Posted By: Frank Miceli
If you do a search for this book, the synopsis says it perfectly. If you are a Six of Crows fan, then this book should be right up your alley.
Let’s start simple with the cover. If you are like me than you first judge something by how it looks. Right off the bat at BEA I loved this cover. Seeing the two knives on the front along with that title had me wondering where this book would go. I was not disappointed.
Right away you meet the main character whom we will just call “Sal” for right now. “Sal” has different names throughout the book so it is not right to give just one label but for now I will. It takes some time before you learn the gender of “Sal” but that mystery just added to my enjoyment in reading this book. Personally I could care less if a main character is male or female or alien. The fact that the author did not come right out to define “Sal” works perfectly in my opinion. To have a character that can fit in any situation, keep people guessing and make people uncomfortable made me like “Sal” even more.
The story is told through “Sal’s” P.O.V. “Sal” starts out as a street fighter and thief, robbing coaches along the road and paying tribute to the man in charge of the crew, Grell. Early on “Sal” steals a flyer stating an invitation to audition to be part of the Queen’s “Left Hand”. The left hand is a group of four assassin’s named for the rings the Queen wears. There is currently an opening for Opal and “Sal” intends to win that role because there is nothing more important than helping the Queen who stopped the shadows from killing across the land.
“Sal” evolves as the story moves on and I for one enjoyed the growth of the character. There is a backstory at play which involves “Sal” on a personal level. Escaping the current where “Sal” lives in poverty working for someone else is a motivator sure but the backstory is what is really important. This gives life to the real desires that drive our main character. You must be patient as all is not revealed right away as it shouldn’t.
Are there predictable moments? Sure. Is everything predictable? No. To me that is what works best. You are kept guessing just enough while following “Sal’s” journey from street fighter to potentially Opal of the Queen’s left hand. Of all those that audition who is left alive at the end is the question?
Due out in August of this year, Mask of Shadows is the first book in an intended duology. Just when you think the book ends, an additional twist is thrown in to make you itch for book #2.
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"I know my opinions will not always align with everyone else’s. I hope this blog serves as a way to introduce others to books they would otherwise not have read." - Frank Miceli Jr.
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