The Serpent: Gameshouse Novella 1

The Serpent: Gameshouse Novella 1

by Claire North

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In 17th Century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse.

There, fortunes are made and fortunes are broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.

Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman, who is about to play, may just exceed everyone's expectations.

Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316336000
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 11/03/2015
Series: Gameshouse , #1
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 485,226
File size: 655 KB

About the Author

Claire North is a pseudonym.

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The Serpent: Gameshouse Novella 1 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Serpent is the first book in the Games House trilogy by award-winning British author, Claire North. In early seventeenth century cosmopolitan Venice, Thene is given in marriage at fifteen, to a gambler who has soon gamed away her dowry and more. He takes her to the Games House where all manner of games and players are to be found. He continues to lose. She watches and eventually plays, plays well, and is invited into the Higher League. The game in which she participates there is like other games, but also not. A new Tribune is to be elected and four players each play their piece, one of the candidates for the Supreme Tribunal of Venice. To win the game, the player’s piece must be crowned King (elected Tribune). Each player is issued a mask, a letter and several other “pieces” represented by Tarot Cards, for use to achieve their goal. Thene’s candidate, Angelo Seluda, is not entirely sure she will be up to the task, but she assures him she plans to win: “This isn’t a game.” “Isn’t it? There are rules, boundaries, constraints on your action. Clear goals, tools to achieve them, a set table of rivals who must obey the same rules that you do if they want to reach the same end. The only difference between these events now unfolding and any other game is the scale of the board.” Thene is an excellent chess player and, just like chess, there are knights and bishops and castles and kings; in this case, they are real. Strategy, timing, tactics, all are essential for winning. North gives the reader a very cleverly plotted tale that unfortunately loses half a star of the potential 4.5-star rating for indulging in the annoying editorial affectation of omitting quote marks for speech. Two further books in this trilogy, The Thief and The Master, are bound to be interesting reads
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story, kept my interest all the way through. Unusual point of view..
1401dti More than 1 year ago
I loved Harry August and Touch.This is just as great! I was captivated. Could not put it down?