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Summary

From the number one best-selling author of The Binding.

If everything in your life was based on a lie, would you risk it all to tell the truth? 

At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters. 

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before. Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls....

©2020 Bridget Collins (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"The Betrayals is a beautiful dystopian romance about coming of age as an artist and the love affair artistic collaboration can be, while also being an acute political novel about the fate of spiritual values in a totalitarian system. A rich delight." (Sandra Newman)

"It’s just beautiful - written with such elegance and poise. What I love about Bridget's books is her ability to write the most magical worlds of escapism and yet anchor those worlds very much in today." (Joanna Cannon)

"She’s done it again: this is another triumph from the incomparable imagination of Bridget Collins. The Betrayals sinks its teeth into you and won’t let you go. It’s a mesmerising, intimate and ambitious story about art, love and what it means to be human. If you loved The Binding, you’ll adore The Betrayals." (Erin Kelly)

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What listeners say about The Betrayals

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit of a marathon

The Binding was my absolute favourite listen of last year and I have the utmost admiration for Bridget Collins’ writing, however this was a really difficult listen. I saw it through to the end - determined to love it - but i found it long-winded with WAY too much internal dialogue. I often found myself feeling frustrated and wanting the characters or the story line to ‘just get on with it.’ It also did just feel like someone was reading a book to me - and I was put off by some of the voices put on. Maybe we were just too spoiled by Carl Prekopp’s narration of The Binding and I expected too much!

8 people found this helpful

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Intriguing but not as emotionally engaging as The Binding

I find the writing style with an over-use of similes a bit awkward and irksome, but the wonderfully imaginative concepts more than make up for it.

I didn’t fall in love with this book like I (initially reluctantly) fell head over heels in love with The Binding. The plot mystery was easier to figure out, and I was less emotionally engaged. But it was still a very enjoyable listen, and I’m still trying to get my head around exactly what a grand jeu is!

3 people found this helpful

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Another amazing story by Bridget

I read the binding & knew I couldn’t move on from it. If captured me & made me think for weeks afterwards about what next. I’ve never had a book grip me like that so I HAD to download the betrayals to help me move on from the binding.

Well this didn’t disappoint, it takes a few chapters to get into it but once you’re in you can’t get out & im now left wondering what’s next! How do you do that? Is every book going to keep me up at night because they just end and I need to know more! A truly amazing book from start to finish

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

I loved the Binding from the same author, it’s one of my favourite books, so was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, for me, it didn’t live up to my expectations. The characters aren’t very likeable, the ending felt incomplete and the descriptions of what the ‘game’ is are difficult to visualise. I wouldn’t recommend this one but would definitely recommend The Binding.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and unusual

Bridget Collins is my new favourite author. her books are so unusual and gripping till the end.

2 people found this helpful

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Really great listen

I really like this author's work. Some may find this a bit slower but personally I loved listening to it, just like The Binding. Tried not to get bogged down by the detail of the Grand Jeu and just enjoyed her writing.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent and highly original

i loved this book. i found the setting fascinating and the idea of tThe Great Game intriguing. The main characters are complex and not always likeable but I was fully engaged with them at all times. The background of The Party and politucsl repression was both sinister and thought provoking.

The narrators are excellent but in places the editing is awful between chapters. No space has been left and the new chapter begins on the last sylabble of the previous chapter. The poigancy of thr ending was completely ruined by this.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous and captivating

Bridget Collins is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. She builds such fascinating worlds which somehow are familiar enough to to be recognisable but are unique and totally engrossing. I loved the originality of the story and the flawed true to life characters. Brilliantly performed.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful story

beautiful story couldn't stop listening as enjoyed it so much . Really is as the fantastic as the Binding( which i thought was going to be impossible) i would definitely recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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Most enjoyable

Interesting storyline and fabulous narration.
Only way it could have been improved would be a more detailed ending.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Biblio
  • 21-03-21

Suffering through it - don’t care for the characters/story nor narration

Chapter 1: Forced myself to get through the ENTIRE chapter about a rat which I’m still confused about whether this is a girl or a rat. Almost gave up and returnes the book at chapter 1 but thought I’d persist.
Léo: was called ‘Arrogant, unkind, self absorbed’ by another character which is nicer than what I would have written. Initially thought the woman called him Theo then realised it’s Leo. Still can’t draw up any sympathy for him. Don’t like the narrator’s accent for Léo - doesn’t fit what a Minister for Culture would sound like to me. Couldn’t even cooperate with his class mate who is top ranked for a grand jeu game - so immature and somewhat emotionally bullies the other. No redeeming qualities that I’ve discovered
Grand jeu: what a cop out to say you can’t describe the game and then say it isn’t music, math etc but never really paint what it is
Magister: every single time this word is narrated ‘ma-gi-ster’ I wince (g like guitar not g like magic magician; if this was the intended pronunciation the maggister like maggot would make more sense). That’s a lot of wincing in this book.
Contemplating whether to DNF and return but still trying to continue to listen to whether this is the same book that some rate so highly

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  • Karen McCarthy / Brenda Dass
  • 24-11-20

Beautiful performances, story not quite at the level of The Binding

A very entertaining read, and beautifully performed. The idea of the grand jeu is intoxicating. The story is often a little strained though, and certain interesting characters are underdeveloped.