Den of Shadows – Christopher Byford Review

The Gambler’s Den weaves its away across the desert… But will it stop at your station?

While fighting off poverty in the blistering desert heat a travelling casino offers one night of solace. One…

The Gambler’s Den weaves its away across the desert… But will it stop at your station?

While fighting off poverty in the blistering desert heat a travelling casino offers one night of solace. One night to forget all your troubles. But once on board there is more to the show than meets the eye: enter Franco, the elaborate ringleader, Wyld the stowaway thief and Misu the fire breathing showgirl.

In a kingdom ruled by the law Franco ensures his den remains in line, ruling with an iron first. But when he’s faced with saving the fate of the train, and those on board, he may be forced to break his own rules. Life on the den isn’t just a job but a way of life. And now you’re about to find out why!

Welcome to the den…

Why did I pick this up?: Comparisons to the Night Circus, a train running across the desert with an elaborate ringleader aboard? Sounds like my cup of tea.

Good points: The Gamblers’ Den is a Vegas on wheels, but better. Beautiful descriptions of the casino, the show they put on for the customers, everything. The flamboyant manners of the characters are exactly my style, and it’s got such a unique premise that the idea swept me along immediately. It’s one of those ideas that as a writer I wish I’d thought of first!

Quibbles: It takes a long time to get started. And I mean a long time. I was wondering what was going to happen well into the fourth and fifth chapters of a twenty chapter book. And, beautiful as it was, it failed to catch me and make me desperate to read more, something I look for in books I add to my shelves.

Overview (TL;DR): A beautiful book with an exciting premise that just missed the mark for me and my shelves. Someone else may find it exactly to their taste.

-K Hart

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