Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Pages: 384 (HC)
Goodreads 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 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. more
I had been hearing many things about this novel, mainly how much it resembles The Hunger Games. Even though there were many similarities such as a group of skilled fighters battling in a game to the death, one main person at the forefront of it all (instead of President Snow, it’s the Queen of the Eastern Spires), Mask of Shadows had its differences and made for a good read.
There were many characters that filled this book, several of them went by numbers instead of names. I’m not sure if that was done in order to keep them all from creating bonds in the auditions, but as the reader I would have preferred if they did have names to those faces. Several of their expertise were deadly, but the main character Sal was not quite like any of them, having learned their (will be using they/their instead of all three he/she/they) trade on the streets as a thief.
Sal is one of those characters that keeps this novel interesting and the reader invested in it. Sal wants to be the champion of the auditions in order to fulfill their revenge upon all of those who allowed the bloodshed that happened in Nacea, doing nothing to protect or save any of them from the Shadows and everything that wreaked havoc upon them. Sal is not the type to give up or go down without a fight, being aggressive when required of them and a true friend when needed.
I really liked how the author built up this world, the descriptions of the places they would be among, the people that were part of this book, those partaking in the auditions; the shadows that were the most feared, how they were created, what led to all of it. Even though there were similarities to other dystopian worlds, this had its own stories to tell, its own way of dealing with battles. There were rules to follow or disqualification would happen, you will have to read to find out what all those are.
As I neared the last chapters it all became more twisted and not all as it had seemed. There were characters that had secrets to tell, a betrayal that cut deeper than any of the others, Sal having to deal with all of it and keep proving themselves just to reach the sought out Opal position. I found myself more taken in as I read through those last chapters and all that was coming to light, answers that Sal was finally getting even if they weren’t what they’d hoped for. Mask of Shadows had its many captivating moments and very much worth the read.
***I received this copy from Sourcebooks FIre via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***