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)