A mysterious game, secrets and some plot twists…
There’s a silence, like the gap between two ticks of a clock.
Then she turns away, unable to look at his face.
Léo was once a student at Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, where students learn an arcane and mysterious game. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning.
Claire is the first woman to serve as Montverre’s Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses a connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.
As secrets whisper in the walls and the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, will Léo discover the truth about Claire – and will that truth destroy them both?
Bridget Collins has such a beautiful and intriguing way of writing that you cannot help be drawn deeply into her stories.
The Betrayals is no different.
Set in mysterious academy called Montverre where people are trained to participate in the mysterious grand jeu. The grand jeu is never really explained in the story but more like it has been eluded to, from what I can understand about it, is that it seems to be a game with many subjects including history, philosophy, maths and music. It’s not for us to know, it only makes sense if you’re a competitor.
The story centres around Léo Martin, a failed politician who has been sent back to Montverre where he was trained to live out his life there in study of the grand jeu. More interesting though, the previously male only position of Magister Ludi is now held by a mysterious woman called Claire Dryden, the only female Magister Ludi.
I really like Claire’s character but it is clear she is fearful of Léo’s presence and whether it means he has been sent by the government to spy on her and threaten her coveted position as Magister Ludi. Despite this though, the two are drawn to each other.
There are a few time jumps where we see how the events of the past has led to where we are now and that did take a bit of getting used to when reading but if you persevere through the book, you’ll be fine.
I loved the ‘are they friends or enemies’ trope with Carfax and Léo and how the events of their relationship had such an impact on Léo and his fear for returning to Montverre.
Another interesting character to mention is the ‘Rat’ who is the first character we meet. An unusual one but provides little tidbits of information and an interesting plot twist.
Overall, I did enjoy the book.
However, it IS a slow burner and did take a little longer to read than normal for me and admittedly, I do prefer the Binding to the Betrayals.
Perhaps this book deserves a second read. Much like a film, the second watch you’ll often find things you may have missed out and maybe we’ll have a better chance of understanding the game. A beautiful book, both inside and out.