The Great Game by Christopher Nuttall. Book review

The Great Game by Christopher Nuttall, Elsewhen Press, p/b 408pp, £9.99
Reviewed by Steve Dean

I’ve decided to down-grade the golden rule of not judging a book by it’s cover to more of a guideline. The reason for this sea-change of opinion is yet another vanity press book with a very unappealing cover. This time, it’s a picture of the heroine dressed like a man might think a woman would dress if she wanted to pass for a man. Yes, it’s that bad.

This is book two of a planned trilogy, and this review covers only this volume, obviously.

So, to the story: It’s 1831, and Lady Gwendolyn Crichton has been appointed to the position of Royal Sorceress. In the world which the book is set, a female Royal Sorceress is something of a scandal, which is pointed out over and over again, ad nauseum. But anyway, the story kicks off with the old crime thriller dead body in a locked room skit, which is a bit odd for a fantasy novel, but not totally outrageous.

What follows is a mire of political shenanigans, double dealing and so forth, all totally boring and not really greatly relevant to a story about a sorceress. There are far too many words for the amount of actual content, and really, no one speaks like that, not now, not then.

Apart from the flimsy story, world building is mostly London with wizards and gender stereotyping, very original. The characters are all bland and very samey, there’s no pacing, it’s all monotonous and instantly forgettable. Overall a complete waste of everyone’s money.