Sep 22, 2017

Book Review: Mask of Shadows

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

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.

* * * * *

MASK OF SHADOWS is a well written fantasy. Ms Miller does an excellent job of world building to the extent that I could almost smell the stench of the cities that Sal does jobs within.  The characters themselves are also very well done.  I swear that I would recognize some of them if I met them on the street.  

What really sets this book apart from other fantasies is the fact that Sal is gender fluid.  I just love how Sal describes it.  Sal is a he is he is wear male clothing, a she if wearing a dress and they if the clothing can't be ascribed to either gender.  MASK OF SHADOWS  is the first fantasy that I have read that addresses this issue and it's an important one as I feel that everyone should be able to be the gender that fits them best.

I do feel that readers who enjoy fantasy will enjoy this book.  There is violence within the story but no graphic sex beyond kissing.  This is the first book in this series and I can't wait to be able to follow more of Sal's story.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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