Author : Linsey Miller
Publisher : Sourcebooks Fire
Title : Mask of Shadows
Genre : YA fiction
When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears-Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal-their world changes. They knew it’s a chance for a new life.
Except 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. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play : Revenge.
Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first look in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
A huge thank you to the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, for sending me a review copy and a quick praise to Linsey Miller for writing such an amazing book. Mask of Shadows comes out September 2017.
I have to say that the main character of this book was the perfect blend of street smart, athletic, sarcastic, romantic, and all together, quite a character. I personally have to say how intrigued I was by the gender take that Linsey Miller took. Sal didn’t want to be defined, so she made it simple and clear :
“I dress how I am.”
If Sal dressed like a man, then Sal would be referred to as a he. If Sal dressed like a woman, then Sal would be referred to as a she. If Sal dressed like neither, then Sal would be referred to as they. Sorry for so many Sals, I just didn’t want to confuse things by saying ‘they’ before I explained. This gender fluid character was both creative and new. I can honestly say I’ve never read a book like this one regarding gender roles.
This story was an action-packed, thrilling adventure of a person who has to prove themselves worthy among many others to win a place in the world.
I can’t really say what happened in Sal’s life due to spoiler free zones, but let’s just say they’ve been through a lot. The whole background story in Mask of Shadows, really gave me an inside perspective on what they’ve survived through. It also is what brought a lot of the people in this story together because they went through the same experience and came out alive, but scarred. Some reviewers who received ARCS, kept saying how it wasn’t original. How the story was a crappy version of the hunger games. Listen, you can compare anything to something else and find 1 or 2 things wrong because your comparing it. Just see (read) it for how it is. Make YOUR comments original and stop comparing.
For some reason that I can’t explain, I just absolutely LOVED the Left-Hand league. Maybe it had something to do with my love of assassins, but it was also the comradery between the group. I personally loved ℜυβγ the best and I’m sure if you read it, you’ll understand why 😉
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However few, I did have some notes to make on this book.
- There was a certain sentence that could have been re-worded due two completely opposite words right next to each other. It was describing someone using the words, pale, golden tan. The word choice kind of contradicts one another right?
- The synopsis was also kind of confusing. I understand Sal is a gender fluid character, but I didn’t understand that until she explained the whole he/she/they thing herself. So, reading the synopsis, I was like what ‘they’ is being talked about??
- Ok, despite this being a great book, I don’t think it’s accurate to compare it Sarah J. Maas books. MAYBE Leigh Bardugo, but that’s still a stretch. Look, I don’t think a book should be compared to anyone else’s. When you write your own story, that is YOURS alone. If you’re trying to reel readers in, then I would say try another way because I absolutely LOVE Sarah’s work and I really enjoyed Mask of Shadows too, but personally, I really didn’t see Sarah J. Maas relation to this book.
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All together I really enjoyed this book and am so happy to have it on my shelves. High praise to Linsey Miller for writing Mask of Shadows, an absolutely thrilling tale that kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait for the next book in this new duology. So, should you read this book? YES. It is definitely worth the wait