Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

29960675 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian

Pages: 384

Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

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Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

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.


My Thoughts

I’m going to be honest here, I absolutely was drawn in by the premise of the book. The idea of a gender fluid character was intriguing, but it was the base of a competition for assassins.. I’m a sucker for assassin themed books. But…

The book was beyond tedious in my opinion.

Sal was a thief, a darn good thief and when the option to become more, to become one of the Queen’s skilled assassin’s presents itself, Sal leaps and takes a chance by throwing themselves into the competition. Yes, Sal is indeed a gender fluid character so they are frequently addressed as He/She/They depending on how they are dressed or how they prefer to be addressed at the moment.

Each competitor is given a number which is confusing because I cannot keep track of One, Two, Three, Five, Eight, Twenty-Two. All I know is that Sal is Twenty-Three and everyone else is interchangeable, forgettable and flat. There is a disconnect between all the characters, I do not feel for Sal’s plight, I did not feel for any of the characters. There is no depth, no insight and coupled with the lack of explanation in multiple situations as well as history it made the book a chore to read.

There were also so many things that I just could not make myself believe, even though this is a fantasy book I just found myself shaking my head in disbelief. I wanted to like this book, but for me, it was just not there and I found myself constantly stuck whilst reading it.

1.5 Savvy Crowns from me.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What is your favorite book that features an assassin?


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