The Game of Cages post


My original plan was to place all book information into one convenient post. Hah! Turns out that doesn’t work very well; there’s too much! New plan: create a dedicated page for each book.

Game of Cages is the second book in the Twenty Palaces series. (Book one is Child of Fire which came out in September, 2009 and was named to Publishers Weekly’s list of best 100 books of 2009). Check out this Chris McGrath cover:

Game of Cages

God, I love that cover. You know what? The inside of the book is gorgeous, too.

The series follows Ray Lilly, an ex-con and former car thief press-ganged in to working for the Twenty Palace society. There are, scattered around the world, a small number of spells and spell books. The magic they allow people to do is often dangerous, but nothing is as risky as the summoning spells that let sorcerers to summon strange, extradimensional beings to our world.

These beings, which the society calls predators, view our world as a fresh hunting ground and see humans as prey.

The Twenty Palace Society hunts these creatures–and the people who summon them–with brutal, ruthless zeal. While Ray is not exactly the nicest guy in the world, he’s a saint compared to the society members he’s forced to work with.

In Game of Cages, Ray is given an emergency job–a predator is going to be auctioned off, and some of the wealthiest and most dangerous people in the world have gathered at a remote mountain mansion to place their bids. Unfortunately, the sale goes wrong and the creature escapes into the small town below with the bidders in close pursuit. Can Ray destroy the predator before it destroys the town?

It already has a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Read the first chapter here, the second chapter here and the third chapter here.

Order the book right now from:

| | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository (free int’l shipping!) | Books a Million | Borders | Indiebound | Kobo | Mysterious Galaxy| Powell’s Books |

And be sure to look for book 3 in the series, CIRCLE OF ENEMIES, out now.

36 thoughts on “The Game of Cages post

  1. Shawn

    Read the book it was great.

    I hope I can ask a quick question:

    Is there equal benefit to you in me buying the e-book version of Game of Cages instead of a actual copy in bookstores?

  2. There is a very tiny advantage to sales made in physical brick-and-mortar stores. Books on store shelves are bait for casual passers by, people who glance at the cover and grab a copy just because it looks interesting.

    The more books on the shelf, the easier it is for the book to be found by impulse buyers. The more books sold out of the store, the more likely the manager is to order replacement copies, and to place a larger order for the next book.

    Then there’s “modeling” which is when a store decides to keep at least one copy of a writer’s books on the shelves. You’ll see all of Charlaine Harris’s or Jim Butcher’s books in most stores, and if you buy one, they’ll order a replacement immediately.

    That’s a place most writers want to be.

    But you know what? That doesn’t really matter when you talk about one reader and one purchase. That’s a drop in the ocean. The real benefit of a happy reader is that they spread the word. If there were a reader who wanted to know how best to support a writer, I’d say “Tell your friends.”

    So there’s a benefit to buying in a store, but it’s small.

  3. Cody

    Bless your heart Mr. Connolly. I truly adored “Game of Cages”. At moments my heart and soul were so enthralled with the dangers facing Ray that I only took great gasping breaths between paragraphs. The Twenty Palaces Society my hunt the beings from the Empty Spaces, yet they neglect the predator-soul of your book!!

    I hope you have much continued success with this series and your other writing endeavors away. Much luck and thanks for the fantastic literary ride!

  4. Suzy aka Longdogmom at LibraryThing

    I just finished the first two books (Child of Fire and Game of Cages) and wrote a review on LibraryThing. Basically I thought they were great and can’t wait for a third! Keep writing Harry!!

  5. MikeUFO

    What up Harry?! Read both books and love them both, keep up the good work. I’m excited about what’s coming next and to learn what Ray really knows about the society and the empty spaces. But…I hate fu#@ing paperback! Maybe because I deal with typography a lot, who knows. Loved the type on the cover by the way. What are the chances that you will release a superfan hard cover special edition for the next book or for reprints of the first 2?

  6. It’s pretty unlikely that there will be a hardback edition any time soon. If book 3 takes off like a rocket, maybe book 4 will get a hardback edition, but as of yet, there’s pretty much no chance. Sorry.

  7. Shecky

    Harry, I’m certainly glad Jim Butcher has no ego problems and was perfectly willing to talk you up at NYCC; I finished CoF yesterday and will be buying the GoC e-book when I get home. Very entertaining; dark without angstipation. Well done.

  8. Shecky

    Huh. Yet another author who responds directly to fans. What the hell is wrong with you people these days? You’re supposed to be big, arrogant divas! :D

  9. I’ve got the “big” part down. I’m saving my temper tantrums for later on, when I’m a best-seller. For instance:

    “Don’t you people know who I am?”

    What do you think? To me, the extra emphasis on “people” is really going to sell it.

  10. Shecky

    It’s a commitment. On one hand, it’ll DEFINITELY break through to most people. On the other hand, it’s a hanging curve ball to those who are strong in The Snark: “Why? Have you forgotten? Did your mommy forget to pin your name to your jacket again?” and so on. A gamble that can pay off big or draw the audience “AWWWWW!” Bold move, with possibility of peril. I approve.

  11. Shecky

    They really should’ve published yours simultaneously with Jim’s, just to give birth to rumors: “Hmm. They’re publishing together. SUSPICIOUS. Are they a crime-fighting duo when they’re not writing?”

  12. Shecky

    Hey, you lookin’ for a beta? I’m one of Jim Butcher’s, and for some reason, I’ve apparently decided that that wasn’t enough torture. :D

  13. Mr. Connolly, I am a big fan of your books and really enjoy the system of magic that you’ve implemented. I wanted to ask if you’d by ok if I started up a roleplay session based on the world of your books, to be hosted on I would be having the players control members of a small town who get caught up in a conflict between an inexperienced but desperate magic user, the intelligent predator he’s summoned, and (later) the peer that arrives to deal with the problem. I wouldn’t be using any of your established characters, but I would be drawing from the magic system and mythology of the Empty Places.

  14. Matt, if this is a non-commercial use, I don’t see a problem with it. Have fun and I’m glad you enjoyed the books.

    If you’re planning to charge a fee or sell something Twenty Palaces-related, I’d respectfully ask you not to. I’m hoping to sell those rights myself in the not-too-distant future.


  15. Matt

    Just finished buying and reading both Child of Fire and Game of Cages. They were both a Great read.

    BTW, I discovered your books off of the Jim Butcher blog and I’ve got to say I feel I’m addicted already. I’m already wanting to read your next one.

    Keep up the great work!

  16. jimmy

    Harry, just wanted to say I saw a blurb on Jim Butcher’s website recommending your series and I am going to buy them both tomorrow, can’t wait to sink my teeth into another great book series and if it’s good enough for Jim, it’s good enough for me. Looking forward to it.

  17. eric

    I read your books based on Jim Butcher’s recommendation and liked them. You’ve made an interesting story world. Your habit of referring to stuff (how magic works, how Ray got started in this) without fully (or at all) explaining it keeps the story interesting, in an irritating sort of way :-)
    Now I’m wondering how much the TPS isnt telling Ray, and just what Zhan meant by his final words. And if the King person’s two spellbooks are the ones stolen from the TPS.

  18. Kristi Link

    Loved this book! Thanks for writing it! Looking forward to the next one in the late summer!

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