Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller is the first in a new YA fantasy world with LGBT undertones.
“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, Emerald, 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.”
First off, the action in this book is intense!
If you love assassins and thieves, I highly recommend this book for your fall TBR. Throughout, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat trying to figure out who’s next and then BAM.. they’re dead.
What surprised me with this book was the gender-fluid main character. Before re-reading the synopsis, I could not figure out whether I was reading from a male or female’s point-of-view. The writing was drawn out very well, because of course, the main character, Sal, glides between a boy and a girl. This characteristic is prominent throughout the story which was interesting to be able to read from that POV.
But it was Sal’s motivation through the book that was fun to see play out. The ending of course, if full of juicy twists and does contain an epic whaaaaat?!?-moment.
The ending also flows nicely into what will later be the next installment. Overall, I am satisfied with how Book 1 ended. AKA, no major cliffhangers.
There were plenty of moments where I had the Hunger-Games-vibe. Now I don’t like to compare authors in how their stories lay out since every book is unique, but if you loved the Hunger Games, I believe this book will fill those holes in your reading life. The idea of an “audition” to where you are forced to fight-to-the-death is what is similar between the two.
And let me tell ya, this fight-to-the-death thing is WAYY more epic! If this book became a movie, there would definitely be blood and guts flying everywhere.
What I think made this thriller so intense was this idea (AKA where the title may have sprung from) of wearing masks to disguise each other from knowing who the final assassin would be. So ultimately, if you were in this audition, you’d have psycho assassins with the creepy masks on trying to kill you.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I rather enjoyed the whole concept of the story, and I think it was executed (no pun intended) nicely. I found myself engorged in the intense scenes.
If you’re looking for a assassin fantasy with a POV twist, this is the book that I will recommend to you.
Published: 29 August 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / LGBT
How I Read It: eArc from Publisher
**Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All of my book reviews contain my honest opinions only, and are not influenced in any way.**
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