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The Game of Triumphs (The Game of Triumphs #1)

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  58 reviews
"Tarot comes alive in this cleverly conceived thriller that delivers action, humor, and mystery in spades." — The Bulletin

At an exclusive Soho party one rainy night, Cat stumbles into an ancient and dangerous game of fortune. A mysterious quartet of game masters deal out challenges—moves that unfold in the Arcanum, a dream-scape version of our world. Success can earn play
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Ember (first published March 5th 2009)
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I loved the way the characters were realistic-- how Cat actually had to work at a relationship with Bel. Bel was awesome. I really admired her for bringing up Cat at age nineteen.

Okay, the gushing is now out of the way. Basically, this book is about a real-life game based on tarot (it's not a fortune-telling thing), where the Kings and Queens of the card suits send anybody who wants a particular power (a Knight) on a quest for the card that the power represents. Most players, when they are activ
Moira Russell
It's a recent YA portal fantasy, UNPOSSIBLE! People are still reading Narnia, there's no room for any more! Readers are too stupid to want anything but dystopias and vampires!'s a portal fantasy with Tarot cards (Amber, anyone?) set in London and I have a really bad cold, what more do you want from me. Richard III and I are not made of stone....

Later: Lord, the WHOLE BOOK is basically a setup for the sequel. Someone already told me, but if I hadn't been warned, I'd've been hopping mad. Al
Ms. Yingling
Cat, who is living in London’s Soho district with her young and disorganized aunt, is approached by a stranger to save him. When she investigates, she uncovers an elaborate role playing game based on Tarot cards, The Game of Triumphs, and accepts an invitation to play. Wanting to know more, she looks for information on Tarot at a fantasy supply store, the Dark Portal, where she meets Toby, who is also involved in the fame, and he enlightens her. Not only does the game allow people to go into Arc ...more
I suppose it was a bad sign when the author's biography said "She was inspired to write [the book] after learning about the popularity of role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft. She wondered what it was that led people to become so consumed by worlds that existed only on a computer screen or in their heads." That sort of flippant comment shows exactly the amount of interest and research (or lack thereof) she had put into understanding those sorts of fandoms (which a ...more
This book. Words cannot contain my feelings.
It was well crafted, unique, and very fanciful.

The characters were well done. I even liked the protagonist, Cat. Though my favourite character in this book was the king of swords, Alastor. I wish he was in it more than he actually was, *Le Sigh. Toby was a fun sidekick type character. Blaine was standoffish and that really did draw me in. Flora was....Flora. She had interesting qualities.

Note: this book is not at all like those card trading on games. I
This is based on a) cards, and b) gaming, neither of which I know much about. That's part of the reason I was interested in it.

It takes about 3/4 of the book to set up the whole premise of the Game and the world of the Arcanum, so don't expect this to be plot-driven until the end. I also found parts of it unconvincing: the motivations of the chancers didn't have enough momentum, nor does their eventual 'mission' really answer that question. It was difficult to understand why the Game Masters nee
Miss Bookiverse
Ich hätte diesem Buch so gern vier oder sogar mehr Sterne gegeben. Die Grundidee gefällt mir so unglaublich gut. Aber das Potenzial wurde einfach nicht komplett ausgeschöpft und es gab auch einige weitere Makel.
Trotzdem würde ich eher zu 3,5 Sternen tendieren.

The Game of Triumphs handelt von einem gefährlichen Spiel, das auf Spielkarten basiert. Anstelle der altbekannten Symbole Karo, Kreuz, Herz und Piek gibt es hier Swords, Wands, Cups, Pentacles und einige Figuren, die an Tarot-Karten erinner
This book. Words cannot contain my feelings.
It was well crafted, unique, and very fanciful.

The characters were well done. I even liked the protagonist, Cat. Though my favourite character in this book was the king of swords, Alastor. I wish he was in it more than he actually was, *Le Sigh. Toby was a fun sidekick type character. Blaine was standoffish and that really did draw me in. Flora was....Flora. She had interesting qualities.

Note: this book is not at all like those card trading on games. I
2.5 out of 5 stars

Have you ever watched a sport for the first time and had no idea what was going on and found that you just didn't care? That was reading this book. I think this would have been a great book if written by a different author. The premise sounded really intriguing, but was not executed well.

With 200 pages of build up, you would think that the plot would be explained, but I felt like the "rules" of the Game changed every page. The actual action of the book was wrapped up too quickl
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I've been looking forward to reading The Game of Triumphs ever since I picked up the duology this past summer. I stumbled upon the second book, The Master of Misrule, at The Strand for $2, and decided to snag it. It was only once I got home and added The Master of Misrule to my Goodreads that I discovered it was a series! Luckily I was able to get a discount copy of The Game of Triumphs on Book Outlet, and t
Charliee' (Ohana means family)
I really hated to give this book 2 stars because as soon as I picked up the book, I loved the cover and the blurb on the back just made me want to pick it up and read it instantly.

Temple House, Mercury Square
Throw the coin, turn the card
What will YOU play for?"

However, the book seemed to go only downhill from there. I mean I love that Cat is raised by her aunt and I love how the author explains how Cat feels about all this. But the whole book (to me) seemed to be all de
GoodReads Synopsis: At an exclusive Soho party one rainy night, Cat stumbles into an ancient and dangerous game of fortune. A mysterious quartet of game masters deal out challenges—moves that unfold in the Arcanum, a dream-scape version of our world. Success can earn players fame, fortune, inspiration. Failure can be deadly.

At first Cat is skeptical, but undeniably curious. And when a journey into the Arcanum reveals a shocking glimpse of her family's past, Cat begins to understand what drives p
First Impression:
I am not really a card person. But something about this summary drew me in. Maybe the mix of Tarot. Maybe the thought of this card game had a lot more depth below the surface. Whatever it was, the premise of The Game of Triumphs excited me.

While Reading:
The Game of Triumphs takes card games to a whole new level.

In the dark and often dreary streets of London, a new card game has emerged, The Game of Triumphs. Here players complete with Tarot cards for the ultimate prize. Fame, fo
This book has a really good setup. The author obviously put a lot of effort into building the world of the Arcanum and how the tarot cards fit into the game. I was hooked from that standpoint, though the main character, Cat, leaves something to be desired. She is quite a downer and her personality never improves. It's hard to imagine that anyone would want to be around her. (As an aside, why are so many teenage characters named Cat?) Luckily, the companions she picks up along the way are somewha ...more
The plot of this book is very innovative. The book is centered around The Game, a game where players compete with each other utilizing Tarot cards. The prize is worth what it takes to compete, even when the cost seems very high. A reader who does not know much about cards or Tarot cards need not worry, the author does a terrific job of carefully explaining The Game with all of its complications.

The world of Arcanum is a fascinating place. The author readies the reader for entry into this world f
If you want an easy, quick, and fun read, then this is a book you should pick up. After finishing Allegiant, I needed a break from dystopian novels and found this book on my library's website. The book is basically about a teenage girl that stumbles upon a complicated game where players can play cards that have a prize associated with them, which could be wealth, health, etc. The Game is really complicated. Even after finishing this book I'm not sure I understand it. I think this book easily cou ...more
Fifteen-year-old Cat is well acquainted with London's seamy underside--one perk of living across from a casino and on the same block as a strip joint. The tawdry Soho neighborhood doesn't bother her. Cat is used to moving around with her aunt/guardian Bel. She's used to blending into the background and being invisible. Neighborhoods don't change that.

But a mysterious game played out on the streets of London and in a strange world called the Arcanum can change everything. A chance encounter on th
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I saw the sequel advertised somewhere and thought, hmm, that sounds interesting, I'll get the first one from the library. Unfortunately ... not so much. I got a bad feeling when I flipped to the author's biography and saw that she was inspired to write this after learning that Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft were popular and wondering why. She did not convey any understanding of this that she might have gained to the reader.

The whole premise is unconvincing and not very absorbing, at
3.5* A strong one. This book has some great aspects to it - the fantasy portions of it are EXCELLENT (I love the blend of a real-life D&D style game being combined with tarot cards and a lot of creatively unique aspects) and the writing of those portions was mysterious and fantastical in the best way. The action portions reminded me of watching a really good cartoon/anime, as the world was just so different and atmospheric. The setting of London adds to that a lot. The trouble is that, like ...more
BAYA Librarian
On her way home one night, Cat accidently bumps into a man while exiting the tube station. Through this seeming insignificant interaction, Cat finds herself drawn into the magical and dangerous world of the Game of Triumphs. A game where tarot cards come to life and the winners can gain riches and glory but losers take the risk of paying the ultimate price.

At times this book is a page turner; the game, its central theme, is pretty original and the worlds within the cards are also compelling. Ho
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There's a typical story-line: main character discovers a secret magic world, finds other people like her to help her out, and they have to gather several objects to defeat the evil kings and queens. I kept envisioning the book taking place in the medieval era, while it really was in present-day. Cat's aunt, Bel, is very similar to a type of character I've encountered in several books: older female relative in charge of caring for the main character,
The Game of Triumphs is about a game. But not just any game. The game depicted within the book turns life itself into one. This fantasy book puts a card game in that reflects on real life and fifteen year old Cat is caught up in the middle of it.
Admittedly, this book starts off a bit slow as readers try to get used to the rules of the game and how it works but then it accelerates and hits many intense-action spots. This book also uses an immense amount of adventure as the main characters must
Oh so much potential! A great premise - a real life RPG based on Tarot, and with great rules and stratagems.

But, utterly boring. There's no sense of build up, no urgency or massive events. Maybe I need to read its companion Master of Misrule, and this was just outlining and getting you used to the game. But overall I was bored. Things happened quickly, but not in an exciting quickly. The characters were flat, with no development and no relationship between one another.

But so many possibilities
I was interested in this YA book when I saw on the back inside flap that the author studied classics at Oxford. It’s not particularly classical, though there are some Latin quotes (which are correct, and correctly translated, I was happy to see). We meet Cat, a loner of a teenager who has just moved with her aunt/guardian to London. She initially brushes off her strange encounter with a man on the street as just another crazy person in the city, but it ends up leading her to the Game in which kn ...more
Maggie V
The Game of Triumphs was an interesting book. It was definitely different from what I see in bookstores and in the library. The world building did take some time making the first part of the book a bit slow. It wasn’t really until the last quarter that the pacing became faster and there was more focus on the action. The ending was a bit disappointing … I suppose it was meant to be a cliff-hanger, but it felt more like a big set-up for the next book. A little less world building and a bit more ac ...more
I happened to like this book very much. I thought that the author visually showed my the Arcanum. As an American, I usually find it hard to read books taking place in England because of the slang they use. But I was happy that the book was pretty straightfoward and easy to read.

The suspense happens about.. the last quarter of the book. And it was very suspenseful. And The book had my attention despite the fact that it had zero romance in it. (usually I insist on having some). Maybe a little hint
An interesting concept but somewhat flat and undeveloped. The protagonist is an annoying dimwit.
Kira Brighton
Extremely different, but also very seductive.
I loved the tarot cards and the idea of a role-playing game opening portals into an alternate world, but I was bogged down by too many rules of play and disappointed that the motivations of the Chancers weren't revealed sooner.
i liked this book, it kind of caught me from the beginning. i have questions about Cat's aunt Bel-is she more involved than it seems? does she know more than it seems? i need to find the second book now...i want to keep playing!
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What's The Name o...: Wheel of fortune [s] 15 73 Aug 05, 2011 04:05PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Laura Powell grew up in rural Wales and now lives in West London. She wrote her first book while studying Classics at Oxford and worked in publishing for five years before leaving to concentrate on her writing.
More about Laura Powell...

Other Books in the Series

The Game of Triumphs (2 books)
  • The Master of Misrule (The Game of Triumphs, #2)
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