Game of Secrets was a highly entertaining read that not only quenched by historical fiction thirst, but also dealt with some interesting themes at the same time.
Felicity Cole sells flowers in the streets of Victorian London to feed herself and her young brother. But she has a close-guarded secret–her brother is a Tainted, born with special abilities that society fears and a shadowy organization called the Hunstsman scours the country to eliminate.
When Felicity becomes the target of one of these individuals, she discovers something horrible: she’s Tainted, too. Rescued by a mysterious gentleman on the eve of execution, she’s whisked away to a school funded by Queen Victoria, established to train selected Tainted into assassins in service of the crown.
Struggling to harness her incredible strength, speed, and agility, and despised by her classmates, all she wants is to use her new position to find a cure so she can be normal and reunited with her brother.
But with the Golden Jubilee fast approaching and the discovery that there’s a traitor in their midst, she has no choice but to embrace the one thing she’s been fighting all along.
I adored the intrigue and mystery in Game of Secrets. It’s like Foster walked straight into my head and said, let’s pull out some fantasy, Victorian London, and spies. Seriously. It’s that in a nutshell and that alone makes it so good. Can I go to spy school? Although not really because I’d be dead before I got there. I’d be assassinated in the carriage over. If you’ve been wanting something that combines all three of those aspects, then Game of Secrets is the book for you.
But wait, there’s more! Not only does it have all these plot elements working for it, but there’s this super cute sibling relationship at the heart of the book. Sure it’s used as motivation for some of Felicity’s actions, but she is a great older sibling. At the same time, something I really liked in Game of Secrets is that Felicity really has to re-think all she knows. She has this firm mentality of the Tainted and how they are perceived in society. And she has to realize that some of it, a lot of it, most of it, is wrong.
This reminded me of all those things I so firmly though, that I’ve also had to re-think. Sure I have larger examples about privilege, but what I really want to focus on is glasses. I grew up thinking glasses were supposed to make you less attractive. So I never wore them. And I felt really badly because there were all these things tied up with it: laziness, unprofessional, etc. ALL of which is bologna. So re-embracing my glasses was incredibly difficult, but also freeing. I could try to throw out all of this stuff and realize that I like wearing them. I know it’s a trivial example, especially in regard to Felicity. But it’s also a small way in which I could just get where she’s coming from.
Check out Game of Secrets on Goodreads.