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Mask of Shadows

Review

Mask of Shadows

Linsey Miller’s MASK OF SHADOWS is my kind of book. I will read most things high fantasy, and the fact that the main character Sal is a wannabe assassin is even better. I was also intrigued by the fact that Sal is genderfluid. I hadn’t seen that done before, and was excited to see more representation.

MASK OF SHADOWS is Linsey Miller’s first book. It is the first book in a duology, and I will definitely be reading the sequel, RUIN OF STARS, when it comes out! In MASK OF SHADOWS, Sal is competing to become an assassin, Opal, for the queen’s personal assassins known as The Left Hand.

"Sal was a compelling character who I was able to care about immediately....MASK OF SHADOWS will appeal to fans of high fantasy...."

It took me a little while to get into MASK OF SHADOWS, but that’s mostly because I’ve been in a reading funk recently. I just haven’t been able to start books. Once I get a few chapters in, I devour them, but starting a book takes forever. And even once I got into MASK OF SHADOWS, it was on the slow side. There’s a lot of info dumping, which is always a hazard in high fantasy.

Sal was a compelling character who I was able to care about immediately. Sal didn’t have the special something that makes me fall in love with a character, buy I did still enjoy them. Where I felt Sal really shined was when they were making a kill or with their love interest, Elise. There was a lot of time spent focusing on training or info dumping, which could have been better spent on action.

I really hope to see more of Elise in RUIN OF STARS. She seems to have an interesting history, which gets more interesting towards the end of MASK OF SHADOWS. Elise is much more level-headed than Sal, and I think she balances them out nicely.

Another aspect of the story that intrigued me was the destruction of Nacea. Nacea was Sal’s home country, before it was destroyed be these monstrous shadows. After it was destroyed, the queen of Igna, a new country made up of two previously warring countries, is able to make all magic in the country disappear. The book mentions that magic is still accessible within other countries, which raises many questions/red flags for me. Having read other books, such as THRONE OF GLASS, where magic is removed by force by a ruler, my trust of the queen is on the low side.

I really like the other members of The Left Hand: Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald. I can’t wait to get to know these characters better in book two.

Overall, MASK OF SHADOWS will appeal to fans of high fantasy, as long as they’re okay with a slower read. Hopefully book two will be faster paced.

Reviewed by Isabel C., Teen Board Member on November 2, 2017

Mask of Shadows
by Linsey Miller