August 6, 2017

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller: An ARC Book Review

Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Glbt
Release Date: August 29th 2017
Source: Miss Print ARC Adoption
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

This book is a masterpiece that was cleverly written on a plot that we have seen in a few different ways.  You got a character who describes herself as " Thief and a killer, trained by childhood of fear and violence" who sets out in a competition to take a prized position.  I loved that we jumped into the story with little knowledge of how our character got to where she is.  Sometimes I feel the first book of a series gets bogged down with filling us in with backstory that it takes sooo long to get to the actual story. Since this is the first book we get more books to fill in the backstory as the main character continues on her path beyond achieving what she wants to in the competition. 

Some may hold issue with the love interest in this story as it is two females but I did not feel it was overly weird or that it distracted from the action filled story.  In fact, I'm not sure it could of played out well or at all if it been a male/female relationship.  

My favorite quote came right at the end of the story when the, now, crowned opal tells the queen just what she thinks of her. " I used to love you. I adored you. I would've died for you. I thought you were lady sent to save us, to pull us from the chaos magic and greed brought down upon us, but your just like us. Your not any different from them, maneuvering people to keep your power".  What a powerful thought and accurate description of how the political leaders actually think and work. Makes you wonder if the magic was ever truly banished?  Makes me intrigued for book two.

The book ends on rousing cliff hanger with our love interest being stolen away and the new opal taking on the task of her the previous opal.   "They'd taken my country and my life, and I would take their heads". Gives me tingles.

A wayward biology student from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology coming in September 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.

Disclaimer: *I received a copy of this book for free from Miss Print ARC Adoption to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

**Book info obtained through Goodreads. 
***Book Cover Obtained through Goodreads. 
****Author photo obtained through author website.


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