Book Reviews

Review: The Fool’s Game by R.M. Dorn

If you have ever played a game of Dungeons and Dragons, or any fantasy role playing game, and wished you could get an even closer look at the characters and beasts within, you’re in luck. Dorn has written a novel that will fulfill your fantasy.


Our heroine, Charlie, has just been diagnosed with cancer. While there is a fairly good chance she will go into remission, when dealing with life and death, a chance is all that remains. Unsure of her future and reeling with the news, Charlie goes on a vacation. While window shopping, she comes across an elegant box, that she purchases on an impulse. However, this twist of fate has even deeper implications as a hidden drawer reveals a deck of cards unlike anything she is familiar with. This discovery sets into motion a chain of events, which involve her presence in the Game, a game that has been going on for centuries, played repeatedly by unseen forces. But this game is unlike any Charlie has ever played before, not only is it a battle between life and death, but one that could also offer her something more – a cure.


Now you can see how I was entranced by the synopsis for the book. But what met my eyes was even more than I expected. Fool’s Game is a book full of action, mystery, and intrigue. The plot continually keeps us guessing because we are thrown, like Charlie, headfirst into a game with rules we cannot even begin to glimpse. Enter in a plot full of monsters, subterfuge, and unlikely alliances. There is drama, battles, and even a touch of romance.

There are high stakes for everyone, but especially for Charlie. However, I enjoyed that we were able to see the other ‘players’ too. There are opportunities where we are treated to their perspective. This serves an important purpose for letting us know what else is happening on ‘the board’. But it allows us to get to know the characters, even if it’s only for a moment, and allowed a more holistic view.

The Concept Behind It

Beneath the plot and characters are some amazing concepts. There is the ground level of the game, the players and Charlie, and then this higher meta level above where we see a new round of ‘players’, the ones who hold the strings. Because of these different layers, it asks larger questions about fate. How do events play out in our own lives? Is it just a roll of the dice, or how can we impact these moments of chance? (Additionally the creation of the characters has an interesting concept behind it, a story within a story if you will. That’s all I will say).


The story is a little lacking in setting, and I wish we could have gotten more information about the side characters, but all in all this promises to be an entertaining adventure plot. It delivers on this, without spending too much time bogged down in the rules, or even the concepts behind the game. Overall, it is an entertaining read that fans of these role playing games are certain to enjoy. Even if you’ve never played, anyone that has ever wondered if our lives are merely pawns on a grander board will also enjoy!

You can pick up Fool’s Game from Amazon(US) and add it to your Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an  honest review from the publisher.


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