Game of Strength and Storm
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: June 7, 2022
About the Book
Victory is the only option.
Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.
To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.
Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.
About the Author
Rachel Menard was born in New Jersey, raised in Arizona, and then relocated to Rhode Island. Throughout her life she has been a barista, college radio DJ, singer in an alt-country band, marketer, designer, and finally, a writer. Her short fiction has been featured on the Cast of Wonders podcast and her non-fiction has been seen in Writer’s Digest. Her debut novel, Game of Strength and Storm, is coming from Flux Books in 2022.
An olympian fantasy? Yes, please! Gen and Castor each have their reasons for entering the lottery. But when they’re pitted against each other, things heat up, and lives, present and future, are at stake. The blurb promises an adventure, and it wasn’t wrong.
Told in alternating viewpoints, I would cheer on Gen, her persistence and strength, and then when we switched to Cas, even when her actions were extreme and cringey, I wanted to see her succeed. Menard wrote strong characters who, while on opposite sides, had good reasons for what they were doing. The addition of Pollux to Gen’s team added a whole new level.
This is such a fun read. I love the depth of the world, the magic, and the characters. Each new task brought new talents, magical creatures, mythology, and lore. Game of Strength and Storm is well-researched with a fun twist that added tense and kind moments throughout. Overall, this is an addicting, fast-paced adventure with a bit of romance. I can’t wait to see where Menard takes this series.
“The Empresses offered a bad solution to a horrible problem… People didn’t come to the lottery unless they were desperate…”
“Castor raises her arms to the sky, and the rain soaked through her clothes. She was the storm.”
“Sometimes the filth needed to be washed away so something better could be built in its place.”
“She was speechless. Breathless. Somehow he had managed to make her ache for cloud and rain.” (swoon)
“… she wanted some of the sparkle back, just a piece of it, to wake up and know something good could happen, even if it never did.”
“She was more than his muse. Perhaps she always had been…”
Check out all the stops on the blog tour at TBR and Beyond.
Thank you, to TBR Tours and North Star Editions, for including me in this super fun tour!