Pawn's Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

When I heard there was another book in the Mortal Techniques series I had no hesitation putting my order in. The first book in the ‘series’ was brilliant and it fulfilled all the Wuxia needs I didn’t even know I had. I also just finished watching The Queens Gambit and I’m enjoying the mysteries and challenges of chess, the art work on the cover by Felix Ortiz is breathtaking and finally, and the most important, because with every book of his that I read, Rob J. Hayes continues to become one of my favourite authors.

It’s election time for the Gods. The God of War is in charge and has basically said if you don’t beat me this century I’m taking over full time. It is up to the God of Lost Things and Missed Opportunities to find a champion on earth that can complete a scavenger hunt that will crown her the winner and hopefully lead to a more peaceful period for the humans of earth.

Yuu is that champion. At one point in her life she was known as The Art of War, the masked advisor to the Silver Prince, whose ability to out think, out plan and out maneuver an enemy made her the most feared and respected person on the battlefield. Now she lives in hiding, hunted after a failure of epic proportions that disgraced her and the hero she helped usher to greatness. Now Yuu must not only find the lost and hidden objects of the god but avoid the other contestants, after all it might be easier to just kill a champion and take whatever trophies they have collected than do the finding yourself…typical bounty hunter scum.

There is so much love in the book. If it were a video game the special ability meter would be maxed out indefinitely. There are some fantastic fight scenes as contestants, all chosen for their ability to compete with the God of War, literally tear through each other. I loved the few links I spotted to the first book but I also love that this stands alone because it was so easy to jump into and enjoy without the mental stress of trying to remember every character and relationship from the first book.

Bottom line? Buy this series and get ready to enjoy yourself. 9/10

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