The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well — and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.
The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what — and who — it is they’re fighting for.
After three years in exile, Kestra is abducted by a group of rebels. She is forced to find and bring back a legendary blade that may not even exist. But Kestra must go along with her orders or her guard and handmaiden may suffer. As Kestra learns more about the Olden Blade and her own heritage, everything comes into question.
The Traitor’s Game is the first in a new YA fantasy series. Kestra is a strong female protagonist – likable, savvy, and definitely not a damsel in distress. There is a complex love interest with a conflicted captor. Full of drama, intrigue, suspense, mystery, and a bit of magic – this is a promising start to a must-read series. The story has many unpredictable twists along the way to an ending that made me eager for the next installment.