Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Expected Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Synopsis: 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.
Please note that I received a free eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review: I was really excited about Mask of Shadows as soon as I saw it being talked about on Twitter. I love the cover and as soon as I heard about the main character I immediately went over to Netgalley and requested it because how could I not? A genderfluid main character?? Yes please! I’m always a little weary about reading any books that hit kind of close to home for me. Especially when it comes to diversity in gender, sexuality, or orientation. I’ve had some bad luck (and some good) with books. I mean, most of the time when I read a diverse book, it’s of the contemporary genre and that’s definitely not my most favourite genre. So I had super high hopes for Mask of Shadows, I was finally going to get a character outside the gender norm.
But here I am thinking, I liked this? Parts of it were underwhelming and some parts I really liked. I almost never read a synopsis of a book, I know I know, that’s a little crazy but it’s true. I like the idea of going into a book with a completely open mind and a lot les expectations, you know? Which usually leads to a lot less disappointment most of the time. So I really feel like I’m on the fence about Mask of Shadow. Because I wasn’t disappointed in anyway but I’m not screaming about this book at the top of my lungs for everyone to read it either.
I thought for sure I would connect with Sallot fast but I realized quick that just because I’m non-binary doesn’t mean I feel the same way gender fluid people do. Now something I did love about have a gender fluid main character is that, Sallot being gender fluid had nothing to do or have any affect on the plot. Sure it was brought up here and there but it wasn’t any type of focal point and really, that’s how I like it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it!