I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
on May 2nd 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Source: the Author
WHEN VIKTOR AND ROMULUS, two peasant boys, dig into their town’s strange past, they awaken the wrath of a mysterious overlord. As the blood brothers struggle to survive, their search for answers takes them through gambling parlors, fortune-teller dens, and moonlit forests full of monsters and men alike. But even with the help of their friends, can they escape the dark experiments that their foe is creating in Staryi Castle?
THE SILENT DEAL is an explosive mix of mystery, adventure, and magic, whose wide cast includes gypsies, gamblers, fire-jugglers, and thieves. The Card Game awaits…
WINNER of 'Outstanding Fiction' at the 2013 California Writers Con.
The Silent Deal is the story of two serfs, blood brothers, who have a secret. One of them holds a playing card, punishable by hanging–a fact the other knows only too well after witnessing a hanging for just such a reason. They learn that there is more to this rule than just playing cards, that there is in fact a silent deal that commands the rest of the townsfolk to keep the children in the dark about just why the cards are so against the law, and what exactly is going on in the small town of Aryk.
Our two main characters, Romulus and Viktor, are fun and interesting characters and are well-developed. They have some back-story to lend some fullness to the, and their friendship is the pinnacle of the story and what makes things really stand out. They are willing to go through so much for their friendship and it works out really well. Some of the minor characters aren’t very well-developed, but since this is only the first in a series and they weren’t really the focus of the story it’s forgivable. I’m hopeful that we will see more of them in later books though because they turned out to be unique and fun characters to have around.
The pacing could probably have used some work, as there were a few slower places, but overall the action picked up and kept the story going. And the ending was a shock, but led to a satisfying end with room for the sequel, The Magic Trick. On the other hand, this book could easily be left as a stand alone with an open ending. The Silent Deal is gone, and life can move on. I would have liked to see more of Viktor’s family at the end, especially knowing that Viktor avoided them for reasons unknown. but either way it was a good ending to a good book.