From Claire North comes an audio exclusive. For the first time, all three novellas have been released as one edition, set in the ingenious and thrilling world of the Gameshouse.
Novella one: The Serpent. In 17th-century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse. There, fortunes are made and fortunes are broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun. But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league...a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide-and-seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles. Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman who is about to play may just exceed everyone's expectations.Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules....
Novella two: The Thief. In 1930s Bangkok, one higher league player has just been challenged to a game of hide and seek. The board is all of Thailand - and the seeker will use any means possible to hunt down his quarry - be it police, government, strangers or even spies....
Novella three: The Master. The Gameshouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of chess, backgammon - every game under the sun. But a select few who are picked to compete in the higher league know that some games are played for higher stakes - those of politics and empires, of economics and kings...And now, the ultimate player is about to step forward.
©2015 Claire North (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"Utterly readable, utterly believable and compelling...one of the fiction highlights of the decade." (Judy Finnigan on The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
"Beautiful and gripping." (Guardian on The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
After reading the first 15 lives I had high expectation for this. Very disappointed so far. Hard to stay awake!
I love Claire North's books and I love Peter Kenny's narration. If I was rich I would walk through the world and visit all the places brought out in this book, but as I'm not I feel enriched by the journey these two have taken me on.
Knitter, mother, explorer via books
I enjoyed listening to all 3 books individually and how they intertwined with one another.
The character development - you felt like you were privy to the game, and the characters developed in a way that you only saw what was relevant to the game at that time
I thought Peter Kenny was wonderful - he has a captivating voice and he made each character sound/feel different without being cheesy
Its all just a game!
Claire North has a knack for uncanny plotlines but the execution is superb. The story had me gripped throughout and even though there are a lot of things happening, it does leave you wanting for more, in a good way.
The idea of the Gameshouse is brilliant, and without giving any spoilers, it did have me thinking if I myself would enter it if I ever saw a door with a lion's head.
Peter Kenny does a wonderful job at the narration too making the whole experience a delightful one.
What a book. Just like her previous novels I found her plot drove me on and couldn't stop listening. Also massive respect to the beautiful reading by Peter Kenny.
I am a registered blind 70 year old male; lthough married I now live alone. I still have some sight, but all my reading is through audiobook
I have not had access to the print version but would say it would really have to go some to measure up to this team.
The Touch, and the First Fifteen Lives of Harry August are fascinating and rich in content, and were two of the reasons I purchased this novel.
I have no favourite because the plot was about the game rather than the characters.
Yes, and I wanted it to be longer.
Author and narrator are a match made in some editorial paradise.
Such a big scale! I maybe would have liked some more explanation as to how the higher league debts were paid, otherwise, I really cannot wait for what this author might bring us next time.
This series of novellas is another tour-de-force from Claire North. I found myself rewinding several times as I, perhaps like a Player in the Gameshouse itself, fought to keep on top of the complexities of the labyrinthine plot and the myriad locations.
Starting off as a seemingly simple piece of historical fiction, the novellas tantalisingly unwind to reveal something much bigger. The whole world becomes the canvas of a game to end all games.
The narration is spot-on, Peter Kenny manages accents for all kinds of nationalities and keeps up a relentless pace.
Having listened to all 3 of Claire North's audiobooks I'm convinced she is an immortal, time-travelling character from one of her own novels. No wonder she uses a pseudonym! How else can somebody so young be so seemingly well-traveled, knowledgeable and smart? Her prose convinces that she's intimate with all the places she evokes so effortlessly. Speaking as a mere Piece in her game, I can't wait to hear what's next...
The Gameshouse is a wierd place, but between the three stories, a strange group runs the world. The three stories are novellas in their own right, but with a few common threads running through them.
Having just finished the trilogy, I want to go back, as I now realise that The Serpent was the framing for The Master.
A definite worthwhile read, possibly not as gripping as 15 lives, but still stunning.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.