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The Traitor's Game

(The Traitor's Game #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,427 ratings  ·  637 reviews
Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won't stop her from being drawn back into her father's palace politics. He's the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well - and they snatch Kestra from he ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Scholastic
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Mindy Michaud The author stated in a self-review that she is working on the sequels, which would imply at least 2 more.

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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,427 ratings  ·  637 reviews

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Cait • A Page with a View
Release date: February 27, 2018

"Life doesn't give us what we want. It gives us what we need and asks what we will do with it."

Oh, this was so much fun. It reminded me a bit of Ruined by Amy Tintera meets The Winner's Trilogy with hints of The Cadet of Tildor, the Mistborn trilogy, Roar, Red Queen, The False Prince, and a lot of YA fantasy books where a wealthy, sheltered girl has to deal with the consequences that come with truth and then joins the rebellion.

The story starts out with Kestra b
Jennifer Nielsen
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
Yes, I'm biased, but I hope readers will love this book as much as I do. I adore Kestra's fire, intelligence, and desire to do the right thing - something that isn't always clear to her. I love Simon's dedication, courage, and devotion to the causes he cares about. And I'm fascinated by these two characters who are working their way toward the truth, but coming to it from completely different angles.

If you read this and like it, then I also hope you'll follow this story through the sequels. I'm
jv poore
Abruptly abandoning her beloved Lava Fields, based solely on a demand from her paternal parental unit, is aggravating. The fact that it’s been three years and no reason was given for the reunion, is infuriating. When Kestra’s security carriage is attacked on the journey home, she flips from frustrated to fiercely furious, forgetting all about fear.

Certainly, the people of Antora have a healthy respect for that anger. After all, her father is second in command to Lord Endrick. Those who actually
R.F. Gammon
February 28, 2019: CURRENTLY $1.99 on kindle!!!!

REREAD #1: February 2019

I thought it was agonizing to wait for The Deceiver's Heart BEFORE now. But now! Having reread this one!!!!! I may well die long before I get that book (never mind that I've preordered it and it should be here within a couple of weeks xD)

I'm having trouble writing a coherent review at the moment, so let's start off by saying:

KESTRA is a girl I would love to be friends with. She's so strong, so willing to throw herself int
Sabrina The Trash Queen
Feb 15, 2018 marked it as to-read
=> I loved The False Prince so I’m definitely read this one.
=> And I already can fell the romance on the description and I’m all for it. Damn, I’m a sucker for romance.
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
Rating ~2.5

While, there wasn’t anything particularly bad about this, there also wasn’t anything particularly good or memorable about it either.

The romance, if you can call it that, fell flat. Honestly, I thought Kestra had more chemistry in a few scenes with her betrothed than she did in any of her scenes with Simon.

I cared about essentially none of the characters, and one of the few characters I did somewhat like died.

It hasn’t even been a month and I sometimes struggle to recall what happe
m a r y l i z
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it

On one hand, I absolutely LOVED it - the sass, the setting, the plot twists, the character arcs . . . they are all so masterful.

But on the other hand . . . I'm so very disappointed.

Lovely Things:

- Can we just recognize the extreme SNARK levels?? I'm convinced that Jennifer Nielsen is the master of witty writing. I laugh SO MUCH every time I read her books because the sass levels are off the charts. And yet, despite how many snarky characters she creates, they all
Nicki Chapelway
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are no winners in the traitor's game...

I will attest to the truth of this statement. I certainly didn't win. In fact, I got to enjoy watching my heart getting ripped out and then roasted on a spit.

I don't care what anyone else says about more famous fantasy authors, Jennifer Neilson is the QUEEN OF FANTASY and you will not change my mind. Thank you so much for reminding me that a book can be thrilling and epic and adventurous and romantic and still be clean.

Kestra and Simon were both fanta
Lila Kims
update march 2019: Moved the rating back up because 4 stars is just too low for how utterly fantastic this book is. (Why does rating books have to be such a stressful process??)


What I love most about this book is probably the character development. It's just astounding, really. Every character, from the main ones like Kestra, Simon, and Trina (the hot-headed kickbutt girl, the soft but fierce cinnamon roll boy, and the brat who's incredibly annoying but you've just gotta app
Jul 27, 2017 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Stopped at 50 percent.

I haven't read the very popular The False Prince series by this author, but my expectations were high because of the attention surrounding the other books.

I have to say: I'm pretty disappointed. The premise of the book - a princess who must turn spy and traitor against her father - is a story I've read a ton of times already. The characterization was also pretty basic (tough heroine can take care of herself!) and a some big emotional strife is quickly demolished because HE
Allison C
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Nadhira Satria
Dec 17, 2017 marked it as to-read
2018 is the year of gorgeous book covers ayeee
More reviews up on my blog:
This book was full of things that weren't fully explained and character traits I just hate. Kestra is that MC who is too defiant and stubborn for her own good, so selfish and arrogant, and believes that she can do it all. She always thinks she's right, and that she can save the world, and I hate it. And the relationship, just ugh no please. The only redeeming quality about this book was her relationship with Darrow. I appreciated th
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scholastic
Kestra Dallisor has been summoned home by her father, a garrison of soldiers ensuring her compliance. Upon her journey, Kestra is captured by the Corack, a rebellion alliance and escorted to her father's palatial residence in Highwyn as handmaiden and footsoldier. The Corack alliance are pursuing the Olden Blade, an artefact to subjugate the immortal Lord Endrick and his oppressive reign.

Sixteen year old Kestra Dallisor is a formidable and coarsened young woman, ostracised by her father to the d
C.P. Cabaniss
I really hate how this read ended up for me. The False Prince is one of my favorite novels, so I was very excited to get into another fantasy by Jennifer Nielsen. Unfortunately, this one did not work.

DNF at page 266 of 388.

I received a signed ARC of this at Yallfest in 2017.

I was really excited to get into this book. I didn't even really know what it was about, aside from sparse descriptions, but it sounded like a lot of fun. And what I have appreciated in Nielsen's other books is the vivid char
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Haha, I finished in two days. 😁😁

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 3/5
Storytelling: 3/5
Prose: 3/5
Romance: 4/5
Aesthetics: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Okay, so this book was about to be a two-star book for me in the beginning. I hated Kestra and honestly didn't care what happened to her until more of her secrets were coming out and more about her personality and what she hid deep down came out.

Then I realized Kestra and I are a lot alike.

Those are the types of characters that, no matter if I like them as a
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Reeeally want the second book now!! :P
Aug 08, 2018 added it
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
This book started out so promising with the premise of a kidnapped girl who holds the secrets to secure a legendary weapon to kill an evil immortal king. Sounds pretty original and exciting, right? I was in the middle of reading some amazing books when I picked this up on audiobook, so this one might not have had a fighting chance considering all the other options that it was up against for my attention. But I stuck with it through to the end hoping that something would just pop out and make me ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, read2018
Have you ever read a book where you felt it that it had so much potential but then it disappointed you . I really wanted to like this book and there were moments which I did but....


The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen follows a young noble lady Kestra Dallisor, who is ambushed on her way back home. The reason why Kestra is targeted is because her father is the right-hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick. The ones that ambushed Kestra want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blad, that could
Jill Williamson
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was super excited to get my hands on an advanced reader copy of The Traitor's Game by Jennifer Nielsen. I loved her False Prince trilogy, and I was eager to read her newest book. I really enjoyed it. Her characters and world building kept me enthralled as I whipped through this fantasy adventure.

The story is about Kestra, a nobleman's daughter, who is kidnapped and forged to help a group of rebels infiltrate her castle home and search for a magical knife they hope will enable them to kill the
Lila (Hardcover Haven)
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
hahahahaha NOPE! i can't do it anymore--DNF at 30%
this was so heavy-handed, cliche, and overdramatic that it became truly ridiculous. it was instalove TO THE MAX (!!!) with a near kiss at approximately 20%! not only that, but kestra begins to question her life-long, ingrained beliefs about politics after one incredibly MINOR brush with a girl in the market who tries to steal food. further, kestra's always super smug about being "smart," but i swear to god, she's one of the most naive and flat-ou
May 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, fantasy, arcs
I received a short preview of this book, so I only read about the first 20 pages or so. Nonetheless, I can’t see myself picking up the whole book so I’m going to mark this as a DNF. In the part that I read, there was a lot of telling and not showing, and it was really annoying to read. Plus, I really don’t like it when the YA heroines feel like they have to explicitly tell the reader she is tough and is not at all ladylike, heaven forbid! And that is what seemed to be happening with this book... ...more
nat. (semi-hiatus)
this book had so many (predictable) plot twists ... that i saw coming like ... a mile away. not to mention i found kestra extremely irritating!
Mar 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Maybe a 1.5 out of 5? I'm honestly disappointed in this book. I wanted so much to like it but had so many issues. the only saving grace for this book was the part right before the end, which I almost didn't make it to, because I came so close to DNFing this book. I was honestly shocked to find that this author has written so many other novels before this because I kept thinking throughout this book that it was written very poorly. The characters felt underdeveloped and I didn't care about them.. ...more
OMG!! This was so freakin good and I need the next book now and I don’t know when it’s going to come out 😫 Totally recommend!
Nicole Dust
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is why you should pay attention to your two Cardinal Rules of book-buying * , Olivia. You brought it on yourself, you foolish girl.

*sigh* Reading this felt similar to reading Scarlet. There was less smut, but the frustrating sensation of disliking an author's writing, lamenting the general "overdone-ness" of so many parts, while still being ever-so-slightly, maddeningly interested in the plot was the same.

I honestly would have liked reading more about Kestra's time in the Lava Fields -- tha
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
The traitors game ⭐

Just because she was kidnaped that doesnt mean she is going to make things easy for them.
She isnt helping them, she is helping her if they fail then She dies. So she has motivation for them to not fail entirely.

It was unique yet just like everything but I really enjoyed it. It was fast paced, action packed and I got through it really quick. I was invested in their lives and what happened to them.

I loved how they fell in love. It was expected but I loved it!
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Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has f ...more

Other books in the series

The Traitor's Game (3 books)
  • The Deceiver's Heart (The Traitor's Game, #2)
  • The Warrior's Curse (The Traitor's Game #3)
“I motioned Kestra over to the table. “Come eat.” “After Trina has breathed on it? I’d rather eat off the floor.” 4 likes
“All right,” I said. “We’ll agree to trust each other.” It was a lie.” 2 likes
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