved it in Book 1, but it was even greater in Book 2). It seemed to me that he'd become more mature than in the first book. If in TBotF it has been overdone in a few places, here the storyteller's voice worked great. The author introduces a thread about relics here, which IMO is a great hook, although it's unfinished in this book and I'm intrigued how it's going to be dealt with in the final book of the series. Can't say much yet except that I enjoyed reading about the memories of those historical figures. Overall, The Ringmaster's Gambit is a book that deserves to get into the top lists of Urban/Contemporary Fantasy books. Watch out for that series. You won't regret it if you grab of copy of TRG.