This is the first book in a series called The True Game Series. As with most of Sherri S. Tepper's books, it is a social commentary; this one is about power, the haves and have-nots, and the struggle for those in power to maintain the status quo while the ones who are disenfranchised wish to change the system. This series is one of her earlier works, written in the early to mid-1980s.
My only regret is that I don't yet have the second book.
Terrific series full of wonder, weirdness, and beauty. I love it. This is the first in the series, the first I read, and my favorite.
In the lands of the True Game your lifelong identity will emerge as you play. Prince or Sorcerer, Armiger or Tragamor, Demon or Doyen. Which will it be?
iblist.com user synopsis
Peter, a foundling of unknown parentage, is bored with his sheltered life in the School where he is learning the complicated rules of the chess-like True Game which governs society. When a festival Game goes wrong, Peter is forced to flee across the land, where he encounters many danger and ultimately discovers much about himself, his parentage, and the history of the world.