Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review of Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley 
(Look at that cover! Don't you want to read it too?)

Synopsis: "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 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, Emeral, Amethyst, and Opal -- their world changes. They know 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."

My Review:  Excitement has been building for this book for some time, and even though I was approved for this book on Netgalley several months ago, I wanted to wait until close to release day before picking it up. I am glad I waited so that I would be able to rave about it and discuss it with other readers while it was still fresh in my mind. Now please bear with me, even though I finished this book last week I still have had a hard time putting my thoughts (and there are a lot of them) about this book in to some kind of understandable order and concise statements. I must admit that I was originally attracted to Mask of Shadows because of that stunning cover (I am looking forward to it gracing my shelves) and the synopsis drew me in with it's high fantasy element yet the brutality of a Hunger Games like battle to the end, sounds about perfect to me. And it was exactly what I was expecting in that aspect, there was a lot of brutality, stabbing, plotting and scheming. The world building was fantastic, it was developed throughout the story but in a way that you weren't confused until things were explained, it was well integrated with the plot. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a map, which I am sure will be included in the final versions. Now on to the characters, I did not notice or think twice about the gender fluid main character until I got closer to starting this book. I started to worry that this would be a book that is about making a statement that it looses its story or was possibly just going to be banking on the current push for more books with LGBTQ+ characters. I shouldn't have worried, Sal is Sal and their orientation just fit the personality and the story so well that you didn't even really notice the statement of it. With that said I did learn some interesting things about gender fluid and how they should be referenced, and I am hoping that this is accurate information. The Left Hand were fantastic! I want to hang out with their crew but yet I am somewhat terrified of them. I did find the romance element with Elise to be a little forced, it didn't seem to fit fully into the story and felt like a bit of a side note or a plot device for the next book, but honestly that was the only real draw back for me and it wasn't that big of a deal. The romance if read by itself was beautifully done, and slow to develop but it just didn't feel right in with the development of the rest of the story. All in all this was a great book and I can't wait to read the next book! When does it come out? Oh and also, the marketing of this book by Sourcebooks is brilliant and I am enjoying every moment of it!

My Rating: Yup, another really long review there, sorry.  I really enjoyed this book, it had so many elements I enjoy and even some new to me that I discovered I enjoyed.  I will admit that this story does have a slow start, but I promise it is worth it to continue! I can't help but give this book a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can find out more about Linsey Miller and her debut book on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Mask of Shadows will be released August 29th but you can pre-order it in print or digital format from Amazon  or Barnes & Noble or check with your local book supplier.
(I also happen to know that if you pre-order Mask of Shadows you can enter to win a special box HERE)


  1. I'm taking your word for it and reading this one. I bet there wasn't romance and the publishers pushed for some. I find when it feels forced that's what happened.

    1. I hope you like it. It isn't quite the same as Winner's Curse but it has a lot of similar mental involvement. I really enjoyed this one and it will rank right up with my favorite books this year!