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Critical Praise

"Four stars. Intrigue and mystery fill the sequel to The Eight. In this detailed, engrossing follow-up, Neville's globe-spanning descriptions of Russia, the Middle East and the United States are vivid, her characters unusual and the plot intricately woven."

Romantic Times

"Fans of Neville’s debut, The Eight (1988), which long before there was a Da Vinci Code featured a complex historical setting, ciphers, conspiracies, puzzles and a hunt for an object that could change the course of the world, will welcome this stellar sequel. Alexandra Solarin, child chess prodigy now grown, finds herself immersed in “the Game,” searching for a legendary chess set, the Montglane Service, which when assembled spells out the formula for the secret of immortality. The quest for the set ranges from the harem of Ali Pasha in 19th-century Albania to present-day Baghdad and Washington, D.C., and involves such historic figures as Charlemagne, Isaac Newton, Lord Byron and Napoleon. Despite the staggering amount and quality of the research, nothing feels shoehorned or extraneous. The story’s relentless pace is matched by characters both sympathetic and real. In the end, readers will be heartened to find signs pointing to the continuation of the Game in future novels. "

Publishers Weekly

"Twenty years after The Eight, Neville finally unveils the next chapter in Cat Velis’ story. Alexandra Solarin, Cat’s daughter, receives an invitation from her mom to visit her in Colorado. When Alexandra arrives, she finds that her mother has vanished and that the clues left behind reveal a sinister mystery. To find her mom, Alexandra will have to pursue the same “game” that Cat did years earlier, searching for the pieces of an ancient chess set with mystical properties. Unfortunately, the people accompanying her on her journey might not be trustworthy. Alexandra’s quest is intertwined with the story of a young girl in 1822 named Haidee, faced with a parallel challenge involving the great English poet Lord Byron. Fans of The Eight who have long awaited the rest of the story will be delighted with this entrancing blend of history, chess, and high adventure."


"Dan Brown stands on the shoulders of a giant. Twenty years have passed since Neville (A Calculated Risk; The Magic Circle) transfixed readers with her debut novel, The Eight. No one knew how to categorize it; part historical novel, part contemporary thriller, the book became a cult favorite. Patience is a virtue, and Neville’s fans are a virtuous lot. Here is their reward. Set 30 years after the events of The Eight, the game that we thought ended has resumed with new players (although familiar characters figure into the plot in some way), and it returns as dangerous as ever. For those who haven’t read The Eight, there are some innovative plot recap devices, but fans may want to treat themselves to a delectable reread first. Neville deftly employs time-shifting storytelling and casts historical figures in her story with such dexterity that you are sure all these people must really have known one other. Ingenious puzzles, enthralling historical ambience, and masterful plot twists abound. More please! Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections."

Library Journal, Starred Review