The Facefaker's Game

The Facefaker s Game For fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch a picaresque fantasy about a clever young beggar who bargains his way into an apprenticeship with a company of thieving magicians and uses his newfound sk

  • Title: The Facefaker's Game
  • Author: Chandler J. Birch
  • ISBN: 9781501147753
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Paperback
  • For fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, a picaresque fantasy about a clever young beggar who bargains his way into an apprenticeship with a company of thieving magicians and uses his newfound skills in a vendetta against a ruthless crime lord.Ashes lives in Burroughside the dirtiest, most crime ridden district in the huge city of Teranis His neighbors are gangs of fFor fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, a picaresque fantasy about a clever young beggar who bargains his way into an apprenticeship with a company of thieving magicians and uses his newfound skills in a vendetta against a ruthless crime lord.Ashes lives in Burroughside the dirtiest, most crime ridden district in the huge city of Teranis His neighbors are gangs of fellow orphans, homeless madmen, and monsters that swarm the streets at nightfall Determined to escape Burroughside, Ashes spends his days begging, picking pockets, and cheating at cards When he draws the wrath of Mr Ragged, Burroughside s brutal governor, he is forced to flee for his life, only to be rescued by an enigmatic man named Candlestick Jack.Jack leads a group of Artificers, professional magicians who can manipulate light with their bare hands to create stunningly convincing illusions Changing a face is as simple as changing a hat Ashes seizes an opportunity to study magic under Jack and quickly befriends the rest of the company Juliana, Jack s aristocratic wife William, his exacting business partner and Synder, his genius apprentice But all is not as it seems Jack and his company lead a double life as thieves, and they want Ashes to join their next heist Between lessons on light and illusion, Ashes begins preparing to help with Jack s most audacious caper yet robbing the richest and most ruthless nobleman in the city.A dramatic adventure story full of wit, charm, and scheming rogues, The Facefaker s Game introduces an unforgettable world you won t soon want to leave.

    One thought on “The Facefaker's Game”

    1. 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum bibliosanctum/2016/11/25/Sometimes book blurbs can do more harm than good for the novels they’re trying to promote, by placing crushing expectations upon them that might not be realized. In the case of The Facefaker’s Game, my inner skeptic’s alarm immediately went haywire at the description “for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch” which is one hell of an ambitious claim if I ever heard one. Then again, every once in a while it pays to give them [...]

    2. My Campbell Award nominee, 2016.___I have zero complaints about this book. I have to admit, I didn't start it with extremely high expectations. A debut novel from a (very) young author that I'd never heard of, talked up by the publisher as "for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch." My attitude was something like, "Yeah, I've heard THAT kind of claim before. But sure, I'll give it a try." Well, this time, the blurb claim is actually true.Birch gives us a fantasy reminiscent of Oliver Twist: [...]

    3. Review from Tenacious Reader: tenaciousreader/2016/1The Facefaker’s Game is an entertaining coming of age story that features a number of familiar, but quite likable, tropes. I want to stress that it’s not a negative to contain tropes. I firmly believe these are traits that are so common because they can be quite enjoyable, which is the case within The Facefaker’s Game. The book has enough originality within it’s magic and characters to make the old familiar feel fresh and fun.It feature [...]

    4. My usual rule of thumb is that any sentence in a blurb that says "for fans of $author" is most likely a bold lie by the marketing department. I decided to risk it, though, since I am indeed a huge fan of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss, primarily for their likeable rogues in grim settings; and this time I wasn't disappointed, because that's exactly what I got. I wasn't disappointed in the least - though, rereading the blurb, it also describes the book as "picaresque," and technically it isn't, [...]

    5. 3.5/5.0The Facefaker’s Game was one of those books that just popped up in my radar while I was browsing around the vast bookish realm of the internet. I was immediately intrigued (but also a little skeptical) of its claim to be for fans of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss. Those are mighty large and majestic shoes to fill. If it doesn’t live up to it, scores of readers will be disappointed and pick up their proverbial pens to share their feelings of betrayal with the world. I do see parallel [...]

    6. Wonderful!Well, as far as I can tell, this is Chandler J. Birch's first and only book. It is even more amazing, therefore, that this book is this well-engineered! I mean, I can confidently admit I could never write a book even a smidge as good as this one on my 1st book attempt (or 2nd, or 10th, etc.), and I rely on my writing ability for a living! But anyway. This book! Ok, so I admit: I have a weakness for stories about street urchins who strive to rise above the miserable hand life dealt them [...]

    7. Ashes doesn’t know who he is, but he knows what he’s good at—conning rich folk—and he knows who is important to him—those cast off by even the poor, especially when it comes to his misshapen friend named Blimey. His whole world changes when Candlestick Jack, the leader of a thieving crew of Artificers, recruits Ashes and introduces him to one more truth about himself—Ashes has magic in him. As Jack trains him, Ashes does what any mischief maker with a big heart and magical abilities [...]

    8. I loved this book. I'm not a reader of fantasy, but I wanted to support this former student and his first novel. I had to readjust to fiction and to a new world, but once the spider webs were cleared in my head, I was totally in for the ride. Excellent story. Now I want him to hurry up and write the next one!

    9. Color me impressed with this awesome debut novel! This book needs to be read more often.From the first chapter I could tell I was going to like this book, it's the prose that really drew me in. Much more prose filled than Sanderson, but not quite the level of Bancroft, this book flows and is immersive. The five sense writing was strong, and it sucked you into the setting quickly.The book opens with a mysterious man who can reconfigure his face at a whim. He's meeting a woman to discuss informati [...]

    10. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. I'll admit, I wasn't expecting this book to be amazing. It's a debut novel, and while it sounded interesting from the blurb, I wasn't 100% sold. Then I started reading the book. Slow to get off the ground, after about fifty pages I found myself flying through the chapters, eager for more. Ashes, an orphan boy who has only himself to take care of him is a thief and a swindler; he's quite good at what he does. Hidden away is another boy, Blimey, that [...]

    11. delivreenlivres/20 Un premier roman de l'auteur que j'ai vraiment bien apprécié. Certes l'histoire est classique dans le genre mais ça marche et j'espère bien que l'auteur va continuer car l’univers créé a du potentiel sur le long terme !Ashes est un jeune orphelin (14 ans) qui vit dans les rues dangereuses de Burroughside, un des pire quartiers de Teranis. Il arnaque certains Denizen (citoyens de la ville) aux cartes, si il survit à la dérouillée qui ne tarde pas à arriver à chaque [...]

    12. I really wanted to like this book. And it was almost a book I could really like. But reading it was a struggle, of the kind where I'd read ten pages and find something else to do, over and over again. There is one thing this book is really useful for, though: it's a great example of good ideas in the hands of someone who doesn't quite have the tools to write about them.This book has worldbuilding, sort of, but without details or foundation, so it never feels real. It has interesting ideas that n [...]

    13. Yes! This was so good!There is so much to like about this book and so little to not like. I was absolutely sucked into this scrappy Dickensian world, and so sad when it ended. It's been a long time since I was sad when a book ended! It's such a bittersweet feeling and I've missed it!I received a galley copy from Netgalley; the assistant editor's note in the beginning of my copy called this 'Oliver Twist with magic' and that's such a good way to put it. I loved Ashes, the street urchin protagonis [...]

    14. Chandler Birch has written a book to fall in love with on his first outing. In 2014, Simon & Schuster held a contest for emerging speculative fiction writers; The Facefaker's Game was the winner. Chandler Birch was 22. He will be 24 when the book is published in November. And folks, what a book! Just briefly: a young protagonist, a world so well done that you adapt immediately, terrific characters, and a plot that kept me happily engrossed. I'll do another mention closer to time for publicat [...]

    15. **I received this as an egalley from Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**When the description starts with suggesting this books for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, I knew I would be interested in this. The fact that the magic in this fantasy novel centers around light manipulation, only served to make it a must-read.Chandler Birch's storytelling is excellent - straightforward and descriptive, with excellent world-building. The pace of the story is pe [...]

    16. Billed as being perfect for fans of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss, Chandler J Birch's debut novel, The Facefaker's Game is indeed a pretty exciting prospect for us fantasy lovers - a story about an earnest beggar boy who sets out to right some wrongs in his grimy ramshackle-rundown neighborhood with the help of his newly learned 'magic' skills, this premise should definitely strum your heart-strings as a reader looking for the next big thing after Locke Lamora. Add to the entertaining mix, an [...]

    17. I found The Facefaker's Game in Chandler Birch's Reddit AMA thread. Chandler Birch seemed like a cool guy who at a very young age (24!) wrote a book that was likened to the work of Rothfuss and Lynch. Although the bar was set pretty high, The Facefaker's Game seemed interesting to me so I grabbed a hard copy on , and shortly thereafter The Facefaker's Game was added to my long reading list.Now, nearly two years later *cough cough* I've finally read The Facefaker's Game. I can't believe it took m [...]

    18. The Facefaker's Game is a very enjoyable tale of thieves, magicians and deceit. I enjoyed it and although I don't think it's bringing anything particularly new to the fantasy scene it does bring a lot of entertainment, it's a fun read and it felt as though the pages simply read themselves. At the end of the day, yes, there are tropes, and some of them may feel over used - but there's a reason for that - which is we all seem to enjoy them (when they're well developed - which they are here). I can [...]

    19. Ashes belongs to a gang of street urchins roaming the Burroughside region of the vast city of Teranis, surviving by robbery, intimidation, and various cons (He’s particularly adept as a card sharp.), trying to scrape together enough to pay their monthly “taxes” Mr. Ragged, Burroughside’s corrupt overlord. Ashes is thirteen years old, or maybe fourteen years old, he’s not really sure. When he and his best friend, Blimey, come under a death sentence from Mr. Ragged, they go underground, [...]

    20. "The Face Fakers Game" follows the story of street rat/con artist Ashes. Ashes lives in the slums with a bunch of other gangs of orphans all struggling to steal enough money to feed themselves while making their monthly payment to crime boss, and district governor Mr. Ragged. At night monsters prowl the streets gutting anyone foolish enough to be outdoors.Ashes is clever, but he's made a terrible mistake. Now Mr. Ragged is determined to have his head. Ashes managed to find his way into the good [...]

    21. 4 stars cause, despite how this wasn't entirely what I wanted it to be, I really enjoyed it and can see the potential here for something truly great within the fantasy/caper genre.Fun and original. The magic system is one I haven't seen before. I loved the use of light manipulation to create illusions that appear physical. It's quite refreshing to read a book willing to take a risk and try something different. SettingTo me, the setting is the most important character in any book. If you can't im [...]

    22. Excellent debut novel that I strongly recommend to any Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastard series) fans. Interesting characters and story all around with a mix of intrigue and drama, I read this book in three sittings because I couldn't put it down.

    23. I'm going to briefly explain how I found this book and what I thought about it, but the tl;dr is that it was extremely enjoyable and it was so gripping that I finished it in a couple days by accident. Go read it.First off, I see a lot of people comparing him to other authors. I know that is high praise coming from a lot of people, but I'd rather (and will) talk about him alone instead of comparing him to others. That said, I'm immediately going to mention another author, but for a different reas [...]

    24. Well color me surprised. This book isally good. Exceptionally strong, for a debut author. Ashes is a compelling main character, the setting is richly drawn, the magic system is interesting, the plot moves along quickly -- appropriate for a caper -- and the writing is for the most part very good and at times surprisingly lovely. It's a lot of fun and I can't think of a single complaint worth mentioning.((Edit: Okay, I thought of one minor quibble. Very early on in the book there's a "save the cat [...]

    25. SO SO GOOD!!! I was NOT expecting to love this as much as I did. The fantasy world was so unique and complex, and I really loved all the characters!!!!This was a stunning, beautifully written debut novel and I can’t wait for more books from this author!!

    26. As soon as I heard the words “fantasy heist,” I knew I wanted to read The Facefaker’s Game.Ashes is an orphan scrapping a living in Burroughside, the poorest and most crime ridden area of the giant Victorian-esque city of Teranis. Then by coincidence he comes to the attention of Candlestick Jack: a master thief and Artificer, a magician who manipulates light to craft illusions. He offers Ashes a chance to be his student, but he wants his help with a grand scheme.World building is one of th [...]

    27. (No spoilers.)A very solid effort for what I believe is a debut novel from a young author. The world building is impressive, and the characters you meet are thoroughly engaging and endearing in their own unique ways. The plot is strong enough too, with a good twist towards the end that I never saw coming at all, really enjoyed that bit. There's certainly enough here to make it stand out and deserve a read, though I struggled with the whole 'Weaver/Stitcher' side of things; you were either bombar [...]

    28. Facefakers Game was recommended by Brent Weeks at a book signing and then the author did an AMA which convinced me to try it. I am very glad I did.The setting is a late 1700 early 1800 style city (think Dickens). It goes between nicer parts of the city and the slums. The main character is a 14 year old pick pocket who is trying to take care of himself and his friend. He is also a rasa: he woke up one morning with no memories, no family, no name. Magic in this world is focused around illusion and [...]

    29. Ashes is a fourteen-year-old, con-man,. thief who's lived in Burroughside since he was found there at age three. He's perpetually in trouble with Mr. Ragged, the governor of the slum. Candlestick Jack discovers him when he changes the face of a card in three-card monte, a change possible only for those with magical abilities. Ashes learns Artifice in return for helping Jack with his thievery, but has an agenda of his own. He wants to use his new ability to get rid of Mr. Ragged. Chandler J. Birc [...]

    30. Fantasy newcomer Chandler Birch tells an exciting tale that can stand on its own, while simultaneously setting the stage for larger conflicts and deeper stories in the gritty world of Teranis. Part heist novel, part revenge tale, part magic-user-in-training story, The Facefaker's Game delivers plenty of twists and turns, set in a well-developed fictional culture and setting.

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