Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death is a YA historical novel with a mythological twist by Martha Brockenbrough.

Throughout the centuries Love and Death have selected their players for the great Game. And always, always, Death wins…

This time new players have been carefully chosen as they lay as infants in 1920. One a white baby boy, Henry Bishop, adopted by a wealthy family with a secured future within their expectations. The other a black baby girl, Flora Saudade, orphaned almost as suddenly as she was born and to be raised by her grandmother.

Neither knows of the Game they are now a part of.

In 1937, Henry is looking to get a college scholarship during the Great Depression and Flora dreams of soaring the skies like Amelia Earhart while singing in her family’s jazz club at night.

Their fateful meeting is the catalyst to a Game like no other.

A Game that may take turns that even Love and Death do not foresee…

The Game of Love and Death was an elegant, ambitious story told from a classic yet fresh mythological point of view. It plays with the idea of humans being the playthings of immortal gods – yet is far more than that.

Love and Death are each fully fleshed, captivating characters of their own. They are dimensional, compassionate and enigmatic. Their stakes in the Game are ambiguous and fluid. They are truly entrancing to read about.

Then we have Henry and Flora – two young people placed in a position to fall for each other when such a thing is unheard of. The odds are stacked against them from the beginning. Yet the way in which it’s written, you ache with them and yearn with them.

These are two characters whose connection may have been chosen by immortal gods but whose choices are all their own. Even the secondary, side characters – such as Henry’s cousin Ethan and even Ethan’s parents to a lesser degree, have more depth than expected.

The Game of Love and Death is a lyrical, memorable, sweeping and gripping novel that is also beautifully romantic. Yet more proof that YA can transcend the genre and be utterly readable to any age.

And, in the case of The Game of Love and Death, should be.

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