blog tour: ace of shades + q&a with amanda foody

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Harlequin Teen, 400 pp.
Published April 10, 2018

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.


Welcome to Day 4 of the Ace of Shades blog tour! Check out the official tour schedule here and be sure to visit the other stops all the way up to its release on April 10th. (My 4.5-star review will post on April 6th!) In the meantime, please enjoy my Q&A with the author, Amanda Foody, and keep scrolling for a chance to win your own copy of Ace of Shades!

Enne is such a dynamic character and I loved following her development throughout the novel! I think a lot of girls will identify with her use of etiquette and courtesy as a shield. Was there a specific inspiration for her? Do you see much of yourself in her? 

Enne’s character actually is entirely different from the original Enne character of the first draft. She’s developed more and more with every revision. I didn’t have a specific inspiration for her, per say, other than I wanted a character who was entirely opposite the City of Sin, at least at first.

Enne and I aren’t actually that similar. I am very tall, while she is very short. She prefers dancing and acrobatics while I’ve always played sports that involved gracelessly whacking things—like tennis or baseball. In personality, I definitely am much more similar to Levi of the two.

Your previous novel, Daughter of the Burning City, takes place in a carnival of sorts. And now Ace of Shades takes place in a city built around casinos. What draws you to these colorful, evocative settings that come with an equally dark underbelly?

I love writing about microsettings, or the kind of enclosed fantastical worlds that come to life and are characters in their own right. I’ve always loved the idea of immersive settings, and I’ve repeatedly sought after them in real life. My historic college had as many disappointing modern buildings as it did beautiful, colonial ones. My town’s German architecture is stunning to admire for a block or two, until you reach the iHop and Wells Fargo. I find these sort of inconsistencies frustrating. I don’t like wrinkles in the fabric. So instead, I create these sort of characterized settings, so I can feel like I am fully exploring someplace new and wholly fantastical. The dark underbellies feel more like coincidences—I happen to love big reputations, and both New Reynes and the Gomorrah Festival have bad ones.

I'm keeping it vague to avoid spoilers, but the climax of Ace of Shades was one of the most evocative final confrontations I've read. I especially loved the suggestion of magic at play in that scene, although its power wasn't fully explained. Can we expect to learn more about the magical forces at play in the sequels?

Yes, definitely! The secrets of the House of Shadows become a key component to the series.

Now for a couple of fun questions: Three street gangs co-exist in Ace of Shades: the assassin Doves; the Scarhands, forgers and weapon dealers; and the Irons, gamblers who fashion themselves as "consultants". Which of the three gangs would you most want to belong to?

Probably the Scarhands. I’m not flashy enough to be an Iron, and I think the Scarhands are the most traditionally business-minded. Plus, how fun would it be to craft someone a new identity? Like creating characters.

And finally: In the Ace of Shades world, the "talents" a child inherits from each of her parents are a determining factor in the kind of future she'll have. What would you say your blood and split talents are?

I probably would have boring, mundane ones rather than the magical sort. I could totally have an Abacus blood talent—I’m very good at math, and since it’s a “counter” talent, I am literally an accountant. That seems to check out. For split talent…hm… I’m a good cook! I also have very strong hand-eye-coordination, so I’m weirdly good at things like juggling, ping pong, and have spidey reflexes for catching dropped things before they hit the floor. Not quite so interesting as my characters, unfortunately.

A big thank you to Amanda for so kindly answering my questions! It's been a delight hosting you and Ace of Shades on This Dark Material!



Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is her first novel. Her second, ACE OF SHADES, will follow in April 2018.


  • Prize: 5 copies of ACE OF SHADES (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody (US/Canada only!)
  • Starts: March 26, 2018
  • Ends: April 19, 2018

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