Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
# of pages: 384
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
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-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.
My Rating: 2/5 stars
I am sorry to say that I DNF’d (did not finish) this book. I was even contemplating if whether I should review it or not. I came to the conclusion that I should share why I DNF’d Mask of Shadows with everyone.
Initially jumping into this book I was ecstatic. I mean, we have a deadly competition, a gender fluid MC, what more could you want? Unfortunately, I found that this book was full of fantasy-books-with-a-competition-in-them clichés.
It is hard to remember who is who because each competitor wears a mask and goes by a number instead of a name. It is almost as if they are not human??? Like the leaders of the competition are trying to dehumanize them as much as possible so it is easier for the competitors to kill each other?? I felt very disconnected from the characters.
Another thing that had me lost was the world. There are these things called Shadows and they kill you and the bordering countries took over the one in the middle??? I am just confused! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for some complex magic systems and world building, but in this novel it was too underdeveloped.
One thing this book had going for it was the gender fluid main character, but even in that department I was disappointed. Gender fluidity was never blatantly talked about. Furthermore, it was never questioned. I really wanted to see it fleshed out more.
This story had great potential to be the start of an awesome fantasy series, but for me it just fell flat.
Thank so much for stopping by! Feel free to drop a comment and tell me what Aug/Sep release you’re looking forward too!