“Dizzyingly wonderful . . . a perfectly constructed work of fiction, with audacious twists . . . Collins plays her own game here with perfect skill.” — The Times (UK)
An intricate and utterly spellbinding literary epic brimming with enchantment, mystery, and dark secrets from the highly acclaimed author of the #1 international bestseller The Binding.
If your life was based on a lie, would you risk it all to tell the truth?
At Montverre, an ancient and elite academy hidden high in the mountains, society’s best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu—the great game—an arcane and mysterious competition that combines music, art, math, poetry, and philosophy. Léo Martin once excelled at Montverre but lost his passion for scholarly pursuits after a violent tragedy. He turned to politics instead and became a rising star in the ruling party, until a small act of conscience cost him his career. Now he has been exiled back to Montverre, his fate uncertain.
But this rarified world of learning Léo once loved is not the same place he remembers. Once the exclusive bastion of men, Montverre’s most prestigious post is now held by a woman: Claire Dryden, also known as the Magister Ludi, the head of the great game. At first, Léo feels an odd attraction to the magister—a mysterious, eerily familiar connection—though he’s sure they’ve never met before.
As the legendary Midsummer Game approaches—the climax of the academy’s year—long-buried secrets rise to the surface and centuries-old traditions are shockingly overturned.
A highly imaginative and intricately crafted literary epic, The Betrayals confirms Bridget Collins as one of the most inventive and exquisite new voices in speculative fiction.
About the Author
Bridget Collins trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after reading English at King’s College, Cambridge. She is the author of seven acclaimed books for young adults and has had two plays produced, one at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Binding is her first adult novel. She lives in Kent, United Kingdom.
"A surreal epic."
— Popsugar on The Betrayals, 25 New May Book Releases That Deserve a Place on Your Kindle
"The reader is in for a treat: all these mysteries converge in shocking, suspenseful ways. By the time the novel draws to a close, the weave of the story and the tight net of a powerful rivals-to-lovers romance will have captured the reader in their web."
— Booklist on The Betrayals
“Dizzyingly wonderful . . . Collins summons a Gormenghast-esque richness of place and people . . . a perfectly constructed work of fiction, with audacious twists that clumsier hands would fumble, and irresistibly moving emotional beats. . . . Nabokov called fiction a ‘game of worlds,’ and Collins plays her own game here with perfect skill.”
— Sarah Ditum, The Times (UK) on The Betrayals
"Another sumptuous act of imaginative world-building. . . . If you’re looking for an absorbing, transporting work of fiction—and why would you not be?—The Betrayals is just the thing . . . settle in, and enjoy getting lost in this captivating book."
— The Observer (UK) on The Betrayals
"Ingenious . . . Collins’s story holds everything up its sleeve for as long as possible."
— The Guardian (UK) on The Betrayals
"Brilliant . . . a captivating, imaginative tale."
— Woman & Home (UK) on The Betrayals
"A unique, unexpected and beautifully unsettling story . . . gorgeously beguiling and totally addictive."
— Joanna Glen, author of The Other Half of Augusta Hope, on The Betrayals
"More lavish magical escapism from the unit-shifting author of The Binding."
— Irish Independent (Ireland) on The Betrayals
"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, internationally bestselling author of He Said/She Said, on The Betrayals
"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, internationally bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, on The Betrayals