Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sallot Leon is an orphan and a thief. However, Sallot wants to escape that life as a highway robber living on the outskirts of society. Sal wants to get close to the nobles that destroyed their family and their home. During a robbery, Sal comes across a piece of paper that features an audition to become a member of the Left Hand – the Queens elite and personal assassins. And Sal plans for the perfect infiltration to get revenge.
Mask of Shadows was a well-written high fantasy novel. There were instances of info-dumping and places where the plot became slow paced but it is an impressive debut. Mask of Shadows was an action-packed assassin in-training novel. Sallot was taking part in a competition to become an elite assassin for the Queen. The competition itself was full of high-stakes and it was very smart and detailed. Each competitor had to kill their opponents – without getting caught, and it made it an original and compelling read.
Mask of Shadows also featured a genderfluid protagonist, Sal. Sal liked to be referred to specific pronouns depending on how they dressed. I can’t speak for the rep, but I feel like Sal being gender-fluid was handled respectfully. I really liked Sal – they were motivated, daring, and funny.
I also loved the secondary characters. I was sometimes a little confused between who was who when the competitors were numbered – except for the main five. But I guess that held up the secrecy a little more and added to the atmosphere. I also really liked Ruby, Emerald, and Amethyst. I also found it really interesting how they were all named as well. I also really liked the subtle romance between Elise and Sal – definitely a highlight of the book.
I’ve seen this compared to Throne of Glass quite a lot, and while there are similarities there are also a lot of differences. Mask of Shadows has a much more developed and logical assassin competition and is much more diverse.
Overall, Mask of Shadows is an exciting and action-packed high fantasy that I would highly recommend.
Megan (pronounced MEE-GAN bc her Irish grandfather refused to use the English pronunciation) is a 21 year old british blogger, history graduate, lover of books and expert procrastinator. She is anxious and introverted and is currently attempting adulthood. She loves potatoes which is often blamed on her irish heritage and can often eat her weight in food. She predominantly reads and reviews YA which includes historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary, and f/f romance. She loves reading about unlikeable female characters, positive female friendships & relationships, and is a sucker for a pretty cover.