Gr 7–10—Taking up right where The Game of Triumphs (Knopf, 2011) leaves off, Cat, Toby, Blaine, and Flora are back in the real world after having released the Fool and won the Game. But when they try to claim their prizes, they discover that they were pawns in the Fool's plan to take over. Now calling himself the Master of Misrule, he appears to be well on his way and the Game is no longer confined to the Arcanum, but has spilled over into the everyday world. Throughout London, people are finding mysterious scratch-off cards and becoming caught up in the Triumph Lottery of Luck. If the card reveals heads, it leads to untold riches; tails is a harbinger of disaster. When the four friends return to Temple House, a looted and destroyed version of its former glory, the High Priest informs them that because they released the Hanged Man, they are to blame for the current mayhem. They realize they must go back into the Game to set things right. Since their previous actions overthrew the kings and queens of the four courts, Cat and her friends will go in as their substitutes, and each one undertakes a quest in order to win the highest prize of all, the Triumph of Eternity. Only then can the Master of Misrule be stopped. Readers might find it difficult to keep up with the plethora of cards and what they represent, but the action is fast-paced and the four main characters are nicely fleshed out. Purchase where the first book is popular.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
VOYA, June 2012
"This fast-paced novel mixes fantasy and reality in an intricately described setting. . . . Packed with mystery, action, and even a hint of romance, The Master of Misrule will appeal to fans of role-playing games or anyone seeking an adventurous read."
Kirkus Reviews, May 2012
"Thriller, magic, mystery, love and betrayal: in the cards and in these pages."
In The Game Of Triumphs (Random House, 2011), readers were introduced to Cat and the intriguing, but deadly, Game of Triumphs played in the Arcanum, an alternate world that exists alongside our own. Along with companions Toby, Blaine, and Flora, Cat helped overthrow the old rulers of the Arcanum and free an imprisoned man who promised them fantastic prizes. They believed they were doing the right thing. Unfortunately, they were betrayed. In this second book of The Game of Triumphs series, readers discover that the freed man has changed the game's rules and that the boundaries between the game and the real world are quickly disappearing. Cat, Toby, Blaine, and Flora must band together to save London from being taken over by the sinister Master of Misrule and his dark, twisted game. This fast-paced novel mixes fantasy and reality in an intricately described setting. Suspense propels the narrative forward, while small glimpses into the past reveal different characters' motives for joining the game. Packed with mystery, action, and even a hint of romance, The Master Of Misrule will appeal to fans of role-playing games or anyone seeking an adventurous read. Reviewer: Taryn Bush
Creepy, tarot-infused magic and mayhem take center stage in part two of this unusual duology that began with The Game of Triumphs (2011). Despite holding the Triumphs that promise answers to their various back stories (including the murder of Cat's parents, Blaine's abusive stepfather and Flora's comatose sister, all related to the Game of Triumphs), resolution eludes Cat and her friends. They must fight the Fool, now the Master of Misrule, whom they released in the first volume, not only for their own success, but to save the world. Episodic but engrossing adventures in the Game give way to a showdown in the real world as the lines blur between Game and reality. Powell's descriptive writing brings the dreamlike, decaying card-world to eerie life; the childish oracle smearing car oil across her mouth in an underground parking lot is only one of a host of haunting images. In the end, there are no easy answers, but the four teen protagonists get the closure they need and grow into themselves as they move out of the Game. Little synopsis of the first volume is provided, making this a poor starting point for readers. Thriller, magic, mystery, love and betrayal: in the cards and in these pages. (listing of tarot cards, author's note) (Urban fantasy. 13 & up)