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The Betrayals

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,422 ratings  ·  382 reviews
If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?

At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns
ebook, 439 pages
Published November 12th 2020 by The Borough Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,422 ratings  ·  382 reviews

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Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
even though this book has the enchanting quality i have come to associate with BC thanks to her debut novel, ‘the binding,’ im still trying to figure out why i didnt love this as much.

this is an extremely atmospheric novel. with the abstract concept of the grand jeu, a tragic death, a nefarious government party, and elusive characters, theres a mysterious feel to everything. and i think its because the primary focus seems to be on the characters, which im not quite sure was the best decisio
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I do not know how Ms Collins does this but her writing and imagintion take me on a reading journey that is most unique and captivating.
The world in The Betrayals can be traced down to the dark times in history, with fascism and it ideas such as purity laws or authocratic rule, and yet, this is not strickly speaking a historical fiction. The tale of Claire, Leo and the Rat is an engaging story of choices they make, of courage, of mother's love, and of opportunism or opposition towards dictatorsh
Amalia Gkavea
‘’Tonight the moonlight makes the floor of the Great Hall into a game board. Every high window casts a bright lattice, dividing the hall into black and white, squares and margins. The ranks of wooden benches face one another on three sides; in the space between them, there is nothing but straight shadows on stone, an abstract in pen and ink. It is as still as a held breath.’’

In a country ruled by the Party, a minister who has fallen out of favour returns to the place that marked his course i
Emer (A Little Haze)
I loved Bridget Collins’ adult debut The Binding so there was never any doubt that I would read her second adult offering and oooh was it gooooooood.

To me Collins’ novels are all about the experience of reading. That journey. Somehow she manages to suck me into these worlds she creates, worlds almost like ours...but not quite.

It’s difficult to describe what The Betrayals is about. I actually went into the read completely blind. I didn’t read any blurb, promotional matter etc. And I love that I
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
At the end of the novel, Bridget Collins notes that the story, and particularly her Grand Jeu, was influenced by Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game. Now if I'd remembered my university reading of that book, this one would have made a hell of a lot more sense. My Latin did, finally, come in handy when deciphering 'Magister Ludi' (Master/Teacher of the Game), but that's where my sense of accomplishment ended. The 'grand game' is a complex mix of music and math, philosophy, religion, and life itse ...more
Dannii Elle
The grand jeu is an inexplicable and indescribable game and the students of Montverre Academy are tasked with creating it.

Leo is in his second year and has been given a second chance at creation but the game, for him, is already tinged with grief and guilt. Can the glory and greatness it also promises surpass these feelings? Claire is the only female tutor in this male, academic world and has to prove that despite her gender and tragic family history she is worthy of a place in this elite world.
Brenda Waworga
Wooow… this is so disappointing! I almost don’t want to believe this is the same author who wrote “The Binding” one of my fav standalone book on 2019, maybe the high expectation I put on this book is the “problem” why I didn’t enjoy this

There are 4 POVs in this book (The Rat, The Magister Ludi, Leo and the past Leo) and I can only enjoyed 1 of them, the other 3 felt so unnecesarry or else… felt so bland and boring

The plot is extremely slow with very descriptive writing style (esp The Rat’s POV)
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
On my blog.

Rep: bi mc, minor side character with bipolar disorder(?)

CWs: mentions and descriptions of suicide

Galley provided by publisher

I wanted to read The Betrayals based on my love of The Binding. This too promised a historical fantasy with a slowburn plot and a romance at the centre. Great, I thought. I’m certain to enjoy it.

And I did enjoy it. I definitely liked the story, namely the writing and worldbuilding, granted, but I liked it. I just didn’t like it as much as I was hoping to.

Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins was my first read-a-long with Tandem Collective Global and I really enjoyed the interaction with my fellow readers. It was great to talk about what was happening and try to figure out the plot with others. We had a great group and some insightful conversations.

This was a beautifully written book with a gorgeous cover. I was excited to dive in and read. I am glad I read with a group, otherwise I may have given up. This has to be one of the most frustrating books t
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bridget Collins returns with an enchanting, original and multilayered story, which is even more enticing and alluring than The Binding. At Montverre, an ancient and elite academy hidden high in the mountains, society's best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu--the great game--an arcane and mysterious competition that combines music, art, math, poetry, and philosophy. Léo Martin once excelled at Monteverre, but lost his passion for scholarly pursuits after a violent tragedy. ...more
*3.5 stars*

The Betrayals tells the tale of the ongoings at the all male school Montverre, that practices the beloved grand jeu, meanwhile exploring outside impact on the school from an increasingly hostile society.

We follow Lèo Martin (a disgraced politician and former school pupil of Montverre), Magister Dryden (the first female teacher in the history of Montverre) Lèo’s journal entries from his school days and occasionally from the character the Rat.

The Betrayals is an intricately composed
Anna Luce

While I did have some issues with certain aspects of The Binding, I did find it to be an absorbing read. The Betrayals promises a similarly generically historical setting with a far less compelling story (I had to slog my way through the first four chapters of this book). There is an overuse of the words 'grand jeu', so that these words are used indiscriminately, appearing in weird contexts were they don't even make sense (feel free to disagree). Also, I was irritated by the belated explanati
♡ jules ♡
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

[screeches into the fucking sun]
Theresa Smith
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Binding by Bridget Collins was a standout release for me and as is the natural order of things, this second adult release from Bridget Collins was always going to have a heavy amount of expectation attached to it. The similarity between these two novels stops at the gorgeously coordinated covers. The Betrayals is a very different read to The Binding, another highly imaginative and uniquely crafted story, yes, but not quite as easy to get wrapped up in – for me, at least.

Everything within The
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book.....even more than I enjoyed The Binding!! Enigmatic, unique, beautiful prose, intriguing characters that just sucked me in from the very first chapter.
The mysterious 'Grand Jeu' is never fully explained throughout the book and although I am none the wiser at the end of the book than I was at the beginning, the mystery of the 'Grand Jeu', for me, only added to the atmospheric intrigue of this book.
I can see it being a 'Marmite' book, you'll either love it or hate it! I absolu
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
Was this book intriguing? Yes. Did I know what was going on? No, not really. There were many interesting strands to this book but somehow they didn’t make a whole story. I finished the book feeling dissatisfied as a reader and disappointed as a fan of this author’s previous book. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
Rachel Hall
At thirty-two and the son of a scrapyard owner, Léo Martin, has risen to the illustrious heights of Minister for Culture after graduating from all-male Montverre, an exclusive national academy that is centred around honing excellence in the country’s national game: the grand jeu. An ill-advised policy disagreement sees Léo cut adrift and exiled to his alma mater with a thinly veiled threat that the government heavies are watching him. None too pleased to be back given the memories of his fierces ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Bridget Collins, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction The Borough Press and NetGalley for the chance to read The Betrayals.

I would recommend this to: My fantasy-loving colleague.

“There’s a silence, like the gap between two ticks of a clock.
Then she turns away, unable to look at his face.

Léo was once a student at Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, where students learn an arcane and mysterious game. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning
Janet Brown
I liked Bridget Collins' first book for adults, The Binding, very much. It was an excellent example of how to do intelligent yet accessible historical/fantasty fiction: complex and gripping, with great characters who the reader immediately cared about, and brilliant world building. So I was excited to be given the opportunity to read The Betrayals by the publisher and NetGalley and was sure I'd be in for a treat.

Sadly, I was disappointed. The Betrayals was needlessly dense and wore its learning
Nov 22, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
(p64) I think if I ever see the words 'grand jeu' again I may just scream. This was a buddy read with a fellow Vee, but we were both shocked by how different this story is in comparison with Bridget's previous book, The Binding. This was a mess, and was trying way to hard to be mysterious and articulate which just fell flat. ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I was so excited to receive an arc of this I think I squealed, I love Bridget Collins work and this was no exception. An engrossing read, beautifully written, the writing is so completely amazing I just fall into her words. Magical and spellbinding, the characters and story will draw you in and leave you wantIng more and turning pages late into the night. Absolutely amazing and one of my favourites this year.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bridget Collins's first novel for adults, The Binding, was one of my favourite reads of 2019. Its structure worked so perfectly with its themes, and it combined YA energy with quieter, more reflective prose. Her follow-up, The Betrayals, is both more uneven and more ambitious. Inspired by Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game, it imagines an isolated school, Montverre, where young men train in the mysterious art of the 'grand jeu', a combination of mathematics, music and philosophy, writing their ...more
Elle K
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have absolutely zero idea how to review this one. CW: suicide

I wanna preface by saying although I didn't enjoy this one, a lot of people definitely are enjoying it! If you think this is your kinda thing I'd urge you to check out more positive reviews cause I think me and this book just didn't vibe well together.

Ultimately, I've barely any idea what this book was about. Go read the description. There's a school, yes. And a love, or loves, sort of? There's a game that is never explained but is
Nov 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Nothing about this narrative sat right with me at all.
It’s the 1930’s Leo Martin has worked his way up. Born a son of a scrap yard owner he became the Minister of Culture after graduating from the prestigious academy Montverre, where the scholars play a game called the Grand jeu. Honing the skills of Mathematics, philosophy, music and religion. But after disagreeing some polices; he is exiled back to Montverre. The story delves back into past when he first became a student at the academy and built his reputation and passed with flying colours. Earn ...more
sweet peas
May 20, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
THE COVER!! and the premise?? can't wait for this to be one of my favourite 2020 reads 😌👊

P.S.: The Binding 🤝 The Betrayals (beautiful covers squad)
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
The Binding by Bridget Collins was a reading highlight in 2019 and I loved it so much it made my Top 5 Books of 2019 list. As soon as I learned a new book The Betrayals was being published in 2020, it immediately became one of my most hotly anticipated books of the year. I even placed a pre-order so that I could enjoy the limited edition signed hardcopy with gold foiling and sprayed edges from Waterstones.

I can't remember the last time I pre-ordered a book but I also requested a review copy, so
Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
“The grand jeu is not a game. It is the opposite of a game. It is our way of paying attention to something outside ourselves. And what is outside ourselves - whatever truly exists is the divine. We remake the world so that we can submit to it; and what we encounter, the act of playing the grand jeu, is the truth.”
Léo Martin, the son of an industrialist, is accepted to Montverre Academy to learn the grand jeu “an arcane and mysterious contest.” Léo’s game is all show and artifice, but when he
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My hopes for this book were rather high as Bridget Collins' The Binding was my favourite book of 2019. Sadly I was left somewhat underwhelmed by The Betrayals.

The problems I had with this book are that, firstly, the protagonist Leo is arrogant, sexist and selfish and, while he learns some lessons throughout the book, it was not enough to turn him into a character I wanted to root for.

Secondly, the importance of "grand jeu" was not sufficiently explained. It is described as a game of intellect
Megan Pattie
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having been one of many booksellers who absolutely adored The Binding, I received my free reading copy of The Betrayals with great excitement. It was impossible not to compare it to The Binding while reading, but Collins has brought a truly original story to the table once again, which absolutely stands up alongside her amazing debut, and is a fantastic novel in its own right. Her world-building in this is so incredibly strong that a day after finishing the book I am still wandering the halls of ...more
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Bridget Collins has works written under the name B.R Collins.

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