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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Third Gambit by E. Ardell is the second installment in the Order’s Last Play Series. The story continues after the Lauduethe brothers save their older brother, Evan, and are forced to leave Earth to train as the chosen ones in Rema, a planet they never knew existed. They are the new First Four of Rema after the deaths of the planet’s previous champions. All four brothers bear Marks that attest to the Order’s prophecy that they are the destined leaders. The Maidens will need to read their Marks to map their quests in finding power-magnifying gifts. The survival of many rests in the hands of the Four of Rema. They must decide to accept the task that the Order has given them, but enemies have been waiting centuries for their arrival. The four brothers have no idea if the other camp has its own champions.
There are a lot of moments to remember in The Third Gambit, but the one I enjoyed is how Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence try to catch up with lost time in establishing a strong fraternal bond with their brother, Evan. As the four siblings take turns in telling the narrative, the brothers are present at the right moments and allow you to get different perspectives of events. E. Ardell writes with a good dose of humor and understands how young people typically drop lines of sarcasm because it has become a part of their reaction to the responsibility that goes with their gifts. You might argue that this story sounds like a compilation of sci-fi superhero clichés, but this is more assured and more appealing to an audience who wants something other than guys in capes and skin-tight jammies. This is part of a series that is the perfect read for anyone looking for characters with depth and who are not just reactive to the superpowers that they wield.