After WordPress decided to hide this post from me, I’m finally bringing you what I thought of Mask of Shadows.
Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling genderfluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
Sallot Leon is a thief and a good one at that. But genderfluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
Can we talk about a gender fluid person in a fantasy novel? I’m so excited to see gender fluid characters getting more rep in books, especially a non-contemporary book!
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. It just didn’t have enough world building for my taste. It was like I was just dipping my toes in the water of this world when I wanted to dive into the world headfirst. What we saw in the world was wonderful and I really hope there’s more of it in the second one!
The pacing was a bit off too. The first 20% was just too much backstory honestly. Which sucks because I wanted to give this one 5 stars but there was just some work that needed to be done.
But I loved Sal and Elise. I couldn’t stop shipping them. I loved that Sal was paired with a scribe and not someone in the competition. I’ve seen it one too many times where they fall in love in the competition and then have some giant fight/crisis over who should win.
I enjoyed how the female characters weren’t stuck in the background of the whole novel. Give me more fantasy full of ladies. I didn’t count the male versus female characters but I definitely didn’t notice a huge gap like in most fantasy novels.
Overall, I liked this book and I will definitely pick up the second one!
About the Author:
A wayward biology student from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology coming in August 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.
The Prize: 1 Copy of Mask Of Shadows by Linsey Miller
Open to US Residents Only
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