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The Deceiver's Heart

(The Traitor's Game #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Critically acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen delivers the gripping second installment of her New York Times bestselling epic young adult fantasy.
In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller The Traitor's Game, Kestra Dallisor has finally gained possession of the Olden Blade. With the dagger in her control, she attempts to destroy the tyrannical Lord Endrick.
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Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Scholastic Audio Books (first published February 26th 2019)
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Chloe In the back of The Traitor's Game, there was a sneak peek of The Deceiver's Heart, and it said "book 2 of the trilogy." So this will be a trilogy.

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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R.F. Gammon
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reread #1: Yes, I did just read this AGAIN.

All I can say is that my children had better have a happy ending.

Also, Simon and Kestra’s theme, in my humble opinion, is “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence.



I'm not sure why this series is so unpopular/disliked. It's fantastic. It's SO GOOD. The characters are the greatest thing ever, the worldbuilding is impeccable, and while the writing style is imperfect, it's still AWESOME.
Serine Majid
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! IT COULD NOT END LIKE THAT!!!!! THERE IS COMPLETELY NONONONONO WAY THAT THE BOOK ENDS LIKE THAT!!! I THINK THERE IS A 3RD BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's so wonderful and sad and much more stuff I can't say. If there is no continuation, then I don't know what to do... I was crying and there were many flows of emotions! I didn't hear that there was a continuation but I don't think I heard it because THIS book isn't really out yet... Now I'll have to wait a couple of years to wait and see i ...more
I didn't really love The Traitor's Game, but after seeing this synopsis, I was intrigued, but unfortunately, this book let me down.

A lot seemed to take place in this book, but the action only happened within a page or two and then it was over and there was a lot of nothing happening the pages between.

I wanted the big plots to happen over more just a page, it felt rushed and I wanted action descriptions of what was happening, instead of just them fighting and then they're all done and everything
Monika Awad
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
SO SO SOOOO GOOOOOD! MY GOOOOOOOOD! First off, it was beautifully written. Mrs. Nielsen's word choice really helped me feel what the characters are feeling. 2nd, the plot was AMAZANNNG!! All drama and the tea 😉😉. The characters are phenomenally written and described and I really enjoyed the two POV's. But, like any other great book, there is a few weak points in the story. First, THE ENDING! PLEASEEEEE if you're an author, don't end the book like, oh for instance, WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER BEING T ...more
Vanessa Wojciechowski
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, must-get
THERE IS NO WAY THIS SERIES IS OVER! I can't wrap my head around the ending and will probably cry about it for the rest of my life. I don't think its over, and I don't want it to be.
And Jennifer A. Nielsen does it again! The characters, the highlights of all of her books, the setting, so real I feel like I am there, and the plot, which leaves me gasping for air with every twist and turn.
No description can describe how good this book is.

There were a few tiny minuscule things which I didn’t quite love including The romance. I felt like it was a little more like a typical YA romance than her normal ones which I love and at times rather descriptive during a few small kissing sc
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
The first book was disappointing, but perhaps this one can redeem the series for me
Summi A.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is part 2 to the book The Traitors Game. It came out very recently on Feb. 26th 2019 and I am guessing by the ending there is going to be a 3rd book as well. So if you are not patient you should wait for the whole series to come out and then read it.
Sarah Reese
Aug 19, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, up-next
The first book was bad.... but JUST good enough for me to believe that book 2 will magically fix all of my issues and improve the series for me.
Will likely DNF if it isn't better by the halfway mark.

Please please please don't be disappointing.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just don't see how this series is going to end well. These people can't win for anything. But I really enjoyed the book.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
The story picks up right where we left Kestra as she takes the Olden Blade to defeat Lord Endrick once and for all. What ensues is more action, treachery, courage, and romance. I liked this one as well as the first. I am also happy to report a dragon is introduced!
So I'm reading this series mostly to see if it gets any better. A ringing endorsement, I know. I loved The False Prince series by the same author, but her Mark of the Thief series wasn't nearly as good; there was a lot of useless running around and yelling basically "things have to be this way!" Unfortunately, this series has been much the same, although it trades the Roman background of Mark of the Thief for complex political machinations in a fantasy word that is dominated by one uber-powerful ...more
J Mccarragher
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlitexchange

“Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.” The Deceiver’s Heart is a fast-paced fantasy that keeps you guessing from the beginning to the end. Book II of the Traitor’s Game Series by Jennifer Nielsen, the story continues with Kestra looking to destroy Lord Endrick. Though she has the opportunity, things do not go as planned and soon enough, she finds herself under his spell and without the Olden Blade. It’s a love story between Kestra and
Elena Dean
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Deceiver's Heart by Jennifer A. Nielson is superb and a worthy second addition to the Traitor's Game trilogy. Jennifer Nielsen writes the book effectively as I was completely submerged into her world of fantasy from the first page until the last. Not only is the book entertaining, but it is also emotionally investing as I connected with the characters and especially with the main character, Kestra. She writes this book skillfully as her characters seem to come to life and how the effects of ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Deceiver’s Heart by Jennifer Nielsen, 384 pages. Scholastic, Feb 2019. $18

Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (fighting)



Kestra accepted her role as the Infidante and tried to use the Olden Blade to kill Lord Endrick. When her plan fails, Endrick takes her memories to warp her into his puppet. When she is again kidnapped by the Coracks, she has no idea who she was, nor who Simon is to her. In order to restore her memories, she mus
Stephanie A.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, kids
After "The Traitor's Game," I thought I knew where Kestra and Simon were heading. I was sure this book would be about Kestra and Simon storming Woodcourt together and ending the life of Lord Endrick.

Well...not exactly.

This story had everything I look for in a fantasy: battles, magic, even rumors of a dragon. Kestra's journey was epic in breadth. I hated the torture Kestra had to endure through most of the book, but only because I sympathized with her. Simon's journey...oh, how my heart ached fo
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Due to the timing of my reading of Part 1, I was able to read Part 2 immediately following making it one long narrative. The advantage to this is that all of the key players are very fresh in my mind. I am also in a good position to compare one to the other. I did like the second part better. Reading the story from the POV of Simon and Kestra is more interesting when they are not in the same place. When they were together so much in the first book, I found it more difficult to distinguish their ...more
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Deceiver's Heart is the sequel to The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I was excited to see book two listed on Edelweiss. I really enjoyed book one and couldn't understand why so many didn't like it. Nielsen is an excellent storyteller, but she has a way of making you feel apart of her novels. Simon and Kestra are tied to each other throughout both novels. Personally, I would recommend these to tweens and teens who enjoy romance with dystopian fantasy settings. The relationship between ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! finished this book in two days, with school and work in between. One of my first thoughts after finishing it was perhaps I love this book more than the False Prince...and that thought scared me because I *really* love the False Prince! But it’s true, this book was amazing. Jennifer Nielsen did a great job of creating sympathetic characters and influencing my emotions.

The ending has me on the edge of my seat, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for both Simon and
Anika G.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewers
The Deceivers Heart was a book with barely any plot, and things jumped so quickly to the next it left the readers puzzled as to what the heck was going on. Everything got soooooo much worse for the characters, and I'm not a person who needs a happy ending, but this was worse on every level. I really like Jennifer Nielsen as an author, but as with some of her other series, the first book blows you away, and when you read the second book, it's a total disappointment. The book would probably have b ...more
Julie Overpeck aka Mrs. O's Library
Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange and Scholastic for a preview copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but when I do, I want it to be as well-written as this one is. I wish I had read The Traitor’s Game first. Experienced readers will still pick up enough details to fill in the first part of the story, however. (Except that I’m still not sure what an oropod is). The reader doesn’t ever really know who to trust, which is key to moving the story forward. The plot
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Before I begin, I want to let you all know that I am a huge fan of Jennifer A. Nielsen. I have read every book she's written and heartily enjoyed each one. They're unique and capture my attention and admiration.

With that said, I was disappointed in this book. I have a few issues with this book. I didn't particularly enjoy the first book in this series (The Traitor's Game) either, but the second was worse. So many times throughout this book, the characters were cornered into making a decision an
Becca Mee
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book, more than even the first one, and believe me, I loved the Traitors Game so much. From the get go, The Deceiver’s Heart gets your heart racing. It’s jam packed with action from the first to the last page. You can’t help but root for Kestra and Simon, and the character development is stunning. This book is heartbreakingly good, fresh and original. I highly recommend this series and am dying for the next book already!
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I honestly love this book. It goes at it again with the tension when you turn each page and some amazing plot twist. It gets you exited for the next one to come out. I loved both books but if i had to choose it would be this one. Its so amazing. And something that I have realized personally. That even though its only about 300 pages long. It feels like im reading a 800 page book. Since it does a great job at telling a story in just 300 pages.
Patti Sabik
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a duet or more, so I was thrilled when the book ended with much more to be hashed out. These characters were wonderful with so many secrets and hidden alliances. Magic and dragons adds so much more to where the plot can go. This series has it all...strong female and male protagonists, wars, intrigue, betrayal, romance, magic, dragons, and nice dirty prisons! What more could one want for?
Mar 11, 2019 is currently reading it
This book picks up with Kestra Dinosaur on the action immediately where we left off. Although having your memory erased feels like a complete violation, I don't like this plot point. Also it changes her character completely but I guess she can fall in love with Simon again. now she is an annoying weakling priss
Aalena Miller
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing!! I love the two perspectives and all the twists and turns and just everything about this book! That ending killed me though!! Please tell me there is going to be a book number three because if there is I’m going to start saving money now!! I’m definitely going to read this book and the first one like a million times and in Jesus name the third one!!
Carol Guthrie
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The storyline for this series is solid. Character development is great. I look forward to the next installment.

I won a free copy of this book (@IreadYA) - which has no bearing on the enjoyment factor. I signed up for the contest because my family has already made it a habit of purchasing Jennifer's books - she is a fantastic author.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nielsen is one of my favorite authors. She beautifully wrote a sequel and I loved the humorous lines. The story is told from Kestra’s and Simon’s point of view and I love reading about both of them! I just can’t believe the ending! I never thought it would end like that! Hopefully, Nielsen ends the trilogy better and the third book comes out soon! I want to find out what happens!
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't know what direction it wanted the plot to go in. It was the epitome of romance overshadowing the start of a magic-fuelled war. The main characters both became annoying and I stopped caring. The predictability was boring.

I'll probably read the third book just to see how the trilogy ends, but it won't be high on my TBR...
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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

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The Traitor's Game (2 books)
  • The Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game, #1)