Thursday 13 July 2017

Mask of Shadows Spoiler Free Review

Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1)
Mask of Shadows
by Linsey Miller

Release Date: August 29th, 2017


Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-classand the nobles who destroyed their home. 

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Handthe Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wearsSal 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.

My Thoughts:

I received this ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I gave this book 4.5 stars. I really didn't know what was going to happen when I started this book. Didn't really know what to expect, but from what I could gather from the synopsis, it was going to be good.

What I loved about this book was it wasn't about the character trying to be taken seriously because they were gender fluid. They just were and people didn't really question it. I mean there were some times when Sal would be identifying as a male and people would refer to him as she and he would get pissed off, but that was the extent. No one tried to demean them for being who they were. That way the story was very much centred on the plot.

Sal and Elise are really cute together. I wasn't sure how it would work out at first, but they have this cute little flirty relationship going on. Their future together really rested on whether or not Sal could pull off becoming Opal. That added this whole other forbidden love sort of dynamic. Never in the entire book was it out of reach because of the characters gender or sexual identity and I found it very refreshing.

A good fantasy novel is nothing without a protagonist with a tragic backstory. Good thing this book didn't disappoint. Sal's past added so much substance to their character, it gave all the motivation for what Sal wanted to do.

The characters in this book had so much soul. They all had their own complex pasts that made them the way they were. No one was needlessly good or needlessly evil, they had their own motivations. I loved how the Left Hand was so closely bonded, like a family, their bond made this book what it was, and what it was was worth it.

I am a huge sucker for several types of book, books set at boarding schools, books with deadly competitions, and books with complex characters. This book had the second two and they were pulled off beautifully. This book has set up an amazing story arc for the sequel and I'm excited to read it.

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