A Matter of Life and Death & A Game Without Rules

Flying Eye. (Curse of the Chosen). May 2022. 216p. pap. $20. ISBN 9781910620830.
Gr 9 Up–The Great Chief Matarka has died, and in accordance with her last will and testament, a contest will be held to announce her successor. From all over her realm, figures of great influence—leaders of the military, the church, and industry—have come to participate in the tests that are to be conducted to name the heir to Matarka’s chiefdom. And so begins a sprawling, high-stakes adventure. Some of the participants are willing and eager to succeed, while others want no part of it but their very lives are on the line; this creates some engrossing internal conflict even as relationships and alliances are tested. The art is rich and detailed, with soft lines and colors that give the whole experience an otherworldly feel. While the dialogue can get heavy, the story never drags or feels wordy. Each character has a distinct personality, and every reader will have a favorite. Fans of high fantasy, especially those who have read the adventures of a certain boy wizard and now want something with more teeth to it, will enjoy this book. This is a new omnibus edition of Deacon’s Geis Vol. I: A Matter of Life and Death and Geis Vol. 2: A Game Without Rules, which were originally published as separate volumes in 2016.
VERDICT For fans of “Harry Potter” and other fantasy works, as well as “The Hunger Games,” who want something similar, this is a safe bet.

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